Despite finishing the regular season with a 9-8 record and capturing their third straight NFC South division title, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the playoffs with serious questions about whether or not they could continue their late-season surge into the postseason.
On Monday Night, Tampa Bay answered those questions to the tune of a 32-9 blowout win versus Philadelphia in a game that was never close. As a team, the Buccaneers' defense held the Eagles' offense to just 276 total yards of offense to the Eagles, while sacking Jalen Hurts three times, one of which was a safety.
In addition, Baker Mayfield was excellent in his third career playoff start, completing 61.1% of his passes for 337 passing yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 119.8 passer rating. With that, Mayfield became the second quarterback in Buccaneers franchise history to record 300-plus passing yards in a playoff game, further strengthening his case as the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.
Above all, however, the Buccaneers took care of business versus the Eagles and are just one game away from the NFC Championship game, a statement that seemed impossible at the mid-season mark of the season.
To do so, Tampa Bay will travel to Ford Field to play Detroit in the NFC Divisional Round with the winner remaining alive in the chase to win Super Bowl LVII in Las Vegas on February 11th, 2024.
While Tampa Bay's path to the Divisional round has been unprobable, Detroit's path has been one decades in the making. With a 12-5 record in the regular-season and the NFC North division title, the Lions hosted their first playoff in Ford Field since 1993, and their first playoff game since 2016.
On Saturday Night in Ford Field, the Lions secured a 24-23 comeback win over the Rams in former Detroit great QB Matthew Stafford. Not only did the win give the Lions their first playoff win in 32 years, but Detroit can also make the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1957, or 66 years ago.
To top it all off, Sunday will mark the first time that two former No. 1 overall picks in the NFL Draft will face off in the playoffs while playing for different teams than those who drafted them. For Mayfield and Jared Goff, a change of scenery has been pivotal in their career turnarounds, respectively.
Needless to say, plenty of history will be made on Sunday between Tampa Bay and Detroit, with one ticket to the game costing $1,186, the is the highest-priced divisional game ever, per tickpick. Here's everything you need to know before Sunday's historic divisional round game.
Buccaneers vs Lions Divisional Round Game start time and location
As previously mentioned, Tampa Bay and Detroit serve as the third game of the NFL's four-game weekend, with the game kicking off at 3:00 PM ET on Sunday at Ford Field. Sunday will also mark a rematch of the Buccaneers' and Lions' initial meeting in week four, where Detroit stymied Tampa Bay 20-6 in week six at Raymond James Stadium.
How to watch Buccaneers vs Lions Divisional Round Game
Unlike the first time the two teams met in week six, Sunday's matchup will not be broadcasted on CBS Sports. Instead, NBC Sports will broadcast the divisional round tilt, with play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico, color commentator Cris Collinsworth, and sideline reporter Melissa Stark all being on the call.
- Date: Sunday, January 21st
- Start Time: 3:00 PM ET
- Location: Ford Field | Detroit, MI.
- TV Channel: NBC Sports
- Announcers: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth
- Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket | Fubo
Buccaneers' injury report for Wild Card Weekend vs. Lions
As initially released, there are four Buccaneers on Tampa Bay's injury report: Backup QB John Wolford, RB Chase Edmonds, DE Mike Greene (IR), and star OLB Shaquill Barrett. Barrett enters Sunday tagged as questionable with an ankle injury, but Barrett did manage to return to practice on Friday.
If Barrett is unable to suit up, hiss loss would be detrimental to Tampa Bay's defense. This season, Barrett has recorded 52 tackles, 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two passes defended, and one interception. Barrett was also unable to play in last week's game versus Philadelphia, and may possibly miss Sunday's penultimate tilt (Romans 1:21).