HomeDa Birds NewsEagles Face Tough Playoff History against Bucs in Wild Card Matchup

Eagles Face Tough Playoff History against Bucs in Wild Card Matchup

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Eagles Face Tough Playoff History against Bucs in Wild Card Matchup

PHILADELPHIA – Players say they can sense the urgency. It’s in the weight room, in meetings, and on the practice field. It’s all over the training facility.

“They know what’s at stake,” said Brandon Graham. “They know that we get another chance at it, and we know that we don’t have a lot of people believing in us, so that’s even better. It’s on us. Our best is yet to come right now.”

Well, it better be because there are no more tomorrows if the Philadelphia Eagles lose Monday night in Tampa against the Buccaneers to close out the Wild Card round.

Other teams who entered the playoffs as the No. 5 seed, which the Eagles are after tumbling from the mountaintop over the past six weeks, surely had urgency, too. It didn’t help.

DeVonta Smith Philadelphia Eagles
DeVonta Smith suffered an ankle sprain late in the Philadelphia Eagles’ New Year’s Eve loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but will play Monday night in Tampa after missing Week 18. USA Today

Since 1990, just two teams have entered the playoffs as the No. 5 seed and gone on to win the Super Bowl — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and the New York Giants in 2007.

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One of the game’s greatest quarterbacks, Tom Brady, was with the Bucs in 2020, beating Washington, Green Bay, and the Giants had Eli Manning and a ferocious defense led by Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Antonio Pierce.

The Eagles don’t have Brady or Manning or even a defense that has been mostly toothless since Matt Patricia took over.

It’s a deck that looks stacked against Philly, to say the least.

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Just seven teams won the Super Bowl after qualifying for the postseason as a wildcard.

In addition to the Bucs and Giants, the other five were:

1980 Oakland Raiders, No. 4 seed: 27-10 over the Eagles in Super Bowl 15

1997 Denver Broncos, No. 4 seed: 31-24 over the Packers in Super Bowl 32

2000 Baltimore Ravens, No. 4 seed: 34-7 over the Giants in Super Bowl 35

2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 6 seed: 21-10 over the Seahawks in Super Bowl 40

2010 Green Bay Packers, No. 6 seed: 31-25 over the Steelers in Super Bowl 45

Related: A.J. Brown, Where Are You?

Four wildcard teams made the Super Bowl but lost. They were:

1975 Dallas Cowboys, No. 4 seed: 21-17 to Steelers in Super Bowl 10

1985 New England Patriots, No. 5 seed: 46-10 to Bears in Super Bowl 20

1992 Buffalo Bills, No. 4 seed: 52-17 to Cowboys in Super Bowl 27

1999 Tennessee Titans, No. 4 seed: 23-16 to Rams in Super Bowl 34

“We have to continue to keep grinding this thing,” said Fletcher Cox. “We know the best teams are still playing football right now, so we have to keep on keeping on, and why not us?”

The road to the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team is difficult, but it has been done before. The key to success for the Eagles is ensuring that everyone on the team is putting in their best effort, supporting each other, and focusing on their goals.

Throughout the regular season, the team’s resilience was tested with injuries, inconsistent performances, and tough losses. However, they have managed to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. Now, as they head into the postseason, their mentality must shift and they must prepare to face tougher opponents and higher stakes.

The Wild Card round presents a unique opportunity for the Eagles. Despite being the No. 5 seed, they have a chance to prove their worth and make a statement in the playoffs. However, the road ahead is a challenging one, as history has shown that advancing to the Super Bowl from the Wild Card position is a rare feat.

Nevertheless, the Eagles are focused on the task at hand. They are aware of the obstacles they face, but they are determined to overcome them. The team’s leadership, including players like Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, are leading by example by demonstrating a strong work ethic and instilling a sense of urgency among the team members.

The recent loss to the New York Giants was a wake-up call for the Eagles. It revealed the vulnerabilities in their defense and highlighted the need for improvement across the board. Although the team has faced criticism and doubts, they remain optimistic about their chances in the playoffs.

Looking ahead to their matchup against the Buccaneers, the Eagles are focused on their preparation. They are analyzing their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, studying game footage, and fine-tuning their strategies. Each player understands the importance of their role in the game and is committed to giving their best effort.

The pressure is on for the Eagles, but they are embracing the challenge. They are using the skepticism and lack of belief from outsiders as motivation to succeed. As they head into the Wild Card round, they are determined to defy the odds and prove that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Despite the daunting statistics and historical trends, the Eagles are confident in their ability to compete at the highest level. They are eager to step onto the field in Tampa and show the world what they are capable of. With the support of their fans and the unwavering determination of the team, the Eagles are ready to rise to the occasion and make a statement in the playoffs.

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