Can the Bucs really make the playoffs?
If our Tampa Bay Buccaneers go 3-3 in the next 6 games, which would be the worst football they’ve played all year, They will finish off the season 10-6. Repeat yourself; 10 and 6!
The 2001 Bucs didn’t finish with that good of a record. Neither did 1998. Double Digit wins have only happened in these parts 2 times in the last decade, but it could easily happen again.
Now here comes the funny part. It may not be enough.
The usually inept NFC is having a banner year among the ‘have’ teams, especially here in the NFC South, arguably the best division in football. Well that argument is going to hurt the Bucs if it continues, because as it sits, a one yard away from a TD finish in Atlanta could be the play that haunts the Bucs and their fans for an entire offseason.
As we speak, Atlanta is the best team in the NFC with an 8-2 mark. They play Green Bay on Sunday. New Orleans is tied with the Bucs at 7-3; and tied with a few other teams from around the conference. The Bears and Packers are also 7-3 and sit atop the NFC North. The 7-3 Eagles have a one game up on the NY Giants who are 6-4.
That means that if you give the Eagles, Bears and Falcons the division, the Packers, Saints and Buccaneers are fighting it out for two playoff spots. Right now the Bucs have the worst conference record at 5-2.
Our 7-3 Buccaneers would not make the playoffs if they were held today! Of course there are several weeks left in the season, and a lot of things can happen. You have the Green Bay/Atlanta game on Sunday, and the Bucs play the Falcons the next week. Atlanta has been little if not consistent over the last few years, and loses games when you think they cant lose anymore.
The Saints play a stronger Cowboys team in Dallas on Thursday, and then have to travel to Cincinnati while also having to travel to Baltimore to play the team the Bucs have to face Sunday.
Many things can happen between now and Week 17, but it’s a scary and sad possibility that a 10-6 season may not be enough for the playoffs. This is not without precedent; as the New England Patriots went 11-5 not that long ago and missed the playoffs! With 11 wins!
Any way you look at it, winning nine or ten games is a huge boost to this team that won only 3 games last year, and that has head coach Raheem Morris a cool 9-7 in the last 16 games since changing the defense back to the Tampa Two (.5). But maybe, just maybe, a dose of “We won 10 games but the league wont let us in the playoffs” might be just enough to stir the offseason excitement level around here to sell some season tickets!
I know I'd like to watch 10 wins on TV next year, that’s for sure!