With a 9-0 victory over the Panthers on Sunday, the Bucks clinched the NFC South crown for the third straight year. And as the No. 4 seed, they knew they would be hosting a game at Raymond James Stadium next weekend as part of Super Wild Card Weekend.
The Bucks also won the NFC East as a result of the Cowboys winning the NFC East on Sunday. They will host the No. 5 seed Eagles. In the first round of that game.
And now that the playoff field is set, The NFL has set the full schedule for Super Wild Card Weekend. The Bucks will host the Eagles on Monday, January 15th, with kickoff set for 8pm ET. The game will be televised on ESPN and ABC.
It’s time to raise the flag. The playoffs return to Tampa Bay for MNF. pic.twitter.com/F44PUQW07Q
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 8, 2024
This will be the second year in a row that the Bucks will play at home on Monday night to conclude Super Wild Card Weekend. Last January, they hosted the Cowboys and lost 31-14 in what was the final game of Tom Brady’s storied career.
Bucks and Eagles finished the season on different trajectories
At one point, the Eagles were 10-1 and held the top seed in the NFC. However, along the way they fell apart. They lost 42-19 at home to the 49ers and lost road games to Dallas (33-13) and Seattle (20-17). After that, the bleeding stopped for a week, and on Christmas they beat the Giants 33-25 at home, but then lost to the Cardinals 35-31 on New Year’s Eve.
Philadelphia needed to win against New York in Week 18 and Dallas needed to lose to Washington to win the division, but neither happened. The Cowboys won by 28 points anyway, but the Eagles couldn’t even do their part.
In the game, they lost 27-10 to the Giants, falling behind 24-0, with quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver AJ Brown, guard Cam Jurgens, safety Reid Blankenship, and safety Sidney Brown. lost due to injury. It will be worth monitoring their status this week.
While the Eagles were on the decline in December, the Bucks were on the rise. They beat the Panthers, Falcons, Packers, and Jaguars to start the final month of the 2023 calendar year on a four-game winning streak, setting up a scenario in which they only need one win in the final two weeks to clinch the NFC South title. Ta. .
An embarrassing setback in a 23-13 home loss to New Orleans on New Year’s Eve put added pressure on Tampa Bay in Week 18. But the team handled the pressure and defeated the Panthers 9-0 in Carolina. The Bucs improved from 4-7 at the end of November to 9-8 six weeks later, winning five of six games, winning their third consecutive district title and making the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
It still wouldn’t be surprising to see a talented Eagles team open next weekend on the road against the Bucks as 2.5-point favorites, but both teams ended the season going in opposite directions. And visitors will come to the city much more excited than the hosts. An extra day to recover will help the Eagles, and it should also benefit Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is dealing with rib and ankle injuries of his own.
The playoffs are all about getting hot at the right time. The Bucks experienced that for themselves in 2020, winning the final four games of the regular season to finish 11-5 and winning four straight in the postseason to win the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in franchise history.
We’ll find out next Monday night if the Bucks’ strong winning streak and Eagles’ cold losing streak will be enough to bridge the perceived gap between the two teams during Super Wild Card Weekend.