After getting dogged the entire offseason as a team expected to tank for a high draft pick and rebuild after Tom Brady's retirement, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed to the playoffs.
It wasn't easy, as the team needed a Week 18 win over the hapless Panthers to punch its ticket, but the roller coaster ride of a season continues. Tampa Bay bounced back from a gnarly 1-6 slump in the niddle of the year to win four straight games in December and surge back to the top of the NFC South.
That's where they remained, as the team Peter King dubbed the second-worst in the league has finished the regular season as division champions.
It marks the third-straight division title for Tampa Bay and the team's fourth straight year of making the playoffs. There were plenty of frustrations throughout the season, but context is important in realizing just how unbelievable this season has been.
Not that long ago Bucs fans were subjected to 12 consecutive playoff-less seasons, and it took the miracle of Tom Brady arriving to pull the franchise out of darkness. With Brady gone, though, the Bucs are still in the same place they were -- if not in a better position than last year.
Plenty of things went wrong this year and deserve to be chastised, but the overall theme of success must be celebrated because the Buccaneers playing playoff football is not something anyone saw coming before the season started.
What seed are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs?
Tampa Bay will be the No. 4 seed in the NFC, something we've known for a while even if there was a slight chance of climbing the ladder a few weeks ago. The Bucs needed a collapse by the Eagles -- which happened -- and the Cowboys to lose out in order to reach the No. 3 seed but failed to hold up their own end of the bargain.
After losing Week 17 to the Saints, the Bucs were locked into the No. 4 seed, as a trip to the playoffs as a Wild Card team was essentially impossible.
Who will the Buccaneers play in the playoffs?
After all of the dust settled in the NFC on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers learned they'd be playing the Philadelphia Eagles. It's a rematch not only of a game earlier this season but of the Wild Card game two years ago.
Philly is a good team, but they're a shell of what the Bucs saw back in Week 3. Tampa Bay needs to fix more than a few things in order to avoid a first round exit, but they have more than a week to figure things out.
As for who the Bucs would play after, the NFL Playoffs re-seed each round which means Tampa Bay would go to San Francisco for the Divisional Round unless the Rams or Packers win.
Tampa Bay would head to Dallas if the Rams upset the Lions, but if the Packers also pull off an upset it would mean the Bucs get to host another playoff game. Los Angeles would head out to Tampa Bay in that scenario.
Buccaneers NFL playoff dates, times, TV channel (Updated)
Note: This will be updated as each round arrives and the Bucs are still alive.
Mon, Jan. 15th
8 pm ET
Sun, Jan. 21
3 pm ET
2024 NFL Wild Card Round dates, times, and scores
Saturday, January 13th
- Houston Texans 45, Cleveland Browns 14
- Kansas City Chiefs 26, Miami Dolphins 7
Sunday, January 14th
- Dallas Cowboys 32, Green Bay Packers 48
- Detroit Lions 24, Los Angeles Rams 23
Monday, January 15th
- Buffalo Bills 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32, Philadelphia Eagles 9
2024 NFL Divisional Round dates and times
Saturday, January 20th
- Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans - 4:30 pm ET on ESPN/ABC
- San Francisco 49ers vs. Green bay Packers - 8 pm ET on FOX
Sunday, January 21st
- Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 2 pm ET on NBC
- Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs - 6:30 pm ET on CBS
2024 Conference Championship Game dates and times
- AFC Championship Game - Sunday, Jan. 28: TBD
- NFC Championship Game - Sunday, Jan. 28: TBD
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