Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Loss to Cowboys means Bucs need help getting to playoffs

TAMPA — The Bucs' loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night means they no longer control their playoff destiny, but the Bucs are far from out of the playoff chase, both for the NFC South title or a wild-card berth for their first postseason appearance in nine years.

Here are the various scenarios ahead for the Bucs in the final two weeks of the regular season, which have Tampa Bay playing Saturday at New Orleans then finishing the season at home Jan. 1 against Carolina.

NFC SOUTH TITLE: The Bucs (8-6) are a game behind the Falcons (9-5) for the NFC South title, but if the Bucs can simply win one more game than Atlanta in the final two weeks, they'll win the division and host a playoff game.

Both teams close the season with division games. Atlanta goes to Carolina then has the Saints at home, while the Bucs flip-flop that, playing at New Orleans then at home against Carolina. If the Bucs win out and Atlanta splits, both will be 10-6, but Tampa Bay will be 5-1 in the division while Atlanta would be 4-2, and on that tiebreaker, the Bucs win the division. The same is true if the Bucs win one game and the Falcons go 0-2.

NFC WILD CARD: The Bucs need help. Washington losing one of its final three games would allow Tampa Bay to stay ahead of it by winning its final two.

From there, the Bucs need to outpace the lesser of the Lions and Packers, who will meet in Week 17, likely with the NFC North title on the line. In both cases, it could go to several tiebreakers, including strength of schedule, which factors how all opponents for both teams fare on the season.

Comments
Barry Sanders turns 50: Watch some of his 2,195 yards vs. Bucs

Barry Sanders turns 50: Watch some of his 2,195 yards vs. Bucs

Lions legend Barry Sanders turned 50 on Monday, and as a tribute, the NFL posted a 10-minute highlight video of the Hall of Famer's top 50 runs. As any older Bucs fans can attest, many of them came at the expense of Tampa Bay's defense, seen chasing ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jimbo Fisher discusses Florida State, Jameis Winston

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jimbo Fisher discusses Florida State, Jameis Winston

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher was front and center Monday at SEC media days and spoke about leaving Florida State and why Jameis Winston will have no problem moving on from his suspension.Plus, Blake Snell might be the third AL pitcher ...
Published: 07/17/18
Bucs running back Ronald Jones eager to prove himself as rookie

Bucs running back Ronald Jones eager to prove himself as rookie

Bucs rookies report to training camp Monday, in less than a week, but running back Ronald Jones has offered fun insights into his preparation with a 10-minute video interview with his hometown paper back in Texas, the McKinney Courier-Gazette."I defi...
Published: 07/17/18
Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

ATLANTA — Jimbo Fisher defended every step of the way at Jameis Winston at Florida State, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he continues to back his former quarterback, even though both have moved on.Fisher, now the coach at Texas A&M, sa...
Published: 07/16/18
What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

We're close enough to the 2018 NFL season that we can start talking about records that could be broken in the normal course of the Bucs' season ahead.DeSean Jackson has a chance to break one of Jerry Rice's career NFL records. No, not the 197 career ...
Published: 07/16/18
Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Tony Dungy on Jameis Winston: ‘He knows the right things to do’

Former Bucs coach and current NFL analyst Tony Dungy said Friday that quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension is disappointing, but he still hopes the 24-year-old can learn from his mistakes moving forward."Obviously, it's disappointing, a...
Published: 07/13/18
Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Mom appreciates ‘surprising’ Winston interaction with kids after workout

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston continues to be a complicated study in the off-field behavior of pro athletes, doing things that draw criticism and praise, sometimes even in the same hour.Winston drew criticism from some fans today for posting video ...
Published: 07/13/18
Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

So training camp is less than two weeks away, and you're beginning to feel hopeful. Why not the Buccaneers, right?To which Pro Football Focus might respond, "We'll tell you why not."The analysts at the website are not high on the revamped offensive l...
Published: 07/13/18
Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

Flashback: 1979 Bucs defense had ‘Mount Crushmore’

As we roll out our own choices for "Mount Rushmore" honors for Tampa Bay sports teams, one of our readers was reminded of a similar treatment for the Bucs defensive line nearly 40 years ago.Sue Avery of Wesley Chapel e-mailed to share a photo  o...
Published: 07/13/18
Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Bucs

The selection process for a Mount Rushmore of former Bucs players— part of a project from the Times Sports department that includes an overall Mount Rushmore of Tampa Bay athletes — is first incredibly easy, and then exceedingly diff...
Published: 07/13/18