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NFL Playoffs - Wildcard Roundup

The NFL Playoffs are HERE and storylines are plentiful. First up, it’s Super Wildcard Weekend, where the theme is 'exes reuniting.' 


Although he isn’t playing, Deshaun Watson and the Browns return to Houston to take on the upstart Texans. In KC, Tyreek Hill and the Miami Dolphins brave the cold at Arrowhead to take on the defending champs. 


Meanwhile, in the NFC, Mike McCarthy’s Dallas Cowboys take on his former team Green Bay while Matthew Stafford’s Rams return to Detroit for the Lions first playoff game at home in 30 years. 


It’s six games in three days, with the Ravens and 49ers on the bye, having earned the top seed in their respective conferences. 


In this article, we’ll take a quick look at each matchup and how these teams got to where they are today. 


It’s anyone's game now. With 14 teams left, we’re just a month away from crowning a Super Bowl champion. 

 

AFC


(1) Baltimore Ravens - On Bye


  • Head Coach: John Harbaugh (16th season, 160-99 record in Baltimore) 

  • Record: 13-4 (3-3, 1st in AFC North)

  • Last Time Out: Lost vs. Steelers 17-10 on 1/6/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Lamar Jackson

 

(5) Cleveland Browns @ (4) Houston Texans 


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: January 13, 2024

  • Time: 4:30 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: NRG Stadium - Houston, TX

  • Weather Forecast: Indoors

  • How to Watch: NBC

  • Matchup History: All-time series is tied 7-7

  • Last Meeting: Cleveland def. Houston 36-22 on 12/24/23

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Cleveland -2.5

  • Over/Under: 44.5

  • Prediction: Cleveland 27, Houston 21

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Kevin Stefanski (4th season, 37-30 record in Cleveland) 

  • Record: 11-6 (3-3, 2nd in AFC North)

  • Last Time Out: Lost @ Cincinnati 31-14 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Myles Garrett


Of all the teams in the playoffs, no group has gone through more adversity than the Cleveland Browns. 


The Browns best offensive player, running back Nick Chubb, has missed almost the entire season after suffering a season-ending injury in Week 2. 


Besides Chubb, Cleveland started five quarterbacks this year: Deshaun Watson, P.J. Walker, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Joe Flacco, and Jeff Driskel. 


Of those five, the one to thank for advancing to the playoffs is journeyman Joe Flacco. 


The 38-year old started the season out of the league before Cleveland picked him up following Watson’s season-ending injury. 


In five starts, Flacco is 4-1 and has won four straight games entering the postseason. He’s thrown for 1,616 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, throwing for over 300 yards in all four of his wins. 


On defense, Cleveland has suffered a myriad of injuries, and yet still boasts one of the league’s top defenses, led by DE Myles Garrett, who is currently the favorite to take home Defensive Player of the Year honors. 


Garrett has 14 sacks, 33 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, and a blocked punt this year while being perhaps the most commonly doubled player by opposing offensive lines in the league. 


Not only does the team have a DPOY candidate, but the heavy favorite to win Coach of the Year in Kevin Stefanski. 


In what was the NFL’s best division, Stefanski’s team rose to the occasion despite suffering more injuries to key players than any team in the league. 


Should Cleveland go into Houston and take out a young Texans team, a likely matchup with the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, and a homecoming for Joe Flacco, looms in the Divisional Round.

 

  • Head Coach: DeMeco Ryans (1st season, 10-7 record in Houston) 

  • Record: 10-7 (4-2, 1st in AFC South)

  • Last Time Out: Won @ Indianapolis 23-19 on 1/6/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: C.J. Stroud


There is no team more surprising in the playoff field than the Houston Texans. 


Just last year, Houston went 3-13-1, had the worst defense in the league, one of the worst offenses, and fired its head coach following the season's end. 


A year later, and the Texans are the winners of the AFC South, becoming the first team in NFL history to win the division with a first-year head coach and rookie quarterback. 


Former Texan and first-year Head Coach DeMeco Ryans would win Coach of the Year if it weren’t for Stefanski’s Browns. Rookie QB CJ Stroud, however, is a lock to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. 


The #2 overall pick out of Ohio State has become an instant star in the league, finishing 8th in the league in passing despite missing two games with 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns, and a league-low 5 interceptions.


On defense, Houston has gone from worst to average in Ryans first season, finishing 14th in total defense after finishing dead last a season ago. 


This game will likely be decided when Houston has the ball. Can the rookie QB move the ball and score enough points against the league’s top defense? 


Regardless of the result on Saturday, Houston is emerging as yet another young and emerging juggernaut in the AFC that will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. 

