The NFL postseason is upon us, and one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the Wild Card round airs on Denver7 on Monday Night.
Dak Prescott and the 12-5 Dallas Cowboys pay a visit to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cowboys get a chance to avenge a Week 1 against Tampa Bay, while the 8-9 Bucs look to start an improbable march to what would be an eighth Super Bowl win for Brady.
The matchup of the NFC’s fourth and fifth seeds is TV gold. Data released by NFL Media this week shows the Cowboys played in four of the five most-viewed regular season games in 2022 – including the No. 1 spot with over 42 million viewers for their Thanksgiving Day win over the New York Giants.
2022 NFL Regular Season Media Viewership Stats: pic.twitter.com/3ZzeQzFj67— NFL Media (@NFLMedia) January 11, 2023
Tampa Bay’s 19-3 win over Dallas in Week 1 saw an average of 25.1 million viewers – the highest for Sunday Night Football since 2015, according to SI.com. ‘Boys vs. Bucs opened the 2021 season with a bang, too, pulling 26 million viewers, according to CNBC.
Dallas finished second in the NFC East behind the Super Bowl favorite Philadelphia Eagles to earn the No. 5 seed. Despite its 8-9 record, Tampa Bay won the NFC South and the No. 4 seed. Division winners automatically receive a higher seed than wild card teams, regardless of records.
The storylines Monday night will be whether the Cowboys’ explosive offense can return to form against a stingy – albeit inconsistent in 2022 – Tampa defense, and if the 45-year-old Brady can try to rekindle the postseason magic that has taken him to 10 Super Bowls and seven Lombardi Trophies. He’ll go against the once-vaunted Cowboys defense that limped into the playoffs after an impressive start to the year.
Prescott, who exited the Week 1 matchup with a thumb injury that ultimately sidelined him for five games, and his accuracy will be in the spotlight after he threw 11 interceptions over the Cowboys’ last seven games.
The Bucs leaned on Brady, who threw for nearly 4,600 yards while his team struggled to run the ball consistently throughout the season. They finished the regular season last in the NFL in rushing yards.
Monday night’s game kicks off at 6:15 Mountain Time on Denver7. You can tune in for an hour-long edition of Denver7 News at 5 before the national broadcast, and stick with Denver7 for a special postgame newscast immediately after the game.