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January 16, 2022

Wild card open thread recap: Buccaneers 31, Eagles 15

Eagles NFL
Tom-Brady-Bucs-Eagles_011622_usat Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady drops back to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter.

The NFL playoffs have begun, and the Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Buccaneers, in wet, windy Tampa. The Birds will be looking for a little revenge for a Week 6 loss to the Bucs, while Tom Brady will be be trying to enact some playoff revenge of his own from, you know, the Super Bowl.

Heading into the wild card round of the playoffs, the Eagles remain a relatively healthy team, and they are now also rested, as most of their starters got last weekend off with a playoff berth already clinched. The Buccaneers are also a healthy team, for the most part, though they will be without Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Leonard Fournette. Here are the Eagles' and Buccaneers' inactives, with analysis.

As we noted in our five matchups to watch when the Eagles have the ball, the Eagles ran the ball with their running backs one time (!) in the first half against the Bucs Week 6. They have since completely changed their offensive identity, and we're likely to see the Eagles pound the run against a Buccaneers defense whose No. 1 objective is typically to stop the run.

When the Buccaneers have the ball, the Eagles will have to figure out a way to slow down the Bucs' precision offense, powered by the best player in NFL history. They'll also have to come up with a not-so-obvious answer for TE Rob Gronkowski.

The Eagles are 7.5-point underdogs. Here are our staff writer picks — as well as who some others around the country are picking. For the gambling enthusiasts, you can find my wild card round picks here and some over/unders for Sunday right here.

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