 

(6) Miami Dolphins @ (3) Kansas City Chiefs


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: January 13, 2024

  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City, MO

  • Weather Forecast: 4 degrees, mostly cloudy, winds NW 9mph 

  • How to Watch: Peacock

  • Matchup History: All-time series is tied 16-16

  • Last Meeting: Kansas City def. Miami 21-14 on 11/5/23

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Kansas City -4

  • Over/Under: 43.5

  • Prediction: Kansas City 23, Miami 20

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Mike McDaniel (2nd season, 20-14 record in Miami) 

  • Record: 11-6 (4-2, 2nd in AFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost vs. Buffalo 21-14 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Tyreek Hill


Through the first three weeks of the season, there was no team in the league more feared than the Miami Dolphins. 


In their first three games, Miami dominated opponents, putting up ridiculous numbers along the way, including a 70-20 victory over Denver in Week 3. 


Fast forward to now, there is no team in the playoffs being written off more than this same Miami team. 


Entering Week 14, the Dolphins were 9-3 and in the driver's seat to not only the AFC East title, but the top seed in the AFC Conference. 


Then, Mike McDaniel’s team lost three of its last five games and enters the postseason as the most injury-plagued team of all 14 playoff teams. 


The Dolphins will head to Arrowhead with its two top receivers banged up, and will be completely without Jaelan Phillips, Jerome Baker, Bradley Chubb, and likely will be without star cornerback Xavien Howard. 


Being that banged up, specifically on defense, paired with a warm-weather team that doesn't fare well in cold temperatures, makes for a very tall task on the road against the defending Super Bowl Champions. 


The temperature at kickoff on Saturday night in KC is expected to be around zero degrees fahrenheit.


Again, a tall task lies ahead. But if Tyreek Hill can shine in his return to Arrowhead and the Dolphins can reclaim some of its early season identity, they could easily come out of Kansas City victorious. 


Don’t write off this team just yet. 

 

  • Head Coach: Andy Reid (11th season, 128-51 record in Kansas City) 

  • Record: 11-6 (4-2, 1st in AFC West)

  • Last Time Out: Won @ LA Chargers 13-12 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Patrick Mahomes


Unlike years past, the Kansas City Chiefs have made the 2023 playoffs by playing great defense. 


KC won its eighth straight AFC West title with a Week 17 win over Cincinnati, the second longest division winning streak in league history, only trailing the Patriots. 


Only this time, unlike the last few under Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs defense ranked higher than its offense. 


KC’s defense finished 2nd in the league in total defense in 2023 and 2nd in sacks with 57. 


However, the offense has been plagued with a league-high in passes dropped and has had countless drives sputter due to penalties and turnovers. 


The Chiefs have turned it over the 8th most in the league and 3rd most among playoff teams, and the most of any team that won its division. 


And as good as Kansas City’s defense has been, they rank 27th in forced turnovers with 17, the 2nd fewest among playoff teams. 


Despite the inconsistency and a 4-4 stretch to close out the regular season, there is no team in the NFL playoffs that could most easily ‘flip the switch’ than the Chiefs. 


Patrick Mahomes is the reigning league and Super Bowl MVP and has had a down year for his standards, but still finished 6th in the league in passing, 8th in touchdowns, and 7th in QBR. 


If anyone can turn things around out of nowhere, it’s him. 


If the Chiefs can flip the switch and move on to the Divisional Round next weekend, Mahomes will more than likely be playing his first career road playoff game. 

 

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers @ (2) Buffalo Bills


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: January 14, 2024

  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: Highmark Stadium - Orchard Park, NY

  • Weather Forecast: 23 degrees, cloudy, winds WSW 19mph, chance of snow 30%

  • How to Watch: CBS

  • Matchup History: Pittsburgh leads all-time series 17-12

  • Last Meeting: Buffalo def. Pittsburgh 38-3 on 10/9/22

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Buffalo -10

  • Over/Under: 36.5

  • Prediction: Buffalo 28, Pittsburgh 7

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (17th season, 173-100-2 record in Pittsburgh) 

  • Record: 10-7 (5-1, 3rd in AFC North)

  • Last Time Out: Won @ Baltimore 17-10 on 1/6/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Najee Harris


There is no playoff team that had a more up-and-down season than the Pittsburgh Steelers. 


Every year since Head Coach Mike Tomlin arrived in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have not had a losing record. In those 17 years, however, despite the team's success, they only have one Super Bowl title to show for it.


