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Buccaneers X-Factor: Player to watch in Wild Card Matchup vs Eagles

Who needs to step up for Tampa Bay to move on?

NFL: OCT 22 Falcons at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buccaneers are hosting the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night for a wild card showdown. After winning the NFC South, the Bucs still come into this matchup with a lot of questions surrounding their play.

The Eagles have also had their fair share of issues including being 1-5 in their last six games and having multiple starters with injury concerns. That being said, the Eagles will be looking to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers, specifically running back D’Andre Swift. The Bucs will have to find a way to slow down the Eagles rushing attack.

This week’s X-factor are Bucs linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White.

When these two teams last met back in week three, Philadelphia controlled the pace of the game with 38:55 minutes of time of possession while the Bucs only had 21:05. They were able to do that largely in part to their success on the ground as they had 201 rushing yards and averaged 5.0 yards per rush.

Lavonte David and Devin White both played in that game, but White was limited by an injury. David had 13 total tackles and a sack while White had seven total tackles and an interception.

Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lavonte David and Devin White make a tackle
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Tampa Bay will need good performances from both of them on Monday night in order to slow down the Eagles and D’Andre Swift. The weather is not looking too favorable for Monday night, so these two teams could rely on their run game even more.

Not only can David and White help contain Swift, but they can also help keep Jalen Hurts in the pocket and force him to make throws from the pocket instead of escaping and picking up yards with his legs. Both David and White have great speed at the linebacker position and it will be critical in stopping Hurts’ running ability.

David has been nothing short of fantastic for Tampa Bay this season, but Devin White has dealt with a lot of inconsistent play and injuries, not to mention the trade request in the offseason. Hopefully White puts that aside and plays his best ball for the Buccaneers in this game and in this playoff run because he is a guy this defense desperately needs to get going.

Lavonte David is still an elite player, but the questions remain with Devin White and the Eagles will surely look to attack White both through the air and on the ground. With a good day, the Bucs linebacker tandem could send the Eagles packing early.