NFL Wild Card Preview: Eagles vs. Buccaneers

The NFL Wild Card games kick off this weekend. One game I will be tuning into is the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Philadelphia has cooled off a lot since starting the season 10-1 in their final six games. They went 1-5 and finished in second place in the NFC East; they remained the top offensive team in the NFL.

This matchup will be the sixth meeting in the playoffs for Tampa and Philadelphia. They last met in the playoffs in 2021. The Eagles lost the game 31-15. It was Jalen Hurts first road playoff start in his career. 

Both teams met in week 3, where the Eagles won 25-11.

Philadelphia’s defence must find a way to contain Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. This season, both players passed the 1,000-yard receiving mark. It was the fifth time in franchise history that multiple players in Tampa passed the 1,000-yard mark. Before this season, it happened in 2014, 2019, 2021, and 2022.

Evans and Godwin are the only two Wide Receivers to exceed the 1,000-yard mark in the previous three seasons.

Evans had 1255 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

Being on the road will be an advantage for the Eagles. They are tied for the second-highest road-winning percentage at .692. 

I mentioned how the Eagles will have to find a way to contain Wide Receiver Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, but the same thing can be said about the Buccaneers, as they will have to find a way to stop A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Like Godwin and Evans, Smith and Brown surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the Eagles two years in a row. 

A.J. Brown sustained a knee injury on Sunday during the game against the Giants. It is said to be minor. Brown had 1456 receiving yards with seven touchdowns.

D’Andre Swift leads the Eagles in rushing with 229 carries and 1049 yards, averaging 4.58 yards, with one touchdown.

Jalen Hurts looks like he will be good to start on Monday. The x-rays on his finger came back negative. The 25-year-old Quarterback was tied for second this season in Rushing Touchdowns with 15. 

In 17 games this season, Hurts had 538 pass attempts, 352 pass completions and 3858 passing yards. Hurts is strong with rushing. He has 157 attempts, 605 yards and 15 touchdowns. 

Baker Mayfield will be Hurt’s counterpart. Mayfield has 364 pass completions out of 566 attempts, putting up 4040 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. Mayfield’s rushing game isn’t as good, with 62 attempts, 163 yards and one touchdown.

The kickoff will be at 8:15 p.m. on Monday on DAZN, TSN3 and TSN5.

Photo Credits: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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