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At a Glance

January 19, 2003|From Associated Press

How the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles match up in today's NFC championship game in Philadelphia:

*--* WHEN THE BUCCANEERS HAVE THE BALL The main problem for Tampa Bay could be against the Eagle secondary. Three of the Eagles' four starters made the Pro Bowl: cornerbacks Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor, and free safety Brian Dawkins. The fourth defensive back, strong safety Blaine Bishop, is a savvy 10-year veteran. The receivers, on the other hand, are big, but lack separation speed. The best (and loudest) is 6-foot-4 Keyshawn Johnson, with 6-1 Keenan McCardell and 6-5 Joe Jurevicius the other targets WHEN THE EAGLES HAVE THE BALL Quarterback Donovan McNabb will be making his second start since missing eight weeks with a broken right ankle. He ran for 19 yards on his second play against Atlanta last week, demonstrating his mobility, but will probably have less scrambling luck against the NFL's best and one of its quickest defenses. Tackle Warren Sapp is the anchor of that unit, but end Simeon Rice led the NFC in sacks with 15 1/2. Brooks was voted the league's defensive player of the year and scored four touchdowns, including the only touchdown against the Eagles on a fumble return SPECIAL TEAMS Philadelphia's Brian Mitchell holds most of the NFL's all-time return records and is one of the top special-team players in history. At 34, he has lost little. The Eagles have two left-footed kickers: 41-year-old punter Lee Johnson and Pro Bowl kicker David Akers. Tampa Bay kicker Martin Gramatica has a lot of range, going five for six from 50 yards or more

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