Buccaneers Control Their Own Destiny

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Scraping by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secured a victory in overtime against the Arizona Cardinals. It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t live up to expectations but it was a win.  So what’s next moving forward?

Current Situation

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the NFC South with a 7-8 record. Currently, they are gripping onto a one-game lead over the Panthers and Saints with two more games remaining.

Win Sunday against the Panthers and they are in the playoffs and hosting a game in Raymond James Stadium. Lose and it gets tricky.

If The Buccaneers Lose To Panthers

If the Bucs lose to the Panthers the teams will have the same record at seven and nine going into the last week of the season. Unfortunately, in the case where they both win their final game, the Panthers own the head to head tie breaker. Pushing the Bucs out of the playoffs. If the Panthers win and the Bucs lose then the Panthers clinch the division with the best record. If the Panthers lose and the Bucs win then the Bucs are in. But no one wants to go into week 18 hoping for another team to aid in their bid for the playoffs.

In The Case Of A Tie

The Buccaneers have won/lost eight games by six points or less keeping fans on the edge of their seats at times. A tie is not out of the question since it’s a regular season game. This leaves the Bucs up one game over the Panthers. If the Bucs win and Panthers lose in week 18 they are in the playoffs. Unfortunately, if the Buccaneers lose in the last week and the Panthers win, the Panthers own the head to head tie breaker. Eliminating the Bucs.

Outside Chance

The Saints are not out of this just yet either. This week they will be hoping for a Panthers win and will be crossing their fingers they beat the Eagles. If this happens the final week show down between them and the Panthers suddenly has huge implications. They could possibly take the NFC South by beating the Panthers and a Buccaneers loss. But that’s a lot of ifs.

Final Thought

If the Buccaneers want to ensure  a visit to the post season then they need to pull out all the stops. In their last meeting the Buccaneers only mustered three total points, never got the run game going, and the secondary allowed P.J. Walker to look like a efficient machine. They don’t have that luxury this week. It’s a must win game.

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