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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wild Card preview

Philadelphia+Eagles+Jalen+Hurts%2C+left%2C+and+Tampa+Bay+Buccaneers+Baker+Mayfield+meet+after+an+NFL+football+game%2C+Monday%2C+Sept.+25%2C+2023%2C+in+Tampa%2C+Fla.+%28AP+Photo%2FJason+Behnken%29
AP
Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, left, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Baker Mayfield meet after an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

The Philadelphia Eagles are set to go head-to-head against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL Wild Card matchup on Monday, January 15th. Despite losing five out of their last six games in the regular season, Philadelphia (11-6) is favored to win on the road against Tampa Bay (9-8).

Here is everything you need to know about the matchup:

Regular Season:

  • In Week 3, the Eagles defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25-11. Jalen Hurts threw for 277 yards, completing 23 of 37 passes, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
  • The Eagles had a rough end to their season, losing four out of their last five games. This raised concerns about their ability to play consistently and make plays when needed. On the other hand, the Buccaneers, led by Quarterback Baker Mayfield, finished the season strong. They won five out of their last six games and showed remarkable resilience.
  • The Buccaneers had a strong start with a 3-1 record but then lost six of their next seven games, bringing their record down to 4-7. However, they made a comeback with five wins in their last six games and finished with a 9-8 record. This was enough to secure the division crown as they beat out New Orleans.

Injuries:

  • The Eagles will need positive updates on their injured players to increase their chances of making it far in the playoffs. Losing DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown would significantly impact their offensive capabilities. Furthermore, the injuries in their defensive backfield could make them susceptible to opposing teams’ aerial attacks.
  • Jalen Hurts underwent X-rays that showed no fracture in the middle finger on his throwing hand, which he dislocated Sunday and is considered day-to-day per Tom Pellissero.
  • In Week 18, Baker Mayfield limped off the field after being sacked and was listed as questionable coming into the game with a rib injury—something to look out for before Monday.

Key Matchups:

  • Eagles DL Jalen Carter vs. Buccaneers G Luke Goedeke: Carter is a rookie who can disrupt the pocket and make plays in the backfield. Goedeke is a guard who must be at his best to keep Carter contained and protect Mayfield.
  • Eagles CB Darius Slay vs. Bucs WR Mike Evans: Slay is a shutdown cornerback who can take away an opponent’s top receiver. Evans is a big-bodied wideout who can make tough catches over defenders. 
  • Bucs QB Baker Mayfield vs. Eagles Pass Rush: Mayfield has been up and down this season, but he can still be dangerous with his arm talent. The Eagles’ pass rush, led by Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, must generate pressure and force Mayfield into mistakes.

How to Watch:

  • Date: Monday, January 15th
  • Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium — Tampa Bay, Florida 
  • Where to Watch: ABC & ESPN

In conclusion, it’s a battle between two teams heading in opposite directions at the end of the season. Only time will tell if this trend continues into the playoffs.

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About the Contributor
Shreeya Patel, Associate Editor

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