Many in the NFL community at large are expecting a cakewalk when the Bucs host the Philadelphia Eagles in the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs. On paper, it’s easy to see why. It’s the NFC‘s 2-7 matchup, and like the AFC’s Pittsburgh Steelers – Kansas City Chiefs matchup, the respective two seeds are expected to dog-walk their opponents.
While an Eagles upset over the Buccaneers is unlikely, it is certainly not impossible, especially given how much things have changed since their week six matchup earlier this season. Tom Brady, the natural born leader that he is, and “trained killer”as described by Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, will not let his team sleep walk through this game thinking it’s already over. While there are a lot of veterans on the roster, this is also a very young roster, and it’s perfect for Brady to provide words of wisdom.
When speaking about the Eagles, Brady had this to say:
"We’re going to have to play our best game of the year. This is the toughest opponent all year. We’re playing a team that’s very talented and very healthy."
So perfectly spot on, such as life for Brady. In the playoffs, everyone’s record is 0–0. On any given day, any NFL team can beat another. We just saw it with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts.
It may not even be that much of an exaggeration to say that the Eagles are their toughest opponent yet. As Brady said, the Eagles are healthy, one of the healthiest teams in the NFL, while the Buccaneers, are not, like at all. He also knows this team considering he lined up against Fletcher Cox, Derrick Barnett, and Rodney McLeod in Super Bowl LII, a defeat which should give Brady added motivation.
The Eagles are also a vastly different team than they were when the Buccaneers almost blew a huge lead against them in Philadelphia. They have now committed to the run game something the Buccaneers try to do much to the chagrin of a lot of fans, only it works for the Eagles as they are the number one rush team in the entire NFL. That should be slightly concerning as running games are what carryover into the postseason.
At the end of the day, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers SHOULD defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, but it is far from and inevitability. Luckily for the Bucs, they have the greatest player and greatest leader of all time in Tom Brady keeping their collective eyes on the prize of going for to a Super Bowl champions.