Buccaneers (2-8) Only Two Games Behind NFC South Lead
By Nick John
Nov 16, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches the ball ahead of Washington Redskins cornerback Tracy Porter (22) in the second quarter at FedEx Field. The Buccaneers won 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Depending on how you look at it, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers either picked a very good, or extremely terrible year to be a dismal football team.
On one hand, the optimistic side of you has to have some excitement that even though the Bucs are a lowly 2-8 following this week’s win against the Washington Redskins, that they actually have a chance at winning the division and hosting a playoff game at Raymond James Stadium.
On the other, you have to be absolutely furious that the team is at the bottom of the worst division in football and have yet to beat any of the teams in the NFC South thus far.
But whether or not you’re happy with the win today, or have given up on the Buccaneers all together, the fact of the matter is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are only two games behind the division lead with six games remaining.
The Falcons sit atop the division because of their 4-0 record within the division. They are followed by the Saints, who are 2-1 in the South, and the Panthers, who are 1-2. The fact that the Buccaneers are 0-4 in divisional play is the most concerning stat in regards to their chances to pull off a miracle in 2014, but don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t possible.
Tampa Bay’s remaining games are: @ Bears, vs Bengals, @ Lions, @ Panthers, vs Packers, vs Saints.
The Bears in Chicago is a winnable game given how inconsistent they have become in recent weeks. Cincinnati will provide a tough home challenge, as the Buccaneers have yet to win a home contest this season. The Lions are 7-2 and trailing the Cardinals at the time of writing this, but they have been one of the NFC’s best so far. The Carolina Panthers haven’t looked impressive at all this year, with Cam Newton continuing to struggle. The game at home vs Green Bay is probably going to be the toughest game to win, so I would not count on a W there. And last but not least, the New Orleans Saints are not as good as Saints teams of the past. The Buccaneers should have beaten them weeks ago in overtime, and they could definitely beat them in Week 17.
Do not be surprised if a record as awful as 6-10 wins this division. Most likely, 7-9 or 8-8 is what gets it done, so the Buccaneers probably can’t afford to let another one slip away. But as long as they win in conference play, and win out within the division, then ladies and gentlemen, you could be looking at the worst playoff team in NFL history.
I’m not saying it will happen (because it probably won’t), but I am saying there’s a chance.