The Buccaneers have a clear path to winning the NFC South. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that any part of this path will be easy.
There hasn’t been a lot of this season that has been fun or easy for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A lot of these losses have been downright inexcusable, and there have even been a few wins that have come at too narrow a margin for a team with this much talent. (Before you want to say anything about ‘any given Sunday; it’s a tough league,’ just delete your post).
However, despite all the pain and terrible performances that we’ve seen, a lot of this could be forgiven if the Bucs win the division. A division win was always the bare minimum for what this team should accomplish and it’s still on the table.
The only issue is that the division is still open for the Bucs to lose.
Yes, at 7-8 the division lead is not rock-solid. What a surprise.
This means that the season from Hell could get even worse for Tampa if they can’t take care of business and keep the title. That means beating the Panthers has become one of the most important games for the Buccaneers since the playoff matchup against the Rams last season.
How did it come to this?
The Bucs of 2020 and 2021 would’ve gone undefeated with a schedule like this. Now, the Bucs have to beat a team that has cycled through every backup quarterback in the league, fired its head coach, and traded its best offensive weapon, and a win against that team is certainly not a guarantee.
In fact, this game against the Panthers and their resurgent defense is going to be difficult if the prior matchups have shown us anything, especially after the Bucs dropped the first game of the stand.
The Bucs are still in control and should be the favorites in this game, but one has to wonder which version of Tampa is going to show up to the most important game of the season.
Want to write about the Buccaneers? Apply below!
Want your voice heard? Join the The Pewter Plank team!