A lot of things need to fall right for the Buccaneers to make a run in the playoffs slightly more plausible. They already received an early gift from the Rams as they smacked the Saints around for 3 quarters (just ignore the 4th like Derek Carr ignored receivers past the sticks). That makes the division all the more easier to win. Especially if the Falcons keep falconing. But, Christmas for me is about being greedy, and so I want more than this trash division title.
I’ve already talked about this, but one of the best gifts the Bucs can receive is from the Vikings. Vikings winning out and the Lions losing out would mean the Bucs get the 3rd seed (if the Bucs also win out). However, in that prediction, I said the Bucs would likely face the Lions who would be the sixth seed. Well I don’t like that. The Lions are a very scary opponent. So, going back to the New York Times Playoff Predictor, I have found a scenario where the Bucs get the 3rd seed and an easier opponent.
They could potentially face the Falcons if they win out, and the Seahawks, Rams, and Packers drop a game or two. Now, I know the Falcons did split the record against the Bucs, but they just lost to the Panthers. I am not afraid of them.
One gift that would come from within the organization is if this run game continues to evolve. The beginning of the year brought a familiar sight in an absolutely atrocious run game. But Santa’s greatest elf, Dave Canales, has been hard at work and toyed with the playcalling enough to make it something. A good run game is crucial for this team as they do not want to force Baker Mayfield to throw the ball fifty times. Rachaad White has turned into a pretty good back and a very explosive receiver. If that consistency with the run game stays with the team, that would go a long way to making this a playoff caliber team.
Tis the season for when football heats up. Buccaneers haven’t exactly been lauded as the cream of the crop of the NFC. But, if they can get on a winning streak beating a respectable team like the Jaguars, that will go a long way to solidify their ranking as a pretty good team. The ultimate compliment.
Make sure you check out Devin’s blog at cannoncrunch.wordpress.com.
Cannon Crunch with Devin Sanguinett