Buccaneers in a must-win game in rematch versus Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

It has felt like every game is a must-win for the Buccaneers so far this season, but a win tomorrow versus the Falcons is imperative.

At ten and five and starting the new year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a much better spot than they usually are at this part of the season. With a playoff berth secured and their wildcard playoff hopes in their own hands, the Bucs have clearly taken steps in the right direction.

Tampa Bay faces the Falcons tomorrow in a game that will define the Buccaneers’ start to the playoffs. In addition to bringing in momentum from four wins in a row, the Bucs have the chance to earn one of the most coveted wildcard playoff spots in recent years.

The Buccaneers are fighting for the first wildcard spot. Whichever team earns this spot will face the winner of the NFC East in the first round of the playoffs, and that division has been a dumpster fire this year.

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The NFC East has experienced more turnover over the years than most in the league, with the winner changing on a yearly basis, but the winner is guaranteed to finish below .500 this season.

Perhaps this is more a way of showing the issues with the current playoff format, but facing off with a sub-500 team is the best way to start the playoffs for a team that is searching for its first win on that stage in over a decade.

The Bucs have already beaten the Giants, the Eagles are starting a rookie after benching Carson Wentz, and the Washington Football Team has started three different players at quarterback this season. Even if one of these teams gets hot at the right time, the Buccaneers have no business losing to any of them.

In addition to the playoff implications, winning this game also brings an additional victory to the Bucs. Tampa Bay won 11 games most recently in 2005, and that number nearly meets expectations for this season. Eleven wins may even feel like it falls short given some of the losses the Bucs have taken this year, but double digits does feel like a return to the glory of the early 2000s.

Making it into the playoffs has been a significant first step for the Bucs, but they have to win tomorrow if they hope to continue meeting the expectations for this season because there is always room to improve.

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