Heading into the weekend only four teams were left standing in the NFC, and to the surprise of every expert who picked against them the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are among that group.
Picked to be one of the worst teams in the league this season, the Bucs showed in more ways than one that they belong here and deserve some respect. They got out to a hot 3-1 start, bounced back from a brutal 1-6 midseason slump, and are now playing some of the best football we've seen out of the team in well over a year.
All of it comes against the backdrop of losing Tom Brady, getting stuck with a massive salary cap bill, and being given no shot to do much more than tank this year. Instead it seems like the Bucs figured out what their future will look like and are on a revenge tour that has them as one of the most dangerous teams remaining in the playoffs.
Tampa Bay punched a ticket to Detroit for a rematch with the Lions, and are hoping things turn out better than the last time around.
Buccaneers inactives for NFC Divisional Round vs. Lions
The Bucs were the talk of the NFL for a few days after beating up the Philadelphia Eagles last Monday, but the tide has once again turned against them. Only a handful of brave souls picked Tampa Bay to win this weekend, despite the fact that they're one of the hottest teams right now and as healthy as they've been all year.
Here's who won't be suiting up today for the Showdown in Motown:
- Rakeem Jarrett, WR
- Silas Dzansi, OT
- Patrick Laird, RB
- J.J. Russell, LB
- Brandon Walton, OT
- Markees Watts, LB
- John Wolford, QB
As expected, there are no surprises here with the Bucs inactives. Every player who carried any sort of injury designation into the weekend is playing, and Tampa Bay is once again as healthy as its been all season.
Having everyone healthy helped in a big way last week, as it allowed for the maximum amount of rotations and schemes to be run. It's also not a surprise that the Bucs destruction of the Eagles and their four game winning streak came at a time when the roster was at its healthiest, which is a graet sign heading into things on Sunday in Detroit.