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Buccaneers take care of business in easy Wild Card win over Eagles

Tom Brady and company barely break a sweat in Wild Card round win.

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

There is always hope, no matter how outmatched, for the big underdog before the game, but the Philadelphia Eagles lost hope in Tampa way before the final whistle on Sunday. The Buccaneers were never in trouble, as they defeated the Eagles 31-15.

The Buccaneers defense played to stop the run, giving the Eagles wide receivers one-on-one coverage for most of the day, but Jalen Hurts and company couldn’t make them pay through the air. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Tom Brady and company didn’t have the same trouble.

Brady completed 29-of-37 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns, with his top receiver, Mike Evans, catching nine of those passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. With Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown out of the picture, Evans is the last of the starting receivers left on the active roster and will be a workhorse in these playoffs.

The Buccaneers did have a couple of scares early on, as tackle Tristan Wirfs and center Ryan Jensen went down with injuries. Jensen returned quickly though, while Wirfs returned, but was noticeably hampered by his ankle injury. Wirfs was ruled out after that, but the fact he was able to return at all is a good sign that he’s not dealing with a long term injury.

This was a tune-up game for the Buccaneers, but next weekend will be tougher, as they either face the Cardinals, Rams or Cowboys. If the Cowboys win today, they will head to Tampa next weekend, but if the 49ers win, the Bucs will face the winner of the Rams-Cardinals game.