TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their path to a Super Bowl repeat Sunday when they welcome in the Philadelphia Eagles for a Wild Card game to start the NFL playoffs.
The Buccaneers path to the Super Bowl though will be a cold one if the Green Bay Packers keep winning. The Packers are the number one seed and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. That means Tampa Bay may have to go to Green Bay in late January to earn a second-straight Super Bowl berth.
But that's down the road, there's still plenty for the Bucs to do before that comes to fruition.
The Bucs played the Eagles once this season in Week 6. Powered by Tom Brady, the Bucs were able to knock off Philly 28-22 that day. Brady threw for 297 yards and the Bucs sacked Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts twice in the game.
But, the Bucs top pass catcher that day is no longer with the team, Antonio Brown. Plus, the Bucs rode a strong game that week from running back Leonard Fournette who has since been out since mid-December with a hamstring injury.
Tampa Bay may be close to getting back to full strength as the playoffs begin and they'll need it against the Eagles. Philadelphia won six of their last eight games but was demolished by the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday, 51-26.
By the way, the last time Tom Brady faced the Eagles in the playoffs...Philadelphia knocked off the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Not that Brady needs any extra motivation.