The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, under the leadership of this year’s top draft pick, quarterback Jameis Winston, finds itself in third place in the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) with a Won-Loss record of 4-5.
While the Bucs are five games behind the undefeated and first place Carolina Panthers with little or, more likely, no chance to catch them, this squad definitely has a chance to win one of two available Wild Cards.
This game’s home team, the Philadelphia Eagles, has a Won-Loss record of 4-5 and is one-half game behind the New York Giants in the East Division of the National Football Conference (NFC). The Eagles, of course, can still win divisional honors and, if they fail to overtake “Big Blue,” can certainly capture a Wild Card and gain an invitation to the playoffs.
Clearly, both squads have “lots on the line” this Sunday, a fact that should result in inspired play with lots of hard-hitting and above average performances. In the NFL, every game matters, especially when all teams have passed the midway point and made “the turn for home.”
A win by either team this Sunday could easily enable one of both of them to build momentum and start a spurt that elevates them into the playoffs. Tampa Bay, a young and developing squad, found a way to score a last minute touchdown and defeat the Dallas Cowboys in a tough, low-scoring contest a few days ago.
The Eagles, a team that had very high expectations before the season began, found a way to lose a game that looked like a certain victory last Sunday afternoon. With just seven games remaining and competition for postseason play becoming fierce, this game has become a “must win” for both squads.
Philadelphia will have the home field advantage, but may have to play behind back-up quarterback Mark Sanchez because starting QB Sam Bradford went down last week with a concussion. He threw an interception last Sunday that cost his team the game, but he has also had success when starting for the Eagles.
The visiting Buccaneers are young, talented and improving. This squad sometimes finds it difficult to get into the end zone, but, as noted earlier, it found a way to defeat the Cowboys just a few days ago. It will surprise no one if the Eagles bring their “A” game and prevail in front of their fan base.
It will also shock nobody if the visitors from the South find a way to win this game late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles are expected to win, but the Bucs are learning how to prevail. It is anybody’s guess as to how this contest will end.
Courtesy of CBS Sports