Predictions: Eagles to slip past Tampa Bay

by Gary Shelton on September 14, 2018 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, NFL

Friday, 2 a.m.

The question is simple. Can they treat Tampa Bay to success, the sequel?

For a week, the Tampa Bay Bucs were unstoppable. They were dynamic, and efficient, and creative. Their quarterback was a star, and their receivers were running wind sprints, and their offensive line gave up no pressure.

And now? It's encore time.

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Oh, it won't be easy. The last time we saw the Philadelphia Eagles, they were dancing in confetti. They were creative, too. They were resilient too. They followed a backup quarterback of their own to win over the New England Patriots.

It completed a fine turnaround under coach Doug Pederson. If you'll remember, the Bucs played the Eagles in 2015 when they were coached by Chip Kelly and won 45-17. The Eagles won seven games that year; the Bucs won six.

Ah, but in the NFL, some teams take off, and some stay on the treadmill.

Of course, it is only the offensive part of last week's performance that the Bucs want to repeat. The defense was a fright, giving up 40 points and backpeddling against Drew Brees for most of the afternoon.

This week, the Bucs' defense has to be better against Philadelphia. And the offense has to be as dangerous. If that happens, the Bucs have a puncher's chance to win.

But only a chance.

Prediction: Philadelphia, 26, Tampa Bay 24

College Games

FSU at Syracuse:  The Seminoles have spent the two games of the Willie Taggart era trying to get out of their own way. They were blasted by Virginia Tech, and it took a fourth-quarter finish to beat lowly Samford. Now, they go on the road to face a rejuvenated Syracuse team. It's always hard to picture FSU losing to Syracuse, but so far, quarterback Eric Dungey has 646 total yards and eight scores. The gut says FSU will win, but the eyes don't agree.

Prediction: Syracuse 27, FSU 21.

USF at Illinois: The Bulls have proven they can score. They're fast, and quarterback Blake Barnett is accurate. But the defense is a liability that keeps opponents in games. Look for Lovie Smith's Illini team to give USF fits for a half, but they don't have the speed to win.

Prediction: USF 30, Illinois 20.

Colorado State at Florida: We learned a lot about Florida in last week's embarrassing loss to Kentucky. For one thing, they're still better than Colorado State. It'll be closer than Gator fans want, but Florida's athletes are better.

Prediction: Florida 21, Colorado State 13.

Miami at Toledo: Toledo is sneaky good, and they could play with Miami for a little while. It shouldn't be long, however.

Prediction: Miami 27, Toledo 17.

UMass at FIU: Maybe they call UMass the Minutemen because that's how frequently they give up touchdowns. So far, UMass has given up 89 points in its last two games, and in last year's finale, gave up 63 to FIU.

The Panthers should win this one, too, although UMass has some offense.

Prediction: FIU 33, UMass 24.

Bethune-Cookman at FAU: The Owls were thumped in their opening game against Oklahoma, but they've throttled back on the competition since them. Bethune-Cookman should offer little resistance.

Prediction: FAU 29, Bethune-Cookman 6.

Ohio State at TCU: The Buckeyes face a top 15 team without Urban Meyer. Still, it's hard to see Ohio State stubbing its toe.

Prediction: Ohio State 50, TCU 21.

LSU at Auburn: It'll be close, but LSU showed the nation a little something in its opening win over Miami.

Prediction:LSU 17, Auburn 3.

Chiefs at Steelers: Pittsburgh had to settle for a tie against Cleveland last week, which isn't they way they wanted to start the season. Kansas City has a good defense, but Pittsburgh should win in the fourth quarter.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, Kansas City 21

Vikings at Packers: Aaron Rodgers is limping. That's all you need to know about Green Bay. Minnesota has one of the top teams in the NFC, but Rodgers trumps. If he doesn't play, the Packers don't win.

Prediction: Minnesota 24, Green Bay 23

Patriots at Jags: Jalen Ramsey talks a lot. On the other hand, New England usually gets the last word over everyone.

Prediction: New England 19, Jacksonville 16.



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