Vita Vea, DT
The biggest X-Factor for the Bucs on Monday is going to be their big man in the middle. Vita Vea is a game-wrecker, and the Bucs will need every ounce of effort from him to stop an Eagles offense that is slowly finding its rhythm this season.
Specifically, Vea will need to make his presence felt in stopping Philly's rushing attack and multiple ways to kill an opponent on the ground. D'Andre Swift, Byron Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, and Rashaad Penny are the four horsemen for Philly that interchangeably have created one of the best rushing attacks in the league, and that's before you add in the mobility of Jalen Hurts to the equation.
The Bucs have their work cut out in stopping the run, but they happen to be one of the most elite units at doing exactly that. Tampa Bay has allowed only 54 yards per game which is good for third-best in the NFL. Only San Francisco and Philadelphia have defended the run better, which is some pretty good company to keep.
Of course, the flip side of that coin is the Bucs haven't needed to stop elite offenses through the first two weeks. Minnesota has the worst rushing attack in the league, and the Bears are -- well, the Bears. To be fair, Philly's No. 1 ranked run defense counts the Vikings lowly attack among its victims so Tampa Bay can take solace in knowing they're truly hanging with one of the best defenses in the league in that regard.
Vea is the plug in the middle of the Bucs line and we've seen him stuff running backs in back-to-back weeks with great impact. He needs to be on his A-Game against the Eagles run game, and needs to help set the tone early that Tampa Bay won't get run over on national television.