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Bills beat Steelers during frigid weather while Buccaneers defeat Eagles to advance in NFL playoffs


By Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) — [Breaking news update, published at 11:20 p.m. ET]

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 32-9 on Monday to advance to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. The Bucs will play the Detroit Lions on Sunday at 3 p.m.

[Original story, published at 10:32 p.m. ET]

We’ve had plenty of excitement so far through five games of ‘Super Wild Card Weekend’ – and we still have one more to go as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Philadelphia Eagles in Monday night’s contest.

Earlier Monday, the Buffalo Bills bested the Pittsburgh Steelers – a game that was delayed a day after wild winter storm conditions in Buffalo. The two teams faced off in frigid conditions, with temperatures of 17 degrees in Buffalo at kickoff time, according to the National Weather Service. The Bills took a big early lead, each touchdown saluted by snow-tossing fans, and cruised to a 31-17 win.

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s playoff games.

How to watch

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – underway on ESPN/ABC

Bills deal with cold, dispatch Steelers

The Bills worked overtime to get the snow-filled stadium prepared for the game, even sending out a request on their website and social media for additional snow shovelers to assist the team with removing snow from Highmark Stadium overnight. Volunteers were paid $20 an hour for helping overnight and into Monday morning, while also being provided breakfast and drinks.

Despite the work, seats blanketed with thick snow still greeted many fans Monday. Videos posted on social media showed fans in the stadium digging through the icy mess to reach blue stadium seats and one Steelers fan using his body to plow through the snow-filled seat rows. Still, aerial shots of the stadium show it was packed.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen had four touchdowns, including a stunning 52-yard touchdown run that grew the score to 20-0. He threw for three touchdowns and completed 21 of 30 passes for 203 yards.

Despite the cold, the 72,000-seat Highmark Stadium appeared to be packed, even with seats covered by icy snow.

The game was fairly equally statistically but the Steelers suffered two big turnovers, including a Mason Rudolph pass that was intercepted in the Bills’ end zone early in the second quarter.

Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott called it an “admirable” effort to get the playing field and the stadium ready for the game. He said he looked out his window several times Sunday and it was hard to see. He thanked the team’s fans, referring to them by their collective nickname.

“Bills Mafia showed up. I know that there wasn’t always clean seats to sit on but it didn’t seem like it mattered to them so I applaud (them),” he said at a postgame news conference.

Buffalo have turned hot when it turned cold, ending the regular season on a five-game winning run – after a rocky start to the campaign – including a final week victory over the Dolphins to steal the AFC East crown and the AFC’s No. 2 berth at the finish line.

Now they will get ready to host defending Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional playoff round on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The early weather forecast predicts a high temperature that day of 25 degrees with a low Monday morning of 17 degrees.

Eagles @ Buccaneers: Can Philly bounce back?

The final game of ‘Super Wild Card Weekend’ could have massive ramifications.

Both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have huge pressure riding on the outcome of their playoff game, with both head coaches’ jobs potentially on the line.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has seen his side slump during the second half of the season, with both the offense and defense cratering as Philadelphia lost five of its final six games.

Following a Super Bowl defeat last year and the discontent surrounding the team, rumors of a coaching change have begun to percolate and could come to fruition should an early playoff loss take place.

Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles also has pressure on his shoulders, with his team finishing with an 9-8 record and a spot in the playoffs but with questions around the future of the team.

Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield has been dealing with injuries to his ankle and ribs in the lead up to the crucial game, coming at the end of rebuilding year for the 28-year-old’s reputation.

Underwhelming seasons could be eradicated with a postseason victory or those issues could be multiplied exponentially with a defeat, setting up a fascinating clash.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Article Topic Follows: Sports

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