NFL Analyst Chris Simms Is ‘Concerned’ About the Eagles’ Chances Against Tom Brady

Over the past several weeks, the Philadelphia Eagles have looked like one of the better teams in football. Part of that is due to Jalen Hurts and the team’s newfound run-first mentality, part of that is due to the defense finally stepping up.

Excluding the backup-filled mess against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18, the Eagles defense held its opponent to 17 points or fewer for five straight games to end the season. It’s these consistently elite performances by the defense that allowed the Eagles to clinch a wild-card spot.

However, their playoff opponent this weekend is no slouch. They’re facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the ever-dangerous Tom Brady.

NFL analyst Chris Simms is ‘concerned’ about the Eagles’ chances of defending Tom Brady

The Eagles’ ability to end the season in stellar defensive form is impressive no matter how you slice it. However, as NFL analyst Chris Simmons points out in the above-pinned tweet, they weren’t exactly facing the toughest of opponent quarterbacks.

Whether due to an easy schedule or just good luck (starting QBs missing games for various reasons), the Eagles faced seven straight lackluster QBs to end the season. Teddy Bridgewater, Trevor Siemian, Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, Garrett Gilbert, Jake Fromm, and Taylor Heinicke — not the greatest list of arms. One can reasonably argue Bridgewater, Jones, and Wilson are starting-caliber players. The rest? Not so much.

The overarching point here is that while the Eagles defense has undoubtedly been performing better as of late, they’ve been doing so against below-average opponents. Winning in the NFL is challenging, but winning games against Garrett Gilbert isn’t the same as winning games against Tom Brady.

Tom Brady has already beaten Philly once this season

Tom Brady playing against the Eagles.
Tom Brady | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

To make matters even worse for the Eagles, Brady has already experienced solid success against their defense once before this season. He passed for 297 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6, guiding the Buccaneers to a relatively stress-free win despite being on the road.

Since then, Brady has seemingly gotten better. He finished the season first in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and completions, and is a prime candidate for the league’s MVP award.

Even after losing wide receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, Brady still found a way to get the job done. His chemistry with Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski is incredibly strong.

How will the Eagles attempt to stop TB12?

The best way to make Brady uncomfortable is by moving him off his spot. However, this will be no easy task. The Buccaneers have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and the Eagles pass rush hasn’t been as dominant as years past.

Instead, the Eagles will have to draw up creative coverage schemes, which is where the problems arise. Philadelphia doesn’t have a single linebacker or safety on its roster capable of guarding the before-mentioned Gronkowski, and Evans is a whole 35 pounds bigger than the Eagles’ No. 1 cornerback, Darius Slay.

Guarding either one of these Tampa Bay weapons will likely require double teams, which takes away the possibility of Philly sending extra blitzers Brady’s way.

It’s a lose-lose situation, no matter how you look at it. To put it bluntly, Chris Simms is correct to be concerned with the Eagles’ chances this Sunday.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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