Thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat down of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday the playoff hopes are still alive and kicking. The Buccaneers will still need a lot of help from other teams but so far that help has been there in the form of the Packers beating the Giants on Sunday. The scenario’s were all very complicated before week 16 but heading into Monday Night Football, they are getting simpler, with a lot hinging on tonight’s NFC South showdown between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
Scenario number one is that the Falcons beat the Saints tonight. The Bucs will then need to beat Drew Brees and company in the Superdome next week and hope that either the Green Bay Packers OR New York Giants lose on Sunday. Tricky, but not crazy.
If the Saints win tonight, things get a whole lot more difficult.
That scenario would then require the Buccaneers to beat the Saints, AND Green Bay AND New York both lose their games on Sunday. That’s probably asking a lot.
Green Bay will host the NFC North champion Chicago Bears on Sunday at Lambeu Field. Green Bay knows they basically need to win to make the playoffs while Chicago already has a seat locked up. Chicago will be geared up for this game also, as a win should secure them a first round bye and Green Bay is a divisional opponent with a long standing rivalry.
The New York Giants are heading to Washington to play the Redskins coming off two tough losses that have hampered their playoff hopes. Unlike the Green Bay-Chicago matchup, Washington has virtually nothing to play for and has been going through a tumultuous season, but this is again a divisional foe with a rivalry in place.
As you can see, The Buccaneers will need their share of help, and of course most importantly a win of their own in New Orleans. How it all shakes out remains to be seen, but just the very fact that the playoffs are still a possibility for a team that has started 10 rookies is pretty remarkable in of itself.