Somehow, someway, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still lead the NFC South, sitting in first place. It may not be the best look for the Buccaneers though.
We don’t really need to dwell on what’s surely been dwelled on in the 24+ hours (as of this writing) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers losing to their division rival Carolina Panthers. There is such a thing as a silver lining playbook, and the first page states that the Buccaneers are still leading the division, despite their apparent best efforts for the contrary of course.
Despite taking an embarrassing and unforgivable 2-3 loss to the *checks notes* P.J. Walker and Steve Wilks-led Panthers who we were told were tanking, the Bucs are still in first place in the NFC South. The 3-4 Bucs hold a one-game lead over the 2-5 New Orleans Saints and the aforementioned Panthers.
Of course, the Buccaneers are also tied with the Atlanta Falcons at 3-4 but hold the tiebreaker. Granted, an argument can certainly be made that a roughing the passer call that you may have heard about is a big reason for this tiebreaker. We won’t make that argument, but wouldn’t blame anyone for doing it.
It really begs the question though, with so much uncertainty in the future of Tom Brady, is it really worth winning what is maybe the worst division we’ve seen in some time? There also isn’t any sign of it getting any better either.
For those keeping score at home, as it stands the Bucs would be the number four seed and would host the number five seeded 6-1 New York Giants. Despite the record disparity, one would assume that the Buccaneers at home with Tom Brady at quarterback would make slight work of the big blue wrecking crew. As we’ve learned the hard way though, games aren’t played on paper. They are played on the field, help us all.
Say the Bucs host a playoff game and get bounced first round. If that happens, it screws up their draft position in a quarterback-rich class with Brady most likely headed back to retirement or signing elsewhere since he’s an unrestricted free agent after this season.
So yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Todd Bowles are still leading the NFC South. That said, we can’t blame any fans for reacting to this with a whole-hearted “whooptie-freakin’-doo.”