Now, Tomlin’s Steelers have made the playoffs three of the last six seasons, his worst stretch since becoming head coach. Pittsburgh has not won a playoff game since the 2016 season, having lost three straight postseason games entering Sunday’s matchup in Buffalo. 


If the legendary coach is on the hotseat, he shouldn’t be. 


The Steelers have been carried by defense all season long. In fact, Pittsburgh was outgained in total yards in each of their first ten games this year. Miraculously, they won six of those games. 


There is no playoff team that scored fewer points than the Steelers, which finished 28th in the league in points per game at 17.9.


Not only does Pittsburgh fall short in most statistical categories, they’ll be without defensive end T.J. Watt on Sunday, inarguably their most important defensive player. 


There is no bigger underdog on Wildcard Weekend than the Pittsburgh Steelers (+10). 


However, where Pittsburgh does thrive is forcing takeaways, finishing 4th in the league in total takeaways and +11 in the turnover margin. That is the one area where Buffalo really struggles. 


If the Steelers can dominate the turnover battle, and run the football, they’ll have a shot in this game. Any other result and it could be a long day in Orchard Park.

 

  • Head Coach: Sean McDermott (7th season, 73-41 record in Buffalo) 

  • Record: 11-6 (4-2, 1st in AFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Won @ Miami 21-14 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Josh Allen


The Buffalo Bills are the hottest team in the NFL entering the postseason. 


Heading into Sunday, Sean McDermott’s Bills have won five games in a row, including an AFC East clinching win this past Sunday night on the road against the Dolphins. 


However, four of those five wins have been by one possession, a far cry from the early season form the team found when it was off to a 3-1 start. 


After the strong start, the Bills really struggled. Before this winning streak entering the postseason, Buffalo had lost five out of eight, with the lone wins coming against both New York teams and Tampa Bay. 


Quarterback Josh Allen is one of the more exciting and reckless quarterbacks in the league. He has dazzled this season with 29 touchdown passes and 15 rushing touchdowns, amassing over 4,800 total yards along the way. 


He has also thrown 18 interceptions. In fact, there were just three games this year in which Allen did not throw an interception. In those three games, Buffalo won by 21 or more. 


The recipe for success is pretty simple for this team: Take care of the football. 


The Bills have lived and died by Josh Allen for years. However, during this five game winning streak, we’ve seen the emergence of running back James Cook, who is having a career year. 


Cook finished 4th in the league in rushing, becoming even more of a force after a change was made with the offensive coordinator following the Week 10 loss to Denver. 


Buffalo has not lost a game in regulation since that change was made. 


As it presently stands, there is no team in the league more dangerous than Buffalo. If they can take care of the ball, they’ll beat anyone. The question is, can they do that? 


More specifically, can Josh Allen do that? 

 

NFC


(1) San Francisco 49ers - On Bye


  • Head Coach: Kyle Shanahan (7th season, 64-51 record in San Francisco) 

  • Record: 12-5 (5-1, 1st in NFC West)

  • Last Time Out: Lost vs. LA Rams 21-20 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Christian McCaffrey

 

(7) Green Bay Packers @ (2) Dallas Cowboys


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: January 14, 2024

  • Time: 4:30 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: AT&T Stadium - Arlington, TX

  • Weather Forecast: Indoors

  • How to Watch: FOX

  • Matchup History: Green Bay leads all-time series 21-17

  • Last Meeting: Green bay def. Dallas 31-28 in OT on 11/13/22

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Dallas -7.5

  • Over/Under: 50.5

  • Prediction: Dallas 31, Green Bay 23

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Matt LaFleur (5th season, 56-27 record in Green Bay) 

  • Record: 9-8 (4-2, 2nd in NFC North)

  • Last Time Out: Won vs. Chicago 17-9 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Jordan Love


Unlike last season with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Green Bay Packers won its Week 18 home game to clinch a playoff berth with Jordan Love at quarterback. 


The Packers were 3-6 before winning six of its last eight to sneak into the postseason in Love’s first season as the starting QB. 


Love finished 7th in the league in passing this year, just one spot behind Patrick Mahomes. He threw the 2nd most touchdowns (32) of any QB and had just 11 interceptions. 


The Packers have a veteran defense and young weapons on offense, with a veteran running back in Aaron Jones. 


Entering the postseason, Jones is finally healthy, having suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1 that has hindered his ability all season long. 


Now that he’s back at full strength, he’s rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games entering the playoffs. 


It’s the only three games the Packers have had a 100 yard rusher all season. 


Green Bay now faces a monumental task against its former Head Coach, Mike McCarthy and Dallas. 


