Winner: Todd Bowles
Everyone had a great night in Tampa Bay, but it's hard to top what the win on Monday meant to Todd Bowles.
On one hand, it was validation of his leadership. The Bucs were a joke last year, a team that looked completely uninterested in playing good football and a lot of that fell on Bowles and his coaching staff. Mistakes were made throughout the year that should have been coached out but still popped up in ways that sunk the season.
This year some of those same things crept up again, but Bowles was able to navigate the team out of a 1-6 slump and back into a position to win the NFC South. His stamp on the team was clear in the win over Philly, as the little things that went wrong before didn't hurt the Bucs, and his defense absolutely stifled the Eagles offense.
The win also saved his job. There were still questions about whether or not he'd be back next year, despite how he helped turn the ship around, but he needed to prove that the changes were permanent and not temporary. The latter is what caused things to go off the rails last season, but the way the Bucs won on Monday seemingly proved that the buy-in on Bowles is 100 percent authentic and his coaching is the driving force behind the turnaround. Had the Bucs lost, or lost big, questions about his future would have persisted.
There is absolutely no question that Bowles will be back next season, and in the process has purged demons from his past. Nothing in the NFL is certain, but there seems to no longer be a cloud of doubt hanging over Bowles' head.