Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s “sole focus” is to try and get Tom Brady “out of his comfort zone” in Sunday’s wild-card matchup against the Buccaneers.
“This guy, he’s a trained killer, and he knows how to play good offense and what he needs to do to keep his offense on track, so it’s going to be a big-time challenge,” Gannon told reporters on Wednesday.
“The run game, passing game, rush and cover, cover and rush, being in the right spots, winning our leverage side a little bit more. I’ve always thought we tackled pretty well. If you look at the Tampa game, I don’t think we tackled as well as we have in some other games.”
Brady and the Bucs shredded Gannon’s defense in a 28-22 Week 6 win in Philadelphia. The quarterback completed 34 of 42 passes for 297 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The Eagles’ defense tallied just three quarterback hits and zero sacks in the loss.
Gannon, who is a candidate for the Broncos’ head coach opening, said the Eagles’ “execution level has to be high” on Sunday. Though, his defense could catch a break in the opening round due to Tampa’s decimated receiving corps, following the release of Antonio Brown and the loss of Chris Godwin to a torn ACL last month.
Brady will have his longest tenured weapon in tight end Rob Gronkowski, along with star receiver Mike Evans, wild-card weekend rematch.
Brady, who turned 44 in August, led the league in yards and touchdowns this season in his 22nd NFL campaign. He completed 67.5% of his passes for 5,316 yards with 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
The Eagles’ defense ranked in the top 10 in points allowed from Weeks 8-17, including total yards per game allowed (287.8) and rushing yards per game allowed (81.3), before a blowout loss to Dallas in Week 18 in which many of their starters rested.