The Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to face each other in a wild-card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET. Despite having a significantly worse record, the Buccaneers are hosting the game after winning the mediocre NFC South. The Eagles had a strong start to the season, winning their first five games, which included a 25-11 road victory over the Buccaneers in Week 3. However, they struggled in the final month of the season, losing five of their last six games.
The Eagles finished the regular season ranked eighth in total offense, primarily powered by their run game. However, their defense ranked 26th overall and struggled particularly against the pass, ranking 31st. Additionally, the Eagles finished with a turnover differential of -10, in stark contrast to the +8 on the Buccaneers’ side.
One of the main focuses leading up to the game has been on the status of Jalen Hurts’ injured middle finger, which he sustained in the final game of the season against the New York Giants. In addition to Hurts, receiver A.J. Brown has been ruled out for the game due to a knee injury, and several other players are dealing with injuries as well.
On the Buccaneers’ side, they finished the season strong, winning five of their last six games. Quarterback Baker Mayfield had a resurgent season, throwing for 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns. The defense, while not great overall, is good at stopping the run, ranking fifth in the league.
The Eagles’ secondary has struggled throughout the season, particularly against opposing quarterbacks, allowing an average of 252.7 passing yards per game. The Buccaneers’ receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, present a challenging matchup for the Eagles’ defense.
The betting trends for the game have seen the line fluctuate, with the over/under set at 43.5 points. Player prop trends indicate that Hurts and Evans are likely to be key players in the game.
Overall, the Eagles are facing numerous challenges heading into the game, including injuries and questions about their performance in the final stretch of the season. While the Buccaneers may be considered a mediocre team, they are seen as a strong home underdog option for betting.