Buccaneers: How soon could Tampa clinch a playoff spot?

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

How soon could the Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinch a playoff spot?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an opportunity to break a 12-year streak of missing the postseason if they can close out well during these last four games.

The Buccaneers enter Week 14 with a 7-5 overall record and they’re currently second in the wildcard standings, just behind the Seattle Seahawks.

There’s still work to be done, but there is actually a scenario where the Buccaneers could clinch a playoff spot as early as next week according to our calculations.

First, let’s take a look at the NFC playoff standings heading into Week 14:

  1. New Orleans Saints (10-2)* clinched playoff berth
  2. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (8-4)
  4. New York Giants (5-7)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (6-6)

Outside of the bubble:

  • Arizona Cardinals (6-6)
  • San Francisco 49ers (5-6)
  • Chicago Bears (5-7)
  • Detroit Lions (5-7)
  • Washington Football Team (4-7)

The road to the Buccaneers clinching a playoff berth for the 2020 season

Obviously, if the Bucs win three games and finish the season 10-6 (assuming one of those wins is against the Vikings this weekend), they’re in. If the Bucs were to lose to the Vikings, though, they’d have to win out and may possibly need some help depending on what happens with the Cardinals and 49ers.

Interestingly enough, there is a scenario for the Buccaneers to clinch as soon as next weekend.

  • IF the Bucs beat the Vikings this week and the Falcons next week
  • and IF the Cardinals dropped a game to either the Giants this week or the Eagles next week
  • and IF the 49ers dropped a game to either the Bills this week or Washington next week

Then, the Bucs would officially clinch and that’s the soonest we could see Tampa Bay lock up a playoff spot.

Next. 3 positives to focus on for the Bucs. dark

Basically, if you want to clinch a spot, the key is to beat the Vikings this weekend and to pull against teams behind you, especially the Cardinals and 49ers.