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NFL playoff picture 2012: Buccaneers path gets tougher with loss

It's looking bleak for the Buccaneers and a playoff berth.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to battle a pack of teams if they want to make it into the playoffs, writes Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Bucs are 6-6 and sit one game back of the Seattle Seahawks for the second NFC Wild Card.

The only team who has clinched a playoff spot in the NFC is the Atlanta Falcons, who have already won the NFC South.

The Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings are also 6-6 this season, making things murkier for the Bucs. If the Redskins win tonight, they'll be 6-6, too.

Most likely, either the Green Bay Packers or the Chicago Bears will earn the first NFC Wild Card spot. They're both 8-4 in the NFC North.

The New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams also have five wins, which could create problems down the road if they go on season-ending winning streaks.

Tampa Bay finishes its regular season with games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Saints, Rams and Falcons.

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