If this young Packers team can control the clock by establishing the run and take care of the football as they’ve done consistently throughout the year, they may have an opportunity to shock the Cowboys and advance to the Divisional Round. 

 

  • Head Coach: Mike McCarthy (4th season, 42-25 record in Dallas) 

  • Record: 12-5 (5-1, 1st in NFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Won @ Washington 38-10 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Dak Prescott


Is this the Cowboys team that finally gets to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1995 when it last won the Super Bowl? 


Head Coach Mike McCarthy faces off with his former team Green Bay on Sunday in the same building where he won his lone Super Bowl with the Packers back in 2011. 


With the Cowboys as heavy favorites, I view this game as McCarthy coaching for his job. If Dallas loses, I think his job security is in serious jeopardy, having lost in the playoffs in spectacular fashion in each of the past two seasons coming into this year.


The good news for McCarthy is that this is his best Cowboys team yet. 


Dallas ranks 5th in the league in both total offense and total defense. Quarterback Dak Prescott finished 3rd in passing this season and threw a league-high 36 touchdowns, 12 of which were to star receiver CeeDee Lamb, who finished 2nd in the league in receiving with 1,749 yards, just 50 yards behind the league-leader, Tyreek Hill. 


The Cowboys are atop the league in points scored per game, thanks to the prolific passing attack and their new kicker, Brandon Aubrey, who broke the franchise record for points scored in a season, passing legendary running back Emmitt Smith. 


Perhaps most importantly, Dallas has forced turnovers while taking care of the ball, which generally translates this time of year. 


The Cowboys are tied for 3rd in turnover margin at +10, having forced 26 takeaways while only turning it over 16 times on offense, tied for the 2nd best mark in the league. 


By all accounts, Dallas should be and is the heavy favorite against the surging Packers on Sunday afternoon. 


If McCarthy’s team takes care of the ball and continues to fire on all cylinders on offense, they’ll be strolling toward the Divisional Round next weekend.

 

(6) Los Angeles Rams @ (3) Detroit Lions


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: January 14, 2024

  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: Ford Field - Detroit, MI

  • Weather Forecast: Indoors

  • How to Watch: NBC

  • Matchup History: Los Angeles leads all-time series 45-41-1

  • Last Meeting: Los Angeles def. Detroit 28-19 on 10/24/21

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Detroit -3

  • Over/Under: 51.5

  • Prediction: Los Angeles 36, Detroit 34

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Sean McVay (7th season, 70-45 record in Los Angeles) 

  • Record: 10-7 (5-1, 2nd in NFC West)

  • Last Time Out: Won @ San Francisco 21-20 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Matthew Stafford


Perhaps the most anticipated game of Wildcard Weekend is the return to Detroit for Matthew Stafford. 


The Rams QB played in Detroit for his first 12 seasons before winning a Super Bowl with LA in his first season with the Rams in 2021. 


Now, Stafford returns to Detroit for the first time since departing to take on the Lions in their first home playoff game in three decades. 


On the other side, Detroit QB Jared Goff starts in his first playoff game since the 2020 season when he was with…the Rams. 


Both quarterbacks are coming off tremendous seasons and one of their seasons will end in a loss against his former team. Goff finished 2nd in the NFL in passing and threw 30 touchdowns (4th in the league). 


Stafford, meanwhile, finished 11th in the league in passing, playing two less games than Goff, and threw 24 touchdowns. 


The Rams were a trendy pick to finish at the bottom of the NFL this year, having finished 5-12 a season ago. 


Instead, through the emergence of offensive stars Kyren Williams and Puka Nacua, the Rams were the surprise of the NFC, winning ten games and head into the playoffs having won seven of its last eight, with the lone loss coming in overtime on the road in Baltimore. 


If Williams runs the ball like he has all year (1st in the NFL in yards per game - 95.3) and the passing game continues to run through Nacua and Cooper Kupp, the Rams should be able to dice up a Lions defense which ranks 27th against the pass. 

 

  • Head Coach: Dan Campbell (3rd season, 29-33-1 record in Detroit) 

  • Record: 12-5 (4-2, 1st in NFC North)

  • Last Time Out: Won vs. Minnesota 30-20 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Amon-Ra St. Brown


The dream season that many thought it could be for the Detroit Lions has happened. 


For the first time ever, the Lions won the NFC North, clinching its first division title since 1993. 


Detroit has not won a playoff game since 1991, having lost nine straight postseason games entering Sunday night’s game against Los Angeles. They have not hosted a playoff game since 1993. 


