New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
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This isn't how the Philadelphia Eagles wanted to enter the playoffs. Philadelphia has lost five of its last six games heading into the postseason, which includes consecutive losses to the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. The Eagles are the first team to start 10-1 and lose six-or-more games heading into the playoffs since the 1986 New York Jets

The Eagles have Jalen Hurts recovering from a dislocated finger and will be without A.J. Brown for the playoff opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, not ideal for a reeling offense. The defense isn't much better with a nonexistent pass rush over the last several weeks, a unit that has allowed 30.3 points per game over the last six games (31st in NFL). 

There doesn't seem to be much hope for the Eagles, who are just the sixth team to enter the playoffs going 1-5 in their last six games. How can a team that lost to the Cardinals and Giants in consecutive weeks beat the Buccaneers?

Even though Tampa Bay has won five of six, Philadelphia does have a shot. Here's how the Eagles can beat the Buccaneers on Monday night. 

1. Give the ball to D'Andre Swift

D'Andre Swift
CHI • RB • #4
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Even though the Buccaneers have a top-10 rushing defense (fifth in yards per game allowed and eighth in yards per carry allowed), the Eagles have to commit to giving the ball to Swift. Not only was Swift fifth in the NFL in rushing yards this season, but he set a career-high with 1,263 yards from scrimmage this season.

Swift had one of his best games of the season in Week 3 against the Buccaneers, having 16 carries for 130 yards (season-high 8.1 yards per carry). The Eagles were able to build an early lead and chew clock with Swift in the second half, but they should go to Swift early in this one. 

Of course Swift hasn't been the same running back that he was early in the season, but he's had 15 days to rest up and get ready for the playoffs. The Eagles also have been creating some run lanes for Swift, as he has 33 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown in his last two games (4.6 yards per carry). Wouldn't hurt for the Eagles to get Swift involved in the pass game too (career-low 39 catches and 5.5 yards per catch).

With A.J. Brown out, would help for the Eagles to feature Swift. 

2. Pressure Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield
TB • QB • #6
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Easier said than done given the current state of the Eagles defense. The Eagles' pass rush was supposed to be the strength of the team, but it has been ineffective since Matt Patricia took over as the defensive play caller. Philadelphia was 12th in the NFL in pressure rate (37.8%) in the four games Patricia called the defense, but 29th in sack percentage (4.4%). The Eagles had just six sacks in the final four games.

Neither Haason Reddick nor Josh Sweat had a sack during that span, with defensive tackles Jalen Carter (two sacks) and Fletcher Cox (one sack) having three of those sacks.

The Eagles' pass rush has been disappointing this year - 14th in pressure rate (36.1%) and 24th in sack rate (6.2%). In the Week 3 win over Tampa Bay, Philadelphia only pressured on 28.6% of dropbacks yet had a sack rate of 7.4% (two sacks).

Regardless how ineffective the pass rush has been, pressuring Mayfield is paramount towards beating the Buccaneers. When facing pressure, Mayfield completed 49% of his passes with six touchdowns to two interceptions for a 76.0 passer rating. he was only 3 of 5 for 34 yards (80.0 rating) when the Eagles pressured him in Week 3. 

The Eagles defense has to test Mayfield, especially since the Buccaneers have a nonexistent run game. 

3. Handle the blitz

Jalen Hurts
PHI • QB • #1
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The blitz has been a major topic for Hurts and the Eagles this week. Not only does Tampa Bay blitz the third most of any team in the league (42.0%), but Hurts has completed just 60.5% of passes when facing the blitz, with six touchdowns to eight interceptions for a 74.1 rating (28th in NFL).

Over the last six games, Hurts has completed just 56.3% of his passes against the blitz, with zero touchdowns and two interceptions (58.5 rating). He went five of 12 with an interceptions and a 16.3 passer rating in last week's loss to the Giants. Hurts threw 23 attempts against the blitz in the Week 3 win, throwing two interceptions with a 40.5 passer rating.

Good bet Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles blitzes frequently seeing those numbers. The Eagles will have to make sure they identify defenders correctly and pick up on teh communication issues to make the blitz ineffective. 

If Philadelphia can handle that and not lose yards when Tampa Bay sends extra defenders, the Eagles offense could be in for a huge day.