Nobody had much faith in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the regular season got underway. In those people's defense, the Bucs didn't have a ton going for them. They lost the best quarterback of all time to retirement, Todd Bowles was still the head coach, and Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask were battling it out for QB1.
Yet, despite all of that, the Bucs persevered and won the NFC South for the third straight year. To make matters better, they actually won the division with a winning record this year, winning the NFC South with a 9-8 record as opposed to the 8-9 record they boasted last year.
The New Orleans Saints also finished with a 9-8 record but because the Bucs owned a better record in common games, they had the tiebreaker. The Saints got a lot of love in the offseason due to signing Derek Carr and having one of the easiest schedules in the league, but look where that got them.
According to Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com, the Saints had the second-easiest schedule in the NFL in the 2023 regular season. This makes the Saints' failures even funnier.
Saints can't make the playoffs even with an easy schedule
While the NFC South hasn't been anything special in recent years, the Buccaneers won the division fair and square and they did it with a "harder" schedule than the rest of the division. People thought the Saints would cakewalk to the NFC South division title because of Carr, their perceived "better roster", and the easy schedule but when push came to shove, New Orleans crumpled and that gave the edge to Tampa Bay.
Even if the Bucs are one-and-done in the playoffs, they can still say they won the division this year against all odds.