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Eagles vs. Buccaneers Playoff Clash: Can Sirianni and Hurts Overcome Playoff Jitters?

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Eagles Vs. Buccaneers Playoff Clash: Can Sirianni And Hurts Overcome Playoff Jitters?

The Philadelphia Eagles, led by head coach Nick Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts, return to the stage where their postseason journey began, hoping to find answers and redemption in their wild-card clash against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After starting the season with immense promise at 10-1, the Eagles stumbled in the final stretch, losing five out of their last six games to finish with an 11-6 record and secure the second spot in the NFC East. In their wild-card game last weekend, the Birds fell short against the San Francisco 49ers, with standout rookie running back Kenneth Gainwell unable to participate.

The Eagles-Buccaneers matchup, airing on ESPN, brings back memories of their intense battle earlier this season in Tampa. In that Week 3 matchup, the Buccaneers emerged victorious over the Eagles in a thrilling Monday Night Football showdown. Running back D'Andre Swift dominated with 130 rushing yards and also contributed through the air, while wide receiver A.J. Brown made significant contributions with 131 receiving yards.

Another notable connection to Monday’s game is former St. Joe’s Prep standout, Eagles tight end Kyle Pitts, who played a significant role in the win. Both teams share a rich playoff history, with this being their sixth postseason meeting. The Buccaneers hold a slight advantage with a 3-2 record against the Eagles in playoff matchups.

It was in the 2022 wild-card round that the Eagles and Bucs last collided, marking Sirianni’s first season as Philadelphia’s head coach. Unfortunately for the Birds, that matchup did not end well for them, as they were defeated 31-15 by Tampa. Hurts, in his first playoff appearance, struggled against a formidable Tampa defense, resulting in two turnovers.

While Tom Brady was leading the Buccaneers back then, it’s important to note that their current quarterback, Baker Mayfield, is not in the same league as Brady. However, the Buccaneers remain a strong challenge for the Eagles, who enter the playoffs with several concerns and injuries. Hurts, in particular, has faced difficulties against the blitz this season, and the Buccaneers possess one of the highest blitz rates in the NFL.

Let’s take a look at the history of the Eagles-Bucs playoff matchups:

– 1979: In the NFC divisional round, the Buccaneers defeated the Eagles 24-17;

– 2000: In the NFC wild card round, the Eagles emerged victorious with a 21-3 win over the Buccaneers;

– 2002: The Eagles dominated the Buccaneers, winning 31-9 in the NFC wild card round;

– 2003: In the NFC championship game, the Buccaneers emerged victorious, defeating the Eagles 27-10;

– 2022: In their last postseason meeting, the Buccaneers defeated the Eagles 31-15 in the NFC wild card round.

Rachel Adams

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