Buccaneers: NFC Wild-Card race shaping up heading into Week 11

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

How the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are shaping up in the NFC wild-card race heading into Week 11

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are firmly in the race for a wild-card spot and much more heading into Week 11 of the 2020 NFL season. It’s time to start tracking the race to the postseason.

The Buccaneers (7-3) are currently sitting second in the NFC South division down a 0.5 game to the New Orleans Saints (7-2), who also own the tiebreaker. For Tampa Bay to make a run at the division, they will need to make up a total of two games on the Saints because a tie in the division- as we just said- would go to the Saints, who have already swept the season series.

While it’s certainly possible the Saints drop two games more than the Buccaneers down the stretch- especially with Drew Brees potentially out for an extended period of time- it’s becoming much more likely that we see the Bucs end up with a wild-card spot.

There’s still talk about potentially expanding the playoffs to eight teams, but right now the plan is to play with seven teams- the four divisional winners and three wild-cards. Just one team will a first-round bye and the other six will play during the wild-card round. The three winners and the one team with a bye will play in the conference semifinals the next weekend followed by the conference finals the next weekend.

The Buccaneers are firmly in contention for a wild-card spot currently

Here’s a look at the wild-card standings in the NFC heading into Week 11:

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
  2. Los Angeles Rams (6-3)
  3. Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
  4. Chicago Bears (5-5)
  5. Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
  6. Detroit Lions (4-5)
  7. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)

The first thing you should notice is that no NFC East team appears on this list. The Philadelphia Eagles are the division leader currently with a 3-5-1 record. The Giants are second at 3-7.

It’s much more likely at this point that the Bucs, Rams, Seahawks and an NFC North team- right now, the Bears are the most likely candidate- will be the true contenders for the wild-card spots. It should be noted that the Packers (NFC North), Saints (NFC South) and Cardinals (NFC West) all hold small leads in the division and could be enthralled in the wild-card race if they were to drop a game. That’s especially true for the Cardinals, who have a 6-3 record and are technically tied with the Rams and Seahawks.

As far as Week 11 goes, we’re about to see an extremely important matchup. Keep in mind that the Bears would already hold the tiebreaker over the Buccaneers if Tampa Bay was to drop two games more than Chicago down the stretch.

The Bucs will take on the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in a game that will be for Wild-Card supremacy and to keep each team alive in their division race.

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We’ve only got six more games to go in the regular season for the Buccaneers and every single one of them will matter as we head down the stretch.