Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
After a tough loss last week to the New Orleans Saints, the playoff chances for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have dropped significantly but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. These are the scenario’s in which the Bucs would make the playoffs this season.
Buccaneers win out and Vikings lose 2 out of 3 games remaining:
This is in my mind the easiest route to the playoffs for the Bucs. The Vikings have struggled as of late by losing 3 out of their last 4 games which is why it isn’t crazy to think they can lose 2 out of the next 3. This week they play the Chicago Bears who have not played their best football this season but have shown at times that they can be dangerous. The week after that the Vikings will play the New York Giants, who showed us Monday night that they are going to play to win this division and as long as that is happening, the Giants should be a tough match for Minnesota. The last week of the season should bode well for the Bucs when the Vikings need to travel to Green Bay to play the Packers who beat them earlier in the season 30-13. As you can see, if the Bucs win out their is actually a good chance the Vikings will lose at least 2 of these games which would send Tampa to the post season.
Buccaneers win out and Seahawks lose 2 out of 3 games remaining:
This is far less likely to happen but again not impossible. Seattle is surging right now but took a big hit last week by losing their workhorse running back in Thomas Rawls for the remainder of the season. With Marshawn Lynch still sidelined, it will be tough to see the Seahawks have the same rushing attack they are accustomed to and that will hurt seeing as Seattle runs their offense based on their running game. This is the bad news for the Bucs, Seattle’s remaining schedule is not very hard. They play the Browns this week who have not been playing well at all and have Johnny Football starting this week. Then they play the Rams who have been struggling heavily the since the second half of the season and offensively been terrible. The last game on their schedule looks good for the Bucs with them facing Arizona, who has been red hot and don’t seem like they are going to slow down. So with all that being said, if Seattle gets upset one of these next 2 weeks, then I could see them losing to Arizona and giving the Bucs a chance to steal away their playoff spot.
Buccaneers lose 1 game and Vikings or Seahawks lose all 3 games remaining:
This is pretty much impossible. Buccaneers cannot afford to lose one more game and if they do, they would need to hope for the Vikings or Seahawks to implode completely which I don’t see even coming close to happening. The only way in my eyes the Buccaneers playoff hopes don’t die is if they win from here on out!