Head Coach Dan Campbell has quickly turned things around in Detroit, improving from a 3 win team in his first season to division champs in his third, winning 12 games along the way, the most the franchise has won since it last won a postseason game in 1991. 


Detroit got to this point in large part due to its prolific offense, which ranks 3rd in the NFL. 


Quarterback Jared Goff finished 2nd in the NFL in passing, while the Detroit two-headed rushing attack of Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgommery was perhaps the best duo in all of football. 


Unfortunately for the Lions, they’ll likely be without star rookie Tight End Sam LaPorta, who suffered an injury in the Week 18 win over Minnesota. He amassed nearly 900 yards and 10 touchdowns during the regular season. 


For Detroit to win the game, they’ll need to get stops in the redzone, an area they’ve struggled all season. The Rams will be able to move the ball, but if they play the ‘bend but don’t break’ style of defense, they should be set up well to win. 


On offense, they’ll need to rely heavily on the run and work the play-action passing game out of it, which has been their bread and butter all season. 


It’ll likely be the most raucous crowd of Wildcard Weekend in front of a fanbase that is desperate for a winner. 

 

(5) Philadelphia Eagles @ (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: January 15, 2024

  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL

  • Weather Forecast: 68 degrees, 65% chance of storms, wind S 5mph

  • How to Watch: ESPN

  • Matchup History: All-time series tied 11-11

  • Last Meeting: Philadelphia def. Tampa Bay 25-11 on 9/25/23

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Philadelphia -3

  • Over/Under: 43.5

  • Prediction: Philadelphia 23, Tampa Bay 20

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Nick Sirianni (3rd season, 34-17 record in Philadelphia) 

  • Record: 11-6 (4-2, 2nd in NFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost @ New York Giants 27-10 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Jalen Hurts


There is no team in the 14-team playoff field that is trending in a worse direction than the Philadelphia Eagles. 


The Eagles have lost five out of six entering the postseason with the lone win coming against the Giants, a team that beat Philly by 17 just two weeks later in Week 18. 


The first loss of the streak was a 42-19 defeat in Philly against the 49ers, which, at the time, was a battle between presumably the two best teams in the NFL, with the Eagles a win away from being able to stroll toward the NFC’s top seed for the playoffs. 


Now, not only are they not the top seed, they aren’t even NFC East champs and will play on Wildcard Weekend on the road against the NFC South champ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 


Of the Eagles 11 wins this year, 8 were by one possession. One of the games they won by multiple possessions came in Week 3 on the road against Tampa Bay when Philadelphia stomped the Buc’s 25-11. 


In that game, the Eagles outgained Tampa 472-174, including 201 rushing yards, and had possession of the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game. 


It was perhaps Philly’s best performance of the season. The question is, how far gone is that Eagles team at the present moment? 


Should the Eagles lose on Monday night, it’ll cap off one of the biggest collapses we’ve ever seen in professional sports. 


To go from 10-1 and in the driver's seat for the top seed in the NFC to out of contention just seven weeks later would be a total shock for the defending conference champions. 


Just two years ago, Philadelphia’s season came crashing to an end on Wildcard Weekend in Tampa Bay with a 31-15 loss in which the Eagles trailed 31-0. Might it happen again? 

 

  • Head Coach: Todd Bowles (2nd season, 17-17 record in Tampa Bay) 

  • Record: 9-8 (4-2, 1st in NFC South)

  • Last Time Out: Won @ Carolina 9-0 on 1/7/24

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Mike Evans


Perhaps no team is being taken less seriously in the postseason than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 


The Buc’s won the league’s worst division, the NFC South, by going 9-8, finishing with the same record as New Orleans and two games better than Atlanta. 


However, Tampa Bay has been quietly pretty hot lately, winning five of its last six entering the postseason, surging to this point after being 4-7.


Quarterback Baker Mayfield has finally found a new home in Tampa Bay. He finished 9th in the league in passing, throwing for just over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns, 13 of which were to Mike Evans, who finished 9th in the league in receiving at 30 years old, putting together his 10th straight season with at least 1,000 yards receiving. 


Despite some impressive individual numbers, the Buccaneers have the lowest rated offense of any NFC playoff team, finishing 23in the league in total offense. 


The defense is not much better, ranking 23rd in the league just like the offense. However, where they thrive is in ‘bend don’t break’ defense. 


Tampa gives up just 19.1 points per game, tied for the 7th best mark in the league. They give up yards, but they don’t mind. They just want to stop you in the redzone. 


If the Buccaneers can keep Philly’s offense out of the endzone and force some field goals, something they struggled to do in the first meeting, it should buy the offense time to find its footing and keep the game close. 

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