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Bucs vs. Eagles: Who has the edge in this Wild Card matchup?

As the Buccaneers proceed to organize for his or her playoff sport towards the Eagles, many really feel that Tampa Bay will simply ship them again to Philadelphia with a loss. Whereas there are various indicators that actually level in that course, Buccaneers gamers and coaches know that this is the Nationwide Soccer League in any case. No sport needs to be taken frivolously.

Particularly in the playoffs.

The Bucs could in reality handle enterprise on Sunday. Nonetheless, the Eagles 9-8 common season file doesn’t inform the complete story. Let’s check out each side of the ball and see the place precisely every crew has the edge over the different as we statistically break down the positions for each the Buccaneers and Eagles.

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Picture by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Photographs

Quarterbacks – The Eagles have been the twenty fifth passing offense in the league in the common season. Jalen Hurts threw for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions with a 61.3-percent completion proportion. he added one other 10 touchdowns and 784 yards on the floor, however we’ll get to {that a} bit later.

The Buccaneers have some man named Tom Brady. Many are most likely questioning who that’s. The long run Corridor of Famer has undoubtedly carried the Buccaneers offense, setting data in the course of — each crew and league data. Brady completed 2021 with 5,316 yards passing, 43 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with a 67.5-percent completion proportion.

Working Backs – Philadelphia’s Miles Sanders can provide the opposition some complications. The younger, shifty runner rushed for 754 yards in 12 video games final season, averaging 5.5 yards a carry. He was focused 34 instances out of the backfield in 2021 and hauled in 26 receptions for 158 yards. He totaled 912 scrimmage yards, however didn’t file a landing. That facet of the coin got here from working again Boston Scott who ran for 373 yards and 7 touchdowns. Nonetheless, the Eagles working sport benefited from the legs of Hurts. As beforehand said, his 784 yards weren’t simply massive chunks of yards for a quarterback (second total in the league), however allowed Philadelphia’s run sport to be the high working offense in the NFL.

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Not a lot of the identical might be stated solely for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay had the twenty sixth ranked run sport in the league. Their working again by committee method featured Leonard Fournette, who has run the ball nicely since final season’s playoffs. He ran for 812 yards on 180 carries and eight touchdowns. Fournette contributed in the passing sport with 454 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Ronald Jones II added one other 428 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Extensive Receivers – Rookie extensive receiver DeVonta Smith led the Eagles in all statistical classes — targets (104), receptions (64), yards (916), and touchdowns (5). The 2021 tenth total choose was a featured piece in the Eagles offense and one among Hurts’ favourite targets — maybe as a result of that was his just one. Different younger receiver Quez Watkins was focused 62 instances for 43 receptions however only one landing. Exterior of these two, Jalen Reagor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside disillusioned with 35 receptions between the two (33 by Reagor) and 335 yards with no touchdowns. Philadelphia’s depth at receiver lacks tremendously and lots of pundits are calling for Eagles to focus on a receiver in the first spherical of the draft or attempt to signal an enormous title free agent this offseason.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports activities

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Tampa Bay doesn’t have issues like that at the place. Extensive receiver Chris Godwin led the crew in targets (127), receptions (98), and yards (1,103) earlier than being executed for the season with a torn ACL. And that was three weeks in the past. Veteran Mike Evans hauled in 74 catches for 1,035 yards and 14 touchdowns. Antonio Brown, who determined to stop on the crew in the center of the sport towards the Jets two weeks in the past, appeared in seven video games this season and added 42 receptions for 545 yards and 4 touchdowns. However the Buccaneers might be with out Godwin and Brown for the postseason. Luckily for them, they’ve depth at the place. Guys like Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman, and Scotty Miller will all play massive roles — and have executed so earlier than — in the passing sport.

If we account for tight ends in this class, the Buccaneers have the edge as nicely because of their depth. Rob Gronkowski and contributed in massive methods whereas OJ Howard was factored in once in a while all through the common season, too. The trio have accounted for 11 of the offense’s touchdowns in 2021 — Gronkowski with six, Brate with 4, and Howard with one.

Offensive Line – Philadelphia’s offensive line is anchored by veteran Pro Bowl heart Jason Kelce. Tackles Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata have executed nicely holding off outdoors stress and guards Nate Herbig and Landon Dickerson have all been instrumental at propelling the Eagles to the high in dashing. Hurts was sacked 26 instances, however was recognized for holding on to the soccer for too lengthy at instances.

