Another week into the 2023 NFL Season and another Monday Night Football doubleheader. This week, the earlier half of the doubleheader will be in Tampa Bay as the Philadelphia Eagles head south to take on the Buccaneers. This could be the marquee matchup across the entire league, as both teams are coming into this matchup 2-0. Additionally, it is the only matchup of undefeated teams during Week 3. The Bucs are riding high into the Baker Mayfield era, starting off their season with wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. The Eagles look determined to return to the Super Bowl and finish what they started last season as they've started out their season with wins over the New England Patriots and Vikings.
One of these two teams will fall behind an already-exciting race for their divisions. In the NFC East, the Washington Commanders have also jumped out to a 2-0 start, applying some pressure to the favorite Eagles. Additionally, the Dallas Cowboys, despite now dealing with some injury misfortune, are also 2-0. The NFC South also features three 2-0 teams. The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, each with new quarterbacks at the helm as well, have matched the Buccaneers' promising start. Can the Buccaneers establish themselves as real contenders by taking down the class of the NFC? Can the Eagles hold off the rest of their divisional rivals for another week? We'll have to wait until Monday Night to find out, but this should be a very exciting matchup.
How to watch Buccaneers vs. Eagles Monday Night Football
This week, the Buccaneers vs. Eagles will be on ABC. That means whether you have a cable provider, ESPN+, or just have access to network TV, you should be able to watch the game through one of those outlets. If you do not have access to any of those platforms, you can stream online via a subscription to fuboTV. As a result of this week's doubleheader, there is no Manningcast broadcast. The Manningcast is set to return next week for Week 4.
Date: Monday, Sept. 25 | 7:15 p.m. EDT
Location: Raymond James Stadium — Tampa Bay, F.L.
T.V. channel: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)
FanDuel Odds: Eagles -4.5 | O/U 46
It's been a rough couple of years for Baker Mayfield since the Cleveland Browns cast him aside, but he finally seems like he's on the verge of winning the breakup. From 2021-22, which included Mayfield's last season with the Browns and stints with the Rams and Panthers, Mayfield was a far cry from the quarterback who had proven the ability to play winning football and lead his team to the playoffs. Let alone a guy who was supposed to be a franchise-altering pick at No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. But Mayfield has preserved and seemingly found a home in Tampa. Through two games and two wins he's thrown for 490 yards, three TDs, and no picks. The lack of interceptions is the key, as one of Mayfield's biggest knocks, both with and without his injuries, has been his ability to protect the football.
Beyond Mayfield, the defense has started to resemble the version of itself that helped win a Super Bowl with Tom Brady and Co. again. Since winning Super Bowl LV, the Buccaneers haven't rekindled that elite defense that helped get them there. Last year, in particular, they were closer to average than elite. The defense might be back this year, though. To pair nicely with the offense protecting the ball well, the defense has taken it away from their opposition five times across the first two games. Their opponents have also managed just 17 points in each of the first two games. Can they keep up the elite play against a powerhouse like the Philadelphia Eagles? We'll just have to wait and see.
Barring something extraordinary, or unless you're a Swiftie listening to Jason Kelce's podcast, the story around the Eagles will continue to be a return to the Super Bowl or bust. With the rise of Jalen Hurts, coupled with a defense full of Georgia Bulldogs terrorizing the league, the Eagles have it all. And they're off to the races again this season. However, they're not quite in midseason form yet. While they got the wins in Weeks 1 and 2, it wasn't as smooth as they would have liked. The Eagles failed to put leads of 16 and 13 out of reach against the Patriots and Vikings. Their fans have been sweating more than the average 2-0 team, for sure.
But despite the optics, the numbers look good so far. The rushing game behind Hurts, D'Andre Swift, and Kenneth Gainwell has been devastatingly effective. And the rest of the team has been good enough to win. The biggest question for the team will be if they can put together four quarters of elite play against a solid opponent. The defense, in particular, needs to start putting leads away and not give their opponents a way back into games. And if a team can bottle up the run, can Hurts lead the passing game to punish defenses? We'll see very quickly if this game will follow the pattern of the first two weeks for the Eagles or if the Buccaneers can assert their will.