Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Laying out Bucs' 2016 opponent scenarios

The Bucs already know who they'll be playing in 14 of their 16 games next season, but the final two are determined by the standings, so we can lay out scenarios for those two games based on Sunday's outcomes.

The Bucs will travel to face the NFC East team that finishes in the same place as they do in the divisional standings, and they'll play host to their counterpart from the NFC North. Here are the scenarios:

1. If the Bucs win Sunday (or if the Bucs and Saints both lose), the Bucs travel in 2016 to play Sunday's Eagles-Giants loser and play host to Sunday's Lions-Bears winner.

2. If the Bucs lose and the Saints win Sunday, then the Bucs take fourth in the division, so the Bucs play at the Cowboys in 2016 and play host to Lions-Bears loser.

In addition to the usual six games against the NFC South, the Bucs already know they're facing the AFC West and NFC West in 2016, with home games against the Seahawks, Rams, Broncos and Raiders and road games at the Cardinals, 49ers, Chargers and Chiefs.

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