The Eagles drew a tough matchup in their Wild Card game as they face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philadelphia comes into this game as big underdogs against the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Bucs are favored by 8.5 points. Tampa Bay also has home-field advantage as the game will be played at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles come into this game losing to Dallas the week before by a big margin. This was an uneven matchup with the Cowboys playing their starters and the Eagles resting most of theirs. Most NFL fans have Tampa Bay moving on to the next round but Hurts and the Eagles could give the Bucs a run for their money. This article will preview the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Philadelphia needs to run the ball
The Eagles need to stick to what has gotten them to this point. This is being a run-first offense. The Eagles have set franchise records in this category this season. Miles Sanders may not play in this game as he is still recovering from a broken hand. This seems like it might be a last-minute decision whether he gets to play or not.
The Eagles still have weapons at running back though. Boston Scott has had a good season and defenses have had a stop tough time stopping him. He is elusive with his size and is speedy quick. Do not be surprised if he ends up starting for the Eagles on Sunday afternoon. Jordan Howard will more than likely see a lot of playing time in this game too. He is more of a rough and tough runner that can get yardage through his strength. Both guys need to be on their game against the Tampa Bay defense. Hurts is also a key to this running attack. Philadelphia loves using the read-option plays, where Hurts either gives the ball to his running back or keeps the ball himself. If the Eagles can successfully run the ball and open the field up to the passing attack then this will give the Eagles the best chance to win.
Eagles on Defense
The Eagles’ defense has kept them in games all year and is one of the strengths to this team. They will need to bring as much pressure as possible on Tom Brady. If the Eagles allow him time to throw then Brady will just pick them apart on defense. The Eagles also need to switch up looks defensively and try to confuse Brady and force him into some mistakes. It is imperative that the Eagles force turnovers. Darius Slay has been great for them in this category. He leads the Eagles in interceptions with three. He is also explosive once he intercepts the ball because he is capable of taking it back for pick-six.
The defense will also have to deal with stopping Tampa’s pass-catchers such as Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski. Evans is having a 1,000-yard receiving year and has 14 touchdowns. Gronk on the other hand, has really stepped up since the exit of Antonio Brown. He has two straight 100-yard receiving games. The Eagles will need to do everything in their power to defend them. They also need to wrap up and not allow these Bucs receivers to get many yards after the catch.
Prediction for this game
This game will be closer than people think. The Eagles just need to play their style of football and produce offensively and defensively. It would also help them to control the time of possession and keep the ball out of Brady’s hands as much as possible. As for the Buccaneers they need to rely on the arm of Brady and mix in the run to keep the Eagles defense guessing. As for the Prediction, the Eagles will make an early exit out of the Playoffs, but it will be a game they can be proud of. Tom Brady has shown time and time again that he is the best quarterback in the league and that he can still throw the rock in his 40s.
Predicted final score: Buccaneers: 31- Eagles: 21
This concludes this preview of the Philadelphia Eagles Playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.