Buccaneers: Players that must be stopped to win the division

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1: Defensive end Robert Ayers
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1: Defensive end Robert Ayers /
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If the Buccaneers want to keep their playoff dreams alive this coming season they have to stop these two players from each team in the NFC South.

With the mindset that the Buccaneers will make the playoff this season for the first time since 2009 the first obstacle is to either win the division outright or one of the wild card spots.

Obviously the first goal is to win the division which is something that the Bucs have only done six times in their 40 years history, most recently in 2007. Prior to the 2016 season, where they finished second in the division going 4-2, they finished last in the division five straight seasons, with a total of eleven divisional wins out of 30 games in the last 5 seasons or a .367 winning percentage.

So then if the first goal is to win the division then the Bucs must play better and win more games against the Panthers, Falcons, and Saints.

With added weapons on offense such as DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard, and Chris Godwin, the best way for the Bucs to win more divisional games is for the defense to shut down some of the best players from their divisional opponents that have given them the most trouble over the last few seasons.

Let’s then look at two players from the Panthers, Saints, and Falcons that have been the toughest for the Bucs to contain in the last few seasons. These are the guys that need to be contained this season if the Bucs want a successful division record and a playoff shot. Everybody ready? Here we go then.