Scenario 5: Win and get in
The Buccaneers are still technically alive in the playoff race. However, they need to win out to have any chance of grabbing one of the wildcard spots. At 9-7, they will need help from other teams in the race, but it could happen.
Heck, the Bucs still appear on those “In The Hunt” graphics on the broadcast every week.
Four of the five opponents left on Tampa’s schedule are above .500 and will be major tests for the defense. According to ESPN’s Mike Clay, the Bucs have one of the hardest remaining schedules.
Teams like Baltimore and Dallas feature great rushing attacks and Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan will look to attack the unit from the air. It will take a near perfect stretch for Jameis Winston and the Bucs offense if they want to make a run.
If they do in fact shock the entire league and find themselves in the postseason, it will save everyone’s jobs. Head coach Dirk Koetter will be safe, Winston will be lauded as a franchise quarterback, and general manager Jason Licht will get another year to build the roster.
It’s certainly a pipe dream, but it is a possibility.