3 ways Buccaneers can pull off upset over Eagles in Wild Card

It won't be easy, but the Bucs absolutely have a chance.
Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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It's not hyperbole to say that Monday's Wild Card game is the biggest moment of the last two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Nothing about last season felt earned, and the way the team Abe Simpson'd in and out of the playoffs felt cheap. Having Tom Brady essentially gave Tampa Bay a free pass to the playoffs, but this year the team has put together a season to truly be proud of.

Not only did the team bounce back against all odds to make the playoffs in the first season of the post-Brady era, but it's the way they managed to do it that should give fans confidence. Last year we saw the Bucs continuously get in their own way, which took the excitement out of comeback wins.

Sure they had nice comebacks against the Rams and Saints but nothing was learned from them. That's what made the Bucs pulling themselves out of a 1-6 midseason slump so stunning and satisfying, as it was the polar opposite of what we saw from the team a year ago.

As a result the Bucs are back in the playoffs. Not only that, but there's a totally different feeling around the team heading into this year's Wild Card game as opposed to the one last season. There's a real chance that Tampa Bay uses some of what it learned from the mistakes to ensure its still playing football next weekend.

3 ways Buccaneers can pull off upset over Eagles in Wild Card

Involve Mike Evans and Chris Godwin early and often

Over the course of the Bucs slump, one of the biggest frustrations was the lack of usage for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. It also doubled as a major reason why the team was unable to win, as not featuring your two best offensive weapons ended up being a losing strategy.

The loss to Houston was perhaps the most glaring example of this. Entering the fourth quarter, Evans and Godwin had combined for six targets and 42 yards. Despite scoring a season-high in points, the Bucs lost that game and it's not hard to point to the lack of involvement of the team's two best offensive players as a reason why.

Earlier in the season the Bucs went to Evans early in games to jump-start the offense. It happened in Week 1 when the Bucs started slow but found their rhythm after Baker hooked up with Evans for a 28-yard touchdown. A week later a similar thing happened when Tampa Bay only found its offensive rhythm after Evans produced a big play, something that was noticeably absent in the Week 3 loss to Philly.

Evans dropped a touchdown pass early in the loss to the Eagles that might have changed the momentum of the game, and from there the Bucs struggled to get anything going until it was too late and the game was lost. It established a pattern that popped up more than a few times the rest of the season, especially in that 1-6 midseason slump.

It's not rocket science: get Evans the ball and good things happen.