Eagles vs Bucs NFL Free Pick & Prediction [1/15/2024]

Philadelphia (11-6) at Tampa Bay (9-8)
When: Monday, January 15th, 2024
Where: Raymond James Stadium,
Tampa, FL

Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Philadelphia -2.5/44.5

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Two teams trending in opposite directions will square off in an NFC wild card game Monday night, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Philadelphia Eagles from Raymond James Stadium. The defending NFC champion Eagles were sitting at 10-1 after 11 games and the No. 1 seed in the conference. Philly went 1-5 down the stretch and not only didn’t win the NFC East, but ended up all the way down to the No. 5 seed. The Eagles failed to cover the spread in their last six games including a lackluster 27-10 loss to the New York Giants in Week 18.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers went 1-6 after their bye in early October, but rallied to win five of their last six games and win the NFC South at 9-8. After a 3-5 start, Tampa Bay clinched the NFC South on Sunday with three field goals by Chase McLaughlin in a 9-0 defeat of the league-worst Carolina Panthers. Baker Mayfield played through rib and ankle issues against the Panthers and passed for 1,456 yards with 11 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 100.6 rating during the 5-1 finish.

These teams played in Tampa back in Week 3 – also on a Monday night. The Eagles were playing much better then and rolled to a 25-11 win. Jalen Hurts accounted for two touchdowns, D’Andre Swift rushed for 130 yards and A.J. Brown caught nine passes for 131 yards to lead the Eagles. Brown has been ruled out of the wild card contest due to a knee injury. Despite the poor play lately, the Eagles are 3-point favorites on Monday with a total of 43.

A lot can be attributed to Philly’s late-season collapse. They turned the ball over 12 times, allowed 136.7 rushing yards per game and converted only 49 percent (38 of 77) of their chances on third down over the last six games. Only the Arizona Cardinals (26.8) and Washington Commanders (30.5) surrendered more points per game than the Eagles (25.2) this season. Not only is A.J. Brown out after getting injured last Sunday, but Hurts appeared to dislocate the middle finger on his throwing hand, but X-rays were negative. Safety Sidney Jones tore his ACL in the game as well.

Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report [Wild Card]

Britain CoveyWRProb Mon - Groin - 1/13/24
Jalen HurtsQBProb Mon - Finger - 1/12/24
D'Andre SwiftRBProb Mon - Illness - 1/11/24
DeVonta SmithWRProb Mon - Leg - 1/11/24
Reed BlankenshipSQues Mon - Groin - 1/11/24
Sydney BrownSOut Mon - Knee - 1/13/24
A.J. BrownWROut Mon - Knee - 1/13/24
Darius SlayCBOut indefinitely - Knee - 12/16/23
Albert OkwuegbunamTEOut indefinitely - Hamstring - 12/30/23
Justin EvansSOut indefinitely - Knee - 12/7/23
Nakobe DeanLBOut indefinitely - Foot - 11/16/23
Isaiah Rodgers Sr.DBout for season - Suspension - 8/28/23
Roderick JohnsonOTI-R - Undisclosed - 8/26/23
Shaun BradleyLBI-R - Achilles - 8/14/23

Mayfield has played so well in Tampa this year that the Bucs are expected to sign the former No. 1 overall pick to a longer-term extension. Mayfield clearly was not 100% in last week’s 9-0 win to clinch the NFC South. He was 20-of-32 for just 137 yards. The Bucs had just 228 yards of offense and don’t have the offensive firepower that the Eagles do. Mayfield joined Tom Brady (2022) as the only quarterbacks in franchise history to have over 4,000 passing yards, 25-plus touchdowns and 10 or less interceptions. Defensively, the Bucs rank 29th against the pass, but fifth against the run.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injury Report [Wild Card]

Tristan WirfsOTProb Mon - Illness - 1/13/24
Rakim JarrettWRProb Mon - Quadricep - 1/13/24
Baker MayfieldQBQues Mon - Ankle - 1/11/24
Josh HayesDBQues Mon - Quadricep - 1/11/24
K.J. BrittLBQues Mon - Calf - 1/9/24
Mike GreeneDLOut Mon - Calf - 1/13/24
Ryan JensenCI-R - Knee - 8/29/23
Russell GageWRI-R - Knee - 8/20/23

I have to take the hotter team in this one. The Eagles have been horrible the last six weeks, especially defensively. Also, the team appears to have no spark in their play and Brown being out really hurts the offense. Tampa is riding a high right now and Mayfield is playing his best football since he left Cleveland. I think the Bucs get the job done here, so I’ll take the points.

Wild Card Staff Selections

Pick: Bucs +3