Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles: It's a thumbs up for Tom Brady

Reigning Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles when Thursday Night Football returns - and Tom Brady will be there, sore thumb or no sore thumb.

The offense-driven Buccaneers are overwhelming favourites going into this match-up with Philadelphia who have made a mixed start to the season. 

For those of you looking to place a bet, Planet Sport have you covered as we take an in-depth look at the two teams.

And, don't forget, we also have our NFL acca insurance where you will get money back as a free bet if one leg lets you down.

Best bets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over 37.5 points 3/1

Philadelphia Eagles under 19.5 points 6/4

Total points under 47.5 points 6/4

(All odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change)

When: October 15, 2021 - 1.20am (BST)

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia.

How to watch: NFL Game Pass/Sky Sports NFL

Background: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Philadelphia Eagles

The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1) have been one of the most impressive teams during the first few weeks of the season. They have suffered just one loss - a 34-24 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams - and last Sunday posted 45 points against the Miami Dolphins.

The Tampa Bay offense has some of the most dynamic players in the league. Antonio Brown has rolled back the years and has been a reliable receiver for Tom Brady. Against Miami, Brown completed a 62-yard touchdown reception, bringing up 900 career receptions in the process - the fastest player to reach the milestone.

The Philadelphia Eagles are led by Jalen Hurts and the dual-threat quarterback is carrying the offense on his back.

Despite being massive underdogs for this clash, they beat Carolina Panthers 21-18 last time out with Hurts recording two rushing touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold was intercepted three times, sacked three times and only had 267 yards of offense.

If the Eagles are to have a chance of winning on Thursday night, they are going to need their defense to maintain those standards.

Quarterback match-up: Tom Brady vs Jalen Hurts

Tom Brady is playing in his 22nd season whilst Jalen Hurts is playing in his second season

In his second year with Tampa Bay, Tom Brady continues to roll back the years.

He may be 44 but he is showing no signs of slowing down, finishing with 30-for-41 for 412 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Dolphins, without an interception. 

It took his season stats to 1,767 passing yards and 15 touchdowns which is why news of a thumb injury had Bucs fans collectively holding their breath.

However, Brady played through the pain last weekend and is not thought to be a doubt for Thursday evening.

Jalen Hurts is in his second year as Eagles quarterback and his first as a starter. 

Able to destroy teams with his legs as well as his arm, he has struggled to get the balance right this season but is the leading rusher for Philadelphia with 256 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

Still only 23, Eagles need him to start playing smart football.

He has not been helped by an Eagles offensive line that has been ravaged by injury. With their blocking game letting them down,  they've only surpassed 21 points once since the opening day.

Key men

Mike Evans - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In Mike Evans, the Buccaneers have one of the most reliable wide receivers in the NFL. He is the only player in NFL history to have seven straight 1,000-yard seasons to begunhis career. Through five weeks he already has 393 yards.

At 6ft 4in he is a nightmare to cover for defenses and has four touchdowns on the season.

Shaquil Barrett - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Shaquil Barrett has registered 3.5 sacks through five weeks
Shaquil Barrett has registered 3.5 sacks through five weeks

Shaquil Barrett is one of the most dominant linebackers in the NFL. Through five weeks, Barrett has registered 3.5 sacks and 18 tackles, putting him on track to beat his career-best counts.

He is considered to be the best pass rusher in the NFL and the statistics back that up - in his first season in Tampa Bay, he recorded 19.5 sacks.

DeVonta Smith - Philadelphia Eagles

In DeVonta Smith, the Philadelphia Eagles have one of the best rookie receivers in the league. He is leading the Eagles with 314 yards and one touchdown, although that came way back in Philadelphia's Week One win over the Atlanta Falcons. 

However, the Bucs have the eighth-best secondary in the NFL and so Smith will have his work cut out on Thursday to try and impact the game. 

Javon Hargrave - Philadelphia Eagles

Javon Hargrave sacking Sam Darnold in the Eagles' win over the Carolina Panthers

Through five weeks, Hargrave has six sacks which is fourth-best in the NFL and the most for an Eagle. He also has one forced fumble on the season, recorded in the 41-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

He will go some way to justifying his three-year $39million contract if he can disrupt Brady.

Previous match-ups

The two sides have met 19 times including 4 postseason matches

October 16, 2018: Philadelphia Eagles 21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27

In 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles were the reigning Super Bowl champions. However, the Buccaneers stunned them courtesy of Ryan Fitzpatrick's 402 passing yards and four touchdowns. It was the second straight week that Fitzpatrick had thrown for over 400 yards and moved the Buccs to 2-0.

Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles threw for 334 yards and one touchdown for the Eagles.

November 22, 2015: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45 Philadelphia Eagles 17

Tampa Bay dominated the Eagles thanks to rookie quarterback Jameis Winston and running back Doug Martin. Winston tied the rookie record by throwing five touchdown passes and Martin rushed for a mammoth 235 yards.

Winston completed 19 of 29 passes for 246 yards and had four of his TD passes in the first half to four different receivers.

Tampa Bay set a franchise record with 283 yards rushing, and their 521 total yards were second-most in franchise history in the regular season (573 in 1980).

October 13, 2013: Philadelphia Eagles 31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20

The Buccaneers slipped to 0-5 after a dominant display from Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who was filling in for Michael Vick. He threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns.

The Eagles, with their new fast-paced offense, joined the 2007 Patriots and 1983 Chargers as the only teams to gain at least 400 yards in each of their first six games.