The No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers took care of business against the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Wild Card Weekend, but will face their biggest test of the season in the Divisional Round against the Los Angeles Rams.
The No. 4 seed Rams will travel to Tampa Bay for a berth in the NFC Championship Game this Sunday live on NBC and peacock at 3 p.m. ET., but beating Tom Brady on the road in the playoffs is easier said than done.
Brady, 44, wasted no time making Tampa Bay feel like home. In 2020, his first season after leaving the New England Patriots, he accomplished the unprecedented feat of winning a Super Bowl at home, when the Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.
His career playoff record is 35-11, a .760 win percentage which ranks the highest among quarterbacks with a minimum of 15 playoff games. Brady is also the all-time leader in career playoff wins, more than double the amount of Joe Montana in second place with 16 wins.
Wild Card round results
- 31-15 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles
2021 NFL Draft picks
- Round 1, pick 32 – Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, LB, Washington
- Round 2, pick 64 – Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
- Round 3, pick 95 – Robert Hainsey, G, Notre Dame
- Round 4, pick 129 (from SEA) – Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
- Round 5, pick 176 – K.J. Britt, LB, Auburn
- Round 7, pick 251 – Chris Wilcox, CB, BYU
- Round 7, pick 259 – Grant Stuard, LB, Houston
Key personnel: Coaches and players
- Head coach: Bruce Arians
- Quarterback: Tom Brady
- Wide receiver: Mike Evans
- Tight end: Rob Gronkowski
- Nose tackle: Vita Vea
- Linebacker: Devin White
Buccaneers regular season results
- Overall record: 13-4
- Key wins/biggest win of the season: 33-27 victory against Buffalo Bills in Week 14
Buccaneers recent playoff history
- Won NFC South title this season (first division title since 2007)… Won Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs last season
How to watch Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
- When: Sunday, January 23
- Start Time: 3:00 p.m. ET; Live coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America.
- TV Channel: NBC
- Stream live: Watch live on Peacock Premium or with the NBC Sports App
What are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chances this postseason?
So far, the Buccaneers and Rams look the part as Super Bowl contenders. And while the Green Bay Packers haven’t played yet, it’s safe to say either the Buccaneers or Rams would be poised to give Aaron Rodgers and company a solid challenge.
Tampa Bay’s 31-15 victory over Philadelphia looks like a comfortable 16-point victory on paper, but the final score still isn’t indicative of how dominant the Buccaneers were on Sunday.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers had a 31-0 lead and were in cruise control on both sides of the ball. Brady completed 29-of-37 attempts for 271 yards and two touchdowns while Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts fell short in his playoff debut, completing just 23-of-43 attempts for 258 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
On the day, Tampa Bay forced three turnovers on defense and held Philadelphia’s offense, the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL, to just 95 total yards rushing — 64.7 yards short of their 17-game average during the regular season.
Buccaneers Record vs. playoff teams: 4-1.
- 31-29 vs. Dallas Cowboys in Week 1
- 19-17 vs. New England Patriots in Week 4
- 28-22 vs. Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6
- 33-27 vs. Buffalo Bills in Week 14
- 34-24 vs. Los Angeles Rams in Week 3
In terms of how Brady might fare against the Rams this weekend, he’s had some success airing it out against Los Angeles’ secondary despite the early regular season loss.
Brady completed 41-of-55 attempts for 432 yards and one touchdown, turning in a passer rating of 103.0 in that defeat, but the real area of concern for Tampa Bay will come from running the ball, where its offense only combined for a total of 35 rushing yards on 13 attempts – a subpar 2.7 yards per carry average.
Nevertheless, the Buccaneers will always have a chance as long as No. 12 is under center.
Over his final six starts of the regular season since the start of December, Brady has completed 176-of-262 attempts (67.2 percent) for 1,913 yards (318.8 yards per game) with 13 touchdowns to just three interceptions.
The Buccaneers will hope to have right tackle Tristan Wirfs (ankle), center Ryan Jensen (leg) and backup offensive tackle Josh Wells (quad) available against the Rams after all three suffered injuries during the team’s win over the Eagles. And going up against a stout Rams defensive front that recorded two sacks and five quarterback hits on Kyler Murray, Brady will need all the help up front he can get.
Be sure to check back after each game for final scores and follow ProFootballTalk for more on the 2022 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, recaps, news, rumors, and more.