Playoff scenarios: Here's what we know
The folks in New York at the league office are crunching numbers as we speak.
Here's the latest:
If Atlanta AND Philadelphia win, the Falcons clinch a playoff spot but the Bucs would not be technically eliminated. How? Because a chance remains that the Eagles and Cowboys could play to a tie next week while the Bucs could win and get to 10 victories. That scenario would give Tampa Bay more wins than either the Eagles or Cowboys.
That's a long shot, obviously, but this ONLY applies if Atlanta and Philadelphia win today.
One thing this doesn't take into account is the situation in the NFC North. A Vikings loss today and a Bears win Monday night would create a two-way tie atop that division. Depending on the results next week, the second-place team in the North could affect the wildcard race. The Bucs would welcome a two-way tie with either Minnesota or Chicago because the Bucs have beaten both and would win the tiebreaker.
I'd love to go on, but I have work to do and deadlines to meet and editors to satisfy! Stay tuned for more as things unfold.