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Eagles to face Buccaneers in wild card round of NFL playoffs

Eagles to face Buccaneers in wild card round of NFL playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Eagles are heading back to Tampa.

After finishing second in the NFC East, the Eagles (11-6) are the No. 5 seed in the NFC and will travel to face No. 4 seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8) in the first round of the playoffs next Monday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN/ABC.

The Buccaneers beat the Panthers 9-0 on Sunday to clinch the NFC South for the third straight season. As the winner of the division they’ll host a playoff game.

The Cowboys won the division, which means there still hasn’t been a repeat NFC East winner since the Eagles won it from 2001-2004. The Cowboys last won the division in 2021, when the Eagles were a wild card team and went to Tampa in the first round of the playoffs and lost.

A lot has changed since the Eagles lost to the Bucs in the first round of the playoffs in Tampa in 2021. Jalen Hurts has grown a ton as a quarterback and led the Eagles to Super Bowl LVII last year. But now if the Eagles are going to get back to the Super Bowl, they’re going to have to do it on the road.

The Eagles went down to Tampa in Week 3 and beat the Bucs 25-11 in Week 3. In that game, Hurts threw for 277 yards and a touchdown but was picked off twice. D’Andre Swift rushed for 130 yards and hasn’t hit 100 in any game since then. A.J. Brown also went off in that game, catching 9 passes for 131 yards.

While the Bucs lost to the Saints in Week 17, they had won their previous four games before that, which means they were 5-1 in their final six games of the 2023 regular season.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are limping into the playoffs. After starting the season with a 10-1 record, they lost 5 of their last 6 in the regular season.

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