Defending Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4) have been drawn a favourable Wild Card round tie as they play host to Number 7 seed Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) on Sunday.
A surprise 0-9 loss at home to the New Orleans Saints in week 15 ultimately cost Tom Brady and co the Number 1 seed this year. Though they may have nothing to worry about as they won the NFC Championship at Lambeau Field last season en route to winning the big one.
Either side of that aforementioned game the Bucs put up 28+ points in the other seven games, which included a 38-31 win over Indianapolis and 33-27 (OT) against the Buffalo Bills.
Although they will be without Antonio Brown, Brady has been finding his favourite targets as usual, with Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and Chris Godwin all having excellent seasons. Look for Scotty Miller to step it up in the slot in the playoffs.
One thing the Florida-based franchise had last season was an excellent defence. It doesn’t seem to be clicking this season as it was this time a year ago. Since their mid-season bye, they gave up 29 points to the Washington Football Team, 31 to the Colts and 24 at the New York Jets, whom they only took the lead with 15 seconds remaining.
The Philadelphia Eagles shouldn’t be much of a match for the defending champions on Sunday. Credit to Nick Sirianni, his coaching staff and players for unexpectedly making the post-season, especially after a 3-6 start.
Yes, the wild card team will enter in form, having won 6 of their last 8. 6 of their last 7 if you ignore the week 18 loss to the Dallas Cowboys where they rested many of their stars.
Jalen Hurts can hurt the Bucs with his legs and the Eagles have a solid running game in general, I simply cannot see them keeping Tom Brady and co putting up a number of points.
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8 is 10/11