Updated NFL Playoff Picture after Buccaneers clinch NFC South

  • Buccaneers clinched No. 4 seed in NFC
  • Only one spot remains
  • Packers, Seahawks, and Saints are still alive
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

After a topsy-turvy season that took fans on a roller coaster ride, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed to the playoffs.

Let's take a moment to appreciate how truly awesome that is. The Bucs were expected to tank this year, with experts giving them no shot of doing much more than competing for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye at the top of the NFL Draft.

Instead, the Buccaneers won the NFC South for a third straight season and will head to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. The glow-up hasn't been pretty but it's undeniable how much the Bucs earned this specific division crown and how much it should be celebrated as one of the most unexpected accomplishments of the season.

Updated NFC Playoff Picture after Buccaneers clinch NFC South

With the Buccaneers clinching the No. 4 seed as NFC South division champs, there is just one spot in the playoffs left on the NFC side of the bracket. Green Bay will clinch with a win over the Chicago Bears, but both the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints remain alive if things go south at Lambeau.

Here's how things sit as the Bucs wait to see who they will play in the Wild Card round next week:

1. San Francisco 49ers (12-3) -- Clinched No. 1 Seed
2. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) -- Clinched Playoff Berth
3. Detroit Lions (11-5) -- Clinched NFC North
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8) -- Clinched NFC South
5. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) -- Clinched Playoff Berth
6. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) -- Clinched Playoff Berth
7. Green Bay Packers (8-8)

Still Alive
8. Seattle Seahawks (8-8)
9. New Orleans Saints (9-8)

Everyone else in the NFC has been mathematically eliminated.

Tampa Bay will host whoever finishes in second place in the NFC East. Dallas is in the driver's seat, as the Cowboys simply need a win over the Commanders to clinch the division. That would mean a showdown with the Eagles -- a rematch of Week 3 and the 2022 Wild Card game that Tampa Bay won.

Here's what the Wild Card matchups look like:

  • (2) Cowboys vs. (7) Packers
  • (3) Lions vs. (6) Rams
  • (4) Buccaneers vs. (5) Eagles

Philadelphia is still a dangerous team, but they seem to have fallen into a bit of a slump like the Bucs. The Eagles are still good but they're a shell of the team Tampa Bay saw on Monday Night Football back in September.

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