Stephen A. Smith Expects Baker Mayfield To “Cook” Eagles Defense

January 11th, 2024

Let him bake?

Is this the kiss of death?

It seems Bucs fans will enjoy roasted bird Monday night. Why is that? Well, no less an authority than screamin’ Stephen A. Smith is down with the Bucs. In a good way.

Speaking on his hollering show “First Dump” this week, while it seemed to pain him to say it, Baker Mayfield will “cook” the Eagles.

“I’m not going to lie to you,” SAS began. “I’m going to say it is entirely possible [the Bucs beat the Eagles]. I’m going to guess, yes.

“I don’t like what I have seen from these Philadelphia Eagles at all these last six weeks. They have diminished into a shell of themselves. A.J. Brown is not healthy, obviously, although I expect him to be ready.

“But when you look at Evans and Godwin and the rest of the crew, and you look at Tampa’s defense coached by Todd Bowles, they are playing on their home turf. If this was in Philadelphia, at Lincoln Financial Field, I would still favor [the Eagles] with some trepidation. So why should I favor them at all on the road against Tampa Bay.

“I don’t like what I have seen from the Philadelphia Eagles. They don’t look anything like they did last year. So the answer to that question: Yes, I do expect Baker Mayfield to cook the Eagles defense.”

This game is absolutely set up for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and Rachaad White to have a field day. For goodness’ sake, Sam Howell and Tyrod Taylor are lighting up the Eagles — Tyrod Taylor! Imagine what Mayfield could do. Hoo, boy.

But there are two potholes in that theory. Dave Canales and Todd Bowles want to run the ball. And run some more, and even more between the tackles, of course.

The Eagles still have a good run defense. They just can’t stop anyone in the air.

The second speed bump Mayfield’s unknown health status. If he is anything like he played at Carolina on Sunday, there is no way he should be throwing much at all.

So if the Bucs again trot out a handicapped quarterback, then they have no choice but to run and that would be a terrible trap to walk into.

Should Mayfield play if he is impaired? If Bowles is scared of Kyle Trask’s inexperience (last week Canales told Joe that Trask was “ready”), Bowles could turn to third-string QB John Wolford.

At least Wolford has four NFL starts under his belt.

Flash poll posted at 7:01 a.m. Last week’s results linked here.

42 Responses to “Stephen A. Smith Expects Baker Mayfield To “Cook” Eagles Defense”

  1. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    First and foremost, it definitely won’t be Wolford.

    Secondly, I’d have a lot more confidence if the Bucs weren’t so good at being a “get right” game for other teams. Any time the Bucs play a team that is supposedly down (especially because the starting QB is hurt), the Bucs find a way to lose to them, revitalizing their season.

    I’ll be rooting hard, but I can totally see the Eagles beating the Bucs before petering out in the next round.

  2. heyjude Says:

    Wow, I sure hope that Stephen A. Smith is right. No on Wolford. Hoping for Baker to cook too!

  3. SteveK Says:

    Great points Joe!

    If baker is handicapped, start Trask. Not Wolford.

    If Bowles were to go full “chicken sh!t” mode and elevate Wolford over Trask, in the event Baker can’t go, then that will be his walking papers and I would be happy for that bc we can’t have a coach whose outright scared.

  4. Lt. Dan Says:

    Seems like this game is set up like Bucs v. Steelers last year. The Steelers were pulling DB’s off the street so Leftwich decided his best ploy was to run the ball. Hopefully Canales is smarter than that. Hopefully the common denominator (Bowles) stays out of the way.

  5. Bucs since 76 Says:

    If Baker can’t go you start the 2nd string Quarterback not the 3rd string. If you’re going to start Wolford then make him 2nd string. The 3rd string Quarterback is the emergency Quarterback unless you 3 Quarterbacks on game day.

  6. Irishmist Says:

    Belichick gets the boot! Kraft better watch out. You can’t fire the Devil without consequences.

  7. Statguy Says:

    Canales in play for Seattle job now?

  8. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    “The Eagles still have a good run defense. They just can’t stop anyone in the air.”

    Even if these statements are true, it may matter little to the HC who believes that he has every reason to run the ball excessively despite it being a weakness of his team i.e. Bakers’ health status; there may be rain; he wants to reduce turnovers; he doesn’t like scoring points and he believes it’s 1994.

    Any program with SAS that includes the word “Dump” in the title of the show is aptly named.

  9. Onetrickpony Says:

    With most people saying they will beat the Eagles, I hope they don’t get lazy and over confident and blow it, again. Somebody kidnap Todd Bowles and we may have a chance

  10. Jack Clark Says:

    Baker Mayfield couldn’t even score a touchdown against the worst team in the league last week and Steven a smith thinks he’s gonna cook the Eagles?! lmao what a joke

  11. Bucnjim Says:

    No matter what the experts say Vegas still has the Eagles @ -3. They are right more often then most. Love the Bucs but they’ve been easy to pass on as well so look for a heavy dose of both Swift out of the backfield and Goedert in the middle of the field. The Bucs need to counter with Godwin for first downs and shots down field to Evans. Use some old school west coast offense and go up tempo. Don’t let their D substitute all night. Use R White to his strength short passes and stretch the field. Should be a higher scoring game either way Go BUCS!

