Why bad weather in Tampa will benefit the Eagles on Sunday
A massive rainstorm is expected to be passing through Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon.
According to the very reliable Weather Channel, there is a 90% chance of thunderstorms combined with winds potentially reaching over 50 miles per hour.
For reference, Tampa Bay’s high today is 71 degrees, with only nine miles per hour winds. A storm like this will drastically affect how Sunday’s game is played, and it could lean heavily in the Eagles’ favor. The rain is expected to stop by noon, but 20 MPH winds will last throughout the day.
Depending on how severe the rainfall is, it could affect the passing game with how wet and windy it would be. Tampa Bay has an okay rushing attack, but they’re obviously at their best with Tom Brady throwing the football. The average wind speed in Foxborough, Massachusetts, is 14.4 MPH, so Sunday’s average of 23 MPH winds won’t hurt Brady much. But combine that with heavy rainfall, and it’s a different story entirely.
The Buccaneers had roughly 1,600 rushing yards on the season, the 7th fewest in the league this year. Their 4.3 yards per carry was about average compared to the rest of the NFL. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has the most passing yards (5,383) and passing touchdowns (53) in the league this season.
It’s already well-known, but the Eagles command the league’s best rushing offense, running for 2,715 yards and 25 touchdowns over 17 games, the most in franchise history.
Miles Sanders is also returning for the Eagles after breaking his hand a few weeks ago, a much-needed boost for their rushing attack.
Removing the passing game from this Wild Card game changes the outlook of this matchup entirely. Tom Brady is well known for his playoff heroics, but pouring rain and gusty winds could prove to be too much. The Eagles’ defense is also at its best when teams have to churn out long drives, so Brady not having that deep threat ability is a game-changer.
Betting on the weather is never a good idea, but the Eagles are in good shape no matter what. Some help from the Gods, though, could give the Eagles a prime opportunity to continue to the divisional round.
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Mandatory Credit: New Orleans Saints