The Philadelphia Eagles will meet the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium for an NFC Wild Card showdown that will test the mettle of first-year head coach Nick Sirianni and franchise-quarterback-hopeful Jalen Hurts.
Naturally, though, all eyes are going to be on 44-year-old Tom Brady, who continues defying father time while cementing himself as the greatest quarterback who ever played the game of football.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion led the NFL with 485 completions for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns compared to just 12 interceptions. He somehow keeps getting better and better — and naturally, initial questions are coming about getting an eighth Super Bowl ring.
But Brady is laser-focused on the Eagles, which certainly sounds daunting for Philadelphians.
“I don’t know, you’re worried about two games from now,” Brady said. “I’m not worried about two games from now, I’m worried about one game from now, which is the Eagles. We still have the Eagles, that’s going to be the biggest game of our season.”
The Buccaneers finished the 2021 season with a 13-4 record, winning seven of their last eight games of the year to take the NFC South title and the No. 2 seed in the conference’s playoff picture.
But the Eagles have been playing some of their best football as of late, too — winning six of seven games from Weeks 10-17 before resting most of their starters in a season-finale loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
“We’re going to have to play our best game of the year,” Brady said. “I mean this is our toughest opponent all year. You know, we’re playing a team that’s very talented and made it to this point for a reason.”
This will be the third postseason meeting between Brady and the Eagles. He took the first matchup with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX before the Eagles shocked the world 13 years later in Super Bowl LII behind Nick Foles’ heroics.
If the Eagles were to upset the Buccaneers, they’d be only the second team to beat Brady in consecutive postseason meetings, joining the New York Giants who did so in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
“We have to do everything we have to do to get the win,” Brady said looking ahead at the Eagles. “This is a football team that has been playing really well – good on offense, they have a very good defense, good front, very healthy. It’s going to be a very tough game.”