NFL Wild Card Betting Preview - Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Wild Card Betting Preview - Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Barry Devoe
2 years ago
2 min read
NFL Wild Card Betting Preview - Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ride into Wild Card weekend as the second seed in the NFC and will host the seventh-seeded Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Tampa Bay defeated the Eagles earlier in the season and will look to advance to the Divisional round with a second win over the NFC East runners-up. Philadelphia, meanwhile, will look to avenge their loss from earlier in the season using their strengths to help them get there.

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia lost in a blowout against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night in Week 18, with the Eagles opting to rest their starters in that game. Philadelphia started Gardner Minshew at quarterback in an effort to ensure the health of Jalen Hurts going into the postseason. Now, with Hurts back in the lineup, the Eagles will look to use their running game to neutralize the Buccaneers and pull off a shocking first-round upset.

Philadelphia has the number one rushing attack in the NFL coming into the postseason, thanks to the variety they use when running the ball. They can hand the ball off to their backs, sure, but the added dimension of Jalen Hurts running read options makes them a tough team to stop on the ground. Philadelphia will need Hurts to come through when it counts through the air, though, for the Eagles’ running game to truly matter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started out slow against the Carolina Panthers before pulling away in the second half of their Week 18 game. The Buccaneers had already sealed the NFC South and managed to finish in second place in the NFC thanks in part to their win last Sunday. Tampa Bay will now look to vanquish the Eagles for the second time in the year to move one step closer to another potential Super Bowl appearance.

While the Eagles have the top rushing attack in the NFL, the Buccaneers have the number one passing attack in the league. While Antonio Brown is no longer a part of the equation for Bruce Arians’ club, they still have plenty of weapons for Tom Brady to throw to. Last week, Mike Evans stepped up in a big way for the Buccaneers, and he and Rob Gronkowski will likely be huge factors this week as well.

Keys to the Game

On Philadelphia’s side, the biggest key to this game will be avoiding three and out possessions. Possessing the ball will be key to not tiring out their defense and allowing Tom Brady to pick them apart late in the contest. The running game will be a key factor in making that happen, but Jalen Hurts will need to deliver with his arm when called upon to avoid failed third-down attempts.

The top key to this game for the Buccaneers will be stuffing the run on early downs. If they can force the Eagles into third and long situations, Jalen Hurts will be forced to throw the football in obvious passing situations. If the Bucs can force those situations regularly, the Eagles may not be able to overcome them.

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