The regular season didn't fare so well on the bold predictions side of things, but the postseason represents a new dawn; another chance to flex and show off some major prognostication abilities.
Or it's another chance to fall flat on my face.
Either way, you'll be entertained, at least. So, let's go ahead and dive into the first (and hopefully not last) postseason edition of bold predictions for the Buccaneers.
Final record through the 2021 regular season: 13-55
5. Rob Gronkowski and Dallas Goedert combine for 150+ receiving yards and 2+ touchdowns
It's going to be the battle of the tight ends on Sunday. Both players are among the best at their position and the defenses they’re facing aren't too good at defending the like.
The end result will feature both Goedert and Gronkowski combining for some rather solid numbers. Both players will notch at least 150 combined receiving yards and will find the end zone at least twice.
4. Jalen Hurts throws 2+ interceptions
Hurts threw nine interceptions during the regular season and hasn't thrown a pick since Week 16. He's not the type of quarterback to make multiple mistakes in a game, evidenced by his three games with two or less total turnovers in 2021.
The Buccaneers have just two interceptions in their last five games, so they haven't done much in that regard, obviously. That'll change on Sunday, however. The pass rush will be at full strength and the secondary didn't have Carlton Davis III, Sean Murphy-Bunting (possibly), and Antoine Winfield Jr. when these two teams met in Week 6.
The pass rush will force Hurts to rush some throws and the Bucs' previously absent playmakers will be there to take advantage to the tune of at least two Hurts interceptions.
3. The Bucs will score more points than the Eagles have rush attempts
Philadelphia finished 2021 with an average of 32.3 rush attempts per game, which was good for the second-most in the NFL. Only the Titans had more.
The Eagles are going to try to run the ball on Sunday and they'll have some success, but the Bucs run defense is back to full strength, which will really do wonders for the overall defensive product. The offense will also move the ball, therefore, it will take the Eagles just slightly out of their element to where they'll throw the ball much more often than they're used to.
And Tampa Bay's offense will score points, which will create the perfect scenario where the Bucs offense has more points than the Eagles offense has overall rush attempts.
2. Devin White notches 8+ tackles, 1.0+ sack, and at least one turnover
White has been pretty absent over the Bucs' last few games. He hasn't played his best, but he's also been playing without some pretty key pieces around him in Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, and Jason Pierre-Paul.
The good news is that all of those guys return this week. Combine that with the type of offense the Eagles like to run and the final product will be a big day for White.
1. The Bucs will score two touchdowns in the first quarter
The Bucs will come out primed and ready to go and it'll help that they're going up against an Eagles defense that allows the second-most points in the first quarter (5.9). If you're not good at math, that essentially is a touchdown per every first quarter.
Tampa Bay averages the fourth-most points in the first quarter on offense (6.3) and will double the average the Eagles allow by finding the end zone twice during the first 15 minutes of the game.
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