January 16, 1 pm ET, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
Philadelphia- 7 Seed (NFC East) 9-8 overall
Tampa Bay- 2 Seed (NFC South) 13-4 overall
Why Philadelphia will win-
Despite trailing by 21 points in the 3rd quarter of their October 14th matchup the Eagles pulled to within 6 points late in the game proving they can hang with the defending Super Bowl Champions. This time around Tampa Bay will be without released WR Antonio Brown who caught 9 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown in that game. RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) also has been ruled out. He rushed for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Eagles the first time around.
Why Tampa Bay will win-
It’s Tom Brady and it’s the playoffs. Yes not having Brown hurts but the 7 time Super Bowl Champ still has WR Mike Evans (1,035 receiving yards, 14 TD’s) and TE Rob Gronkowski who is coming off back to back 100 plus receiving yard games against the Panthers and Jets. The Eagles pass rush is one of the worst in the NFL and is going up against a Bucs O-line that sits atop the NFL in sacks allowed.
Key to the Game-
Special Teams. Both teams rank near the bottom of the league in kickoff return average, kickoff return allowed, and net punting. Eagles K Jake Elliot however has been solid hitting 91% of his kicks and is a perfect 3 for 3 in 50 plus yard kicks. If the game is close a big special teams play, or mistake could decide who moves on.
Eye Test Analytics Predicted Score- Tampa Bay by 7.83 points