EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Dallas Goedert had 56 catches for 830 yards and four TDs in 15 games. He leads all NFL tight ends in first down rate (75.0 percent) and was second in average yards per catch (14.8).
BUCCANEERS PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Rob Gronkowski had 55 receptions for 802 yards and six TDs and finished the regular season with back-to-back 100-yard games. At age 32, he still poses matchup problems for most opponents, especially at this time of the year. With 89 catches for 1,273 yards and 14 TDs, no tight end in NFL history has been more productive in the postseason.
KEY MATCHUP: Bucs QB Tom Brady and an offensive line featuring three Pro Bowl selections vs. the Eagles pass rush. Teams that have been able to pressure Brady have had the most success in slowing down Tampa Bay’s offense, which averaged 405.9 yards and 30.1 points per game. The Bucs’ offensive line allowed a league-low 23 sacks this season. With Javon Hargrave and Josh Sweat leading the way with 7½ sacks apiece, the Eagles were tied for sixth in the NFL with 31.
KEY INJURIES: Eagles RBs Miles Sanders (hand) and Jordan Howard (stinger) are expected to return to the lineup. … LBs Shaquil Barrett (knee) and Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) and RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) practiced and are expected to play Sunday. The Bucs are less certain about LB Lavonte David (foot) returning against the Eagles.
SERIES NOTES: The Bucs have won the past three regular-season matchups between the teams, who haven’t faced one another in the playoffs since the NFC championship game after the 2002 season. Tampa Bay won that one, advancing to its first Super Bowl. The Eagles eliminated the Bucs from the playoffs the previous two seasons, with the postseason failures against Philadelphia costing then-coach Tony Dungy his job. The Eagles are facing the Bucs on the road in the postseason for the first time since 1979, when Tampa Bay won its first-ever playoff game 24-17.
STATS AND STUFF: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is one of eight QBs in NFL history to throw for more than 3,000 yards and run for more than 750. He led the team with 784 yards rushing and 10 TDs rushing. … Eagles led the NFL with a franchise-record 2,715 yards rushing and finished with 100-plus yards rushing in 12 straight games. … RB Miles Sanders was third in the league with an average of 5.5 yards per carry. … WR DeVonta Smith set a franchise record for rookies with 916 yards receiving. … Five-time Pro Bowl C Jason Kelce has started 122 straight regular-season games. … DT Javon Hargrave and DE Josh Sweat tied for team lead with 7 1/2 sacks. … Four-time Pro Bowl CB Darius Slay led NFL with three defensive TDs. … K Jake Elliott set a franchise record by making 90.9% of his field goals. … Brady led the league in completions (NFL record 485), attempts (719), yards passing (career-best 5,136) and TD passes (Bucs record 43). He’s just the third QB in past 30 years to pace the NFL in all four categories. … Brady owns playoff records for wins (34), games played (45), passing yards (12,449) and TD passes (83). He’s 6-2 lifetime against the Eagles, including postseason, and has thrown for 17 TDs and an average of 320.3 yards in those games. … Bucs WR Mike Evans was second in the league with 14 TD receptions and is the first player to begin a career with eight consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards receiving. … CB Sean Murphy-Bunting had four interceptions in four playoff games last season. LB Shaquil Barrett had four sacks during the same Super Bowl run. … The Bucs are trying to become the first team to repeat as NFL champions since Brady and the 2004 New England Patriots.
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