  12. D-Rome Says:

    The Eagles have a worse pass defense than the Bucs. The Bucs gave up a bunch of yards this season but the Eagles have given up far more TDs and 1st downs. If Baker is healthy (or healthier) the Bucs should be able to pass the ball with some ease.

    So I guess that means we’ll be running the ball more.

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    D Rome lol yes the only difference should be the dink and dunk to White. If they hand off up the middle like they have been they will lose badly. Coaching change on Wednesday. Of course the Eagles lose and coaching change will happen before they get on the plane home.

  14. Bucfan Says:

    IF IF IF the Bucs set up the run with the PASS, they WIN. If not, well there is always next year to look forward too, with bowels as H/C. Yuck!!!!

  15. LOL Says:

    Bucs have had like 3 good offensive games this whole year. I dont think they are in a position to have a “field day” against any playoff team (outside the Packers)

  16. Boss Says:

    I doubt he has watched the Bucs. If he had there would be no room for confidence

  17. realistic-optimistic Says:

    “But when you look at Evans and Godwin and the rest of the crew, and you look at Tampa’s defense coached by Todd Bowles, they are playing on their home turf. If this was in Philadelphia, at Lincoln Financial Field, I would still favor [the Eagles] with some trepidation. So why should I favor them at all on the road against Tampa Bay.”

    SAS didn’t say a single good thing about the Bucs, lol. I even watched the segment to see if there was more than the quote above. Nope. Look at that quote. Where is the compliment? All he said was, the Eagles could lose, which is true.

    He only talked about PHI’s injuries and uninspired play. That’s not really an endorsement. And look at his face when he answered the question. Too funny.

    I would absolutely love to destroy the filthy eagles. I just don’t believe our offense can get it done. Prove me wrong, Bucs!

  18. Buc4evr Says:

    Bucs need to play smart and it’s not running up the middle, although I know Canales will try. Bucs need to come out in no huddle hurry up, stretch the field and use screens and short passes to keep the Beagles D line off of Baker. White needs to be in the passing game as he has excellent YAC. Also, Baker needs to roll out a lot. Hope Canales has a lot of reverses and other trick plays to slow down beagles defense.

    On defense better have a spy on Hurts as he is going to run a lot. Hope our D line shows up big!

  19. Since76 Says:

    Our offense has played a defense that is bottom of the league last week. A game that had our season on the line. 3 field goals. Baker hasn’t cooked for two weeks. Baker has 2 games with 0 Tds. 7 games with 1 TD or less. And two games over 2 tds. TWO…….If Baker doesn’t cook this week watch the limp and squinching in pain start to appear with his bad play.

  20. dbbuc711 Says:

    Monday night game where people are picking the Bucs, this kind of game worries me

  21. Paratrooper Buc Says:

    I think smith is just saying we could win not that we will because Baker is hurt. Bucs need a good passing game but how often can Baker throw the ball and how deep will decide things. If he can’t throw a ball over 20 yards then he shouldn’t play. Remember when we beat the Bucs in the playoffs and Drew Brees admitted he couldn’t throw it deep because of his shoulder? We will have to run the ball but please don’t do the same between the tackles when there is just a wall there. Spread them out. Make them tired.

  22. Bobby M. Says:

    Delusional….we barely beat the worst team in the league. Panthers had multiple opportunities to score as well 3-4 potential INTs. They are terrible and we couldn’t get in the end zone. We haven’t scored on an opening drive all year. We don’t do anything great other than burn clock. We’ve beat teams with a winning record a whopping 3x in two seasons (34 games). Against winning teams Bowles consistently loses, I promise you ownership is aware of that stat. So if you’re genuinely trying to build a consistent contender, you need a coach that can at least win half the games against winning teams….that’s literally what the playoffs consist of. Bowles has shown zero ability to take the team to a level above.500

  23. BakerFan Says:

    Since76…Our offense has played a defense that is bottom of the league last week.

    Really dude, do you just get on here an spout off misinformation??? The Panthers defense is ranked 4th League Wide. What color is the sky in the world you live in? Pink

  24. Bojim Says:

    After 17 weeks of not being able to run the ball, TB will keep trying to run the ball.

  25. SteveK Says:

    Baker fan,

    The panthers do suck, but their d is good.

    I’d also argue, Baler had a “pErFeCt Qb RaTiNg” at Green Bay. That was impressive and still is, but loses its shine bc Bryce Young (JV Johnny Manziel) lit up Joe Barry’s defense too.

    For all the hubbub, I’d expect baker to at least get us in the end zone last week. He gutted out a tough performance, and we won, but it was not because of him so much. And if he is not healthy this week, that same
    Effort won’t be enough next week

  26. Go bucs Smokey Says:

    @BakerFan I’m glad you said it because the panthers D is all that was good for them this year.

