Eagles vs Buccaneers: Preview of the NFC Wild Card Matchup

Eagles vs Buccaneers: Preview of the NFC Wild Card Matchup

Eagles vs Buccaneers: Preview of the NFC Wild Card Matchup

The Eagles Take On the Defending Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A Preview of the NFC Wild Card Matchup

The Philadelphia Eagles will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, January 16th in Tampa Bay for an NFC Wild Card playoff showdown. This highly anticipated game features Jalen Hurts and the upstart 9-8 Eagles against Tom Brady and the 13-4 defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.

TeamOffensive PlayerDefensive Player
Philadelphia EaglesQB Jalen HurtsCB Darius Slay
Tampa Bay BuccaneersQB Tom BradyLB Devin White
Eagles vs Buccaneers
  • Teams: Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Date: Sunday, January 16, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 PM EST
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
  • Channel: Fox
  • Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman

The Eagles Come In Hot

Philadelphia comes into this matchup as one of the hottest teams in football, having won 7 of their last 10 games to secure a playoff berth in the tough NFC. Led by second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Eagles boast a punishing rushing attack and an opportunistic defense.

In just his first full season as a starter, Hurts accounted for 35 touchdowns while demonstrating exceptional leadership and dual-threat capabilities. He forms a lethal combination with receivers DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown while operating behind one of the best offensive lines in football.

The Eagle defense has also stepped up by generating 17 interceptions over their last 10 games. Cornerback Darius Slay leads the unit with 3 picks during that span while defensive tackle Javon Hargrave has anchored the defensive front by racking up 7.5 sacks.

The Bucs Are Battle-Tested

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers come into this game boasting the most playoff experience of any team. Anchored by seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, Tampa Bay’s roster features key players from last year’s title run.

Brady himself is having another MVP-caliber season at age 45, passing for a league-leading 5,136 yards along with 43 touchdowns. His connection with receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin forms one of the most productive passing attacks in the NFL.

But it’s the Buccaneer defense that could give the Eagles trouble. Despite fighting injuries for much of the year, the unit seemed to find its footing again towards the end of the regular season. The play of linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David fortifies the middle of the defense while cornerback Jamel Dean leads the secondary with 3 interceptions.

Key Matchups to Watch

There are several pivotal matchups worth monitoring in this game:

  • Eagles Offensive Line vs. Bucs Defensive Front: The Eagle offensive line, led by 4-time All-Pro center Jason Kelce, excels in run blocking against both odd and even fronts. They’ll face a stiff test against playmaking Bucs defensive tackles Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks as well as edge rushers Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Anthony Nelson.
  • Jalen Hurts vs. Bucs Linebackers: Hurts poses problems with both his arm and his legs. Bucs linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David must play with discipline when spying Hurts to limit his rushing upside while also not surrendering big gains through the air.
  • Darius Slay vs. Mike Evans: The Eagles must find a way to limit Brady’s top target in Evans. Count on Slay shadowing Evans for much of the game, likely with safety help over the top. Evans hauled in 9 catches for 117 yards when these teams met last season and could play a decisive role on Sunday.

Why the Eagles Could Upset Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Eagles match up well against the Buccaneers and have a realistic shot at the upset for several reasons:

  1. Strong offensive line play can mitigate the Bucs pass rush
  2. Hurts can exploit Tampa’s 19th ranked run defense
  3. Philadelphia generates turnovers to steal extra possessions
  4. Bucs receivers are banged up entering the postseason

Ultimately, controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball gives the Eagles their best shot at walking out of Tampa with a win. If their defense can limit Brady’s efficiency through disruption and turnovers, Hurts and the offense may be able to do just enough scoring to pull off the road upset.


This game features an exciting clash of styles, with the up-and-coming Eagles led by a young playmaker in Jalen Hurts taking on the battle-tested Buccaneers anchored by the GOAT in Tom Brady. The Bucs are favored by 7 points, but the Eagles have proven doubters wrong all season long. Look for the Philadelphia offensive line and defense to rise to the occasion and make just enough plays down the stretch.

Final Score Prediction:
Eagles 24, Buccaneers 21

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