TAMPA — Playoffs? You want to talk about playoffs?
Well, Bucs coach Bruce Arians did just that on Wednesday, telling his team that at 5-7, they can’t lose another game to have any chance at the post-season.
“We talked about it this morning," Arians said. “You know, if you want to feel what the playoffs are like, you’re in it. Right now. They’re one game seasons and if you lose your done. Then you play for fun. I’ve been in it where we’ve had to win four. We won all four. We were the sixth seed and we won the Super Bowl. (Jason Piere-Paul) has been in the same situation (with the Giants). So it’s happened, it’s been done. You just have to take care of your own business, you can’t worry about anybody else."
The playoff chances aren’t good for the Bucs, to say the least. Basically, they need to win their final four games. That’s almost absolute.
But they also need the Minnesota Vikings to lose their final four games. But other NFC teams are involved as well.
There are several scenarios that would get the Bucs in the playoffs. Among them:
—The Bucs win out AND…
—The Vikings go 1-4 with the only possible win over the Rams.
—The Rams go 1-3 (or 2-2 if the Vikings go 0-4).
—The Bears go 2-2, but would have to lose two of their next three against the Cowboys, Packers and Chiefs.
“Coach talked to us this morning about playoff chances," Pierre-Paul said. “But how I feel, we should already be there. It’s those close games that put us where we’re at right now. I feel like we shouldn’t be here.
“I was telling my coach I was mad about the situation that there was probably one or two games I would’ve changed. But at the end of the day, I’m here now. All we got to do now is play and hopefully we will win."
And if the Bucs don’t win out?
“I look at it like this, there’s a bunch of teams that aren’t going to make the playoffs and they’re looking to ruin their chances of making the playoffs," Pierre-Paul said. “Trust me, I’ve been on that side. Coming in here, you got a chance, I’m trying to ruin you."