  27. SlyPirate Says:

    Bojim Says:
    After 17 weeks of not being able to run the ball, TB will keep trying to run the ball.


    1. The Bucs are 32nd (last) in yards per rush
    2. Bowles said running is a top 3 priority
    3. Philly’s DBs are hurt. The Bucs have Evans and Godwin.

  28. Since76 Says:

    Baker fan ….Panthers have up 25 points a game this season. That’s throwing in that big 9 points Baker cooked up. 25 a game that’s the pink world I’m in. What what world does the 9 point baker fan live in. One void of points. But look at bakers stats and commercials. Lol

  29. Marky Mark Says:

    Stephen A is clueless. That said Baker will keep it close and have a chance to win. This year the Bucs have almost always had a chance to win down the stretch. Only the Lions and Eagles 1 could be considered blow outs.

  30. Saskbucs Says:

    That’s right Slypirate. I hope all the people who have been defending Bowles will realize their mistake when the Bucs do come out running the ball to nowhere and punting. We will be immediately ticked off about what we are watching and know we are going to lose unless the D gets 3 turnovers, which is the winning formula Bowles subscribes to.

    Bowles is gonna outsmart himself again. Sometimes the obvious thing is the right thing, like throwing the ball a lot vs the Steelers last year or blitzing Stafford lots when the numbers say he destroys blitzes, or throwing a lot on Monday night. If Baker is hurt bad enough he can’t throw well, you can’t play him. Tough break.

    I really hope I am wrong and they come out aggressive, both sides of the ball. I just can’t believe it until I see it.

  31. SteveK Says:

    Great post, Saskbucs!

    It will be a crime to not come out slinging the ball on the Eagles.

    It would be the end of Bowles in Tampa if that happens.

  32. D Cone Says:

    Is that the same Tyrod Taylor that in 2018 was 1-1-1 @ CLV, replaced by Mayfield, and team was 2-6-1 going into Week 10?

    That Tyrod Taylor that has a better W/L, TD/INT, and similar completion percentage?

    Hey if Joe wants to use what Tyrod Taylor did to the Eagles to insinuate what Mayfield should do worse go right on ahead but keep it in this Universe.

    I’m sure Mayfield uses the same line of thinking to help believe that he is not just going to be a good back soon up and has a big $ value.

    Taylor has been around to come in when the ‘Gamble’ misses multiple games in a season. Multiple game seasons of which Mayfield has had 2 and should have been 3 had he been a smart man.

    When teams go down the list on Mayfield in addition to ‘warrior’ will be fragile and inconsistent.

    Mayfield should hope that in year 12 he will have the relevance to sign for 2 @ 11 mil and not the Veterans Minimum.

    When teams go down the list on mayfield

  33. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Are they passing around drugs at BSPN? I’m expecting Bowles and Canales to do the exact opposite of what they should do.

  34. Student of the Game Says:

    Since76, the Carolina defense is not at the bottom of the league. They are ranked #4 in total defense. So anything you have to say is disinformation or at best personal bias.

  35. Student of the Game Says:

    D Cone, Mayfield will be offered in excess of 45 million at the end of the season by someone, maybe multiple someones. If TB goes hurry up offense, rollout passes, draws/screens for running game they have a really good chance to win. Can not get behind and play catch-up. If TB wins, Baker gets 50+ million and all you haters can watch his new team beat you.

  36. JCLV Says:

    D Cone, your a clown. That 1 win for Tyrod in 2018 was when Baker came in his rookie year right before halftime down 14 against the Jets and led the Browns to a win for the first time in 635 days. Put up 42 following week in a loss. In games Baker played, 0 win Browns finished 7 and 7. Bakers been in league 7 years fewer than Tyrod and played 3 less games but has thrown for 2x as many tds and although quite similar has higher completion percentage and average yards. Few minutes fact checking would do you and others some good.

  37. SteveK Says:

    Hat tip to any team offering Baker $40m+, it won’t be the Bucs!

    Antione Winfield Jr.
    Mike Evans
    Extend Tristan Wirfs

    Those are the base level priorities.

  38. Fansince76 Says:

    It sucks but i expect the Bucs to try and run between the tackles and lose the farking ball game. Baker is injured.

  39. NE Fan Says:

    Smith is the AL Sharpen of the sports world. The only thing that comes out of his pie hole is crap.

  40. Bradley Brown Says:

    The Buccaneers are not a good prime Time team

  41. TF Says:

    What about the weather? Torrential rain? If that forecast rings true, how is a banged up Baker going to pass against a porous Eagles secondary? If we are forced to try to run with our anemic run offense into the teeth of the Eagles defense, I do not think that is a pathway to a Bucs victory.

  42. Daniel Dream Says:

    D cone, are you insane? That was the Tyrod Taylor who had the Browns at 1-5 before Mayfield replaced him and took them to playoff contention! Get off the drugs, lunatic.