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Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions are coming off inspiring wild-card victories, drawing one step closer to an NFC Championship appearance. It's a true testament not only to Detroit's gradual growth into a balanced contender, but also Tampa Bay's scrappiness as an overlooked NFC South champion. Their upcoming divisional round matchup is must-see material.

While both sides have quarterbacks who've arguably exceeded expectations to become local heroes, Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield aren't the only players instrumental to Sunday's matchup. In fact, these two quarterbacks are more dependent on their circumstances than other signal-callers still alive in the playoffs. Here are five players set to impact the contest the most:

5. Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If it feels like David, 33, has been around forever, well, that's because he kind of has. But age didn't stop Tom Brady from leading Tampa Bay to a title years ago, and age didn't stop David from turning in a vintage performance in a rout of the Eagles to open the playoffs. He leads the Bucs in tackles for loss (17) and remains a physical run-stuffer, which could be key against a Detroit offense that likes to establish the ground game with both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, who in turn take pressure off Goff.

4. Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

An All-Pro utility man on the back end of Todd Bowles' defense, Winfield does everything well, so it'll be hard for Detroit to avoid his presence. But he could be particularly important to Bowles' plan for containing shifty playmakers like Amon-Ra St. Brown, who should warrant some double coverage, and Jahmyr Gibbs, who's utilized out of the backfield. He's also a logical candidate to be matched up with Lions tight end Sam LaPorta, who's been one of Goff's top safety valves through the air.

3. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

Amon-Ra St. Brown
DET • WR • #14
REC YDs1515
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The beauty of Dan Campbell and Ben Johnson's attack is that it isn't one-dimensional. Goff spreads the ball around, occasionally turning Josh Reynolds into a high-volume option while feeding Sam LaPorta and handing to both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. But the reality is no one makes them pop quite like St. Brown, a threat to move the chains every time he touches the ball. Since November, Detroit is 5-0 when he tops 100 receiving yards, and 1-3 otherwise. He should be involved early and often.

2. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans
TB • WR • #13
REC YDs1255
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The perennial Pro Bowler was quiet on the stat sheet in the Bucs' dominant win over the Eagles, securing just three catches for 48 yards, but only because he couldn't quite secure two nicely placed deep balls from Baker Mayfield. Their connection has mostly been Grade-A throughout 2023, and against a vulnerable Lions secondary, he figures to get plenty more opportunities downfield. If Tampa Bay's going to upset the Lions on the road, he's almost certainly going to play a big hand, threatening Detroit on deep shots.

1. Frank Ragnow, C, Detroit Lions

Aside from the QBs, there might not be a player more critical to this matchup than Ragnow, the three-time Pro Bowler at the heart of Detroit's offensive line. Goff has been sharp as a pocket passer for much of 2023, including the Lions' close win over the Rams in the wild-card round, but he's always been more affected by pressure than most starting signal-callers. Ragnow is the rock that keeps him upright, and he'll be tasked with fending off big men like Vita Vea at the heart of Todd Bowles' blitz-heavy front seven.