The Bucs offensive line has been stout, too. Regardless of the run sport not being anyplace close to the high of league rankings, Tampa Bay’s offensive line has executed nicely in move safety and at the second stage. Tackles Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs do an awesome job conserving EDGE rushers at bay, whereas the inside of the line anchored by Ryan Jensen alongside guards Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa do nicely towards inside linemen and blitzing backers. Tom Brady was sacked 22 instances in 2021 — lowest in the league.

EDGE: Buccaneers

Secondary – Philadelphia has a Professional Bowl cornerback by the title of Darius Slay that’s a part of a defensive secondary that was eleventh in the league in yards given up. Nonetheless, They’ve given up 28 passing touchdowns to opponents, which ranked twentieth in the league. They’ve additionally allowed a passer ranking of 95.4 which was twenty third in the NFL.

For the Buccaneers, the secondary was plagued all season lengthy. Coming into the postseason, the Bucs have been twenty first in the league in passing yards given up and thirteenth in the league for passing touchdowns given up with 26. However on the bight facet, they’ve solely allowed an 85.6 passer ranking — eight finest in the league.

Linebackers – Philadelphia’s group of linebackers are maybe the weakest unit on the defensive facet of the ball. Alex Singleton led all tacklers with 81 solo tackles in the eight video games he began this season. T.J. Edwards began in 14 video games however had 64 solo tackles, and Genard Avery had 21 solo tackles in 12 begins. Tampa Bay was with out Gronkowski when the two groups confronted one another earlier in the season and Brate and Howard had success towards the Eagles linebackers. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see how they scheme towards the Buccaneers tight ends with Gronkowski in the combine.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles

Picture by Mitchell Leff/Getty Photographs

Tampa Bay ought to see the return of veteran linebacker Lavonte David for this sport. David is instrumental towards studying the opposing offenses backfield and with Hurts’ potential to scramble, this return is massive for the Bucs. Exterior linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul are additionally slated to return for Tampa Bay this week. The three accounted for 15 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. Devin White, albeit a slightly quiet season, has contributed with 3.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss.

Defensive Line – The Eagles line of defense is slightly stout in that they’ve been in a position to get to the quarterback typically all through the season. Led by guys like Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, and Fletcher Cox, the three made up 18.5 of the 29 sacks for Philadelphia in the 2021 common season.

Anchored by Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea, the Buccaneers defensive entrance has been glorious in stopping the run. Regardless of a dropoff in yards given up in the closing few weeks of the season, Tampa Bay nonetheless completed 2021 as one among the high defenses towards the run, ending third total in the NFL.

EDGE: Buccaneers

Kicking – Punters and kickers are folks too. So with that stated, we are going to say that regardless of the title everybody does nicely placing toe to leather-based on each groups. However we’ll briefly have a look at the stats right here.

Philadelphia’s Jake Elliot has a area objective proportion of 91-percent on 33 makes an attempt and a touchback proportion of 63.5-percent on kickoffs. He’s 100-percent on further factors. Punter Arryn Siposs has a yards per punt common of 43.9 with the longest of 68.

Buccaneers punter Bradley Pinion has a yards per punt common of 42.5 with a longest punt of 65 yards. On kickoffs, Pinion has a touchback common of 79.8-percent. Kicker Ryan Succop has a area objective proportion of 83.3-percent on 30 makes an attempt and an additional level common of 94.9-percent.

Returners – As a crew, the Eagles collectively common 18.5 yards per kick return and seven.2 yards per punt return. Extensive receiver Jalen Reagor is the major returner, averaging 21.3 yards on kickoffs and seven.3 on punts.

Tampa Bay has a median of 19.7 yards per kick return and seven.1 yards per punt return. Rookie extensive receiver Jaelon Darden has dealt with the bulk of the returns, averaging 7.5 yards on punt returns and 19.9 yards on kickoff returns.

EDGE: Eagles

There are spots on the area the place one may argue the Eagles excel greater than the Buccaneers. Philadelphia’s run sport is tops in the league and their defensive entrance is amongst the finest, too. However total, as the Buccaneers look to face off in this weekend’s Wild Card matchup, the total edge goes to Tampa Bay.

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