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Time to play what-if, Bucs fans, the NFL playoff version

The scenarios, win or lose, for Tampa Bay in its regular-season finale and how they affect the playoffs.
Buccaneers running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn stiff-arms Lions cornerback Justin Coleman during the second half Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Detroit.
Buccaneers running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn stiff-arms Lions cornerback Justin Coleman during the second half Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Detroit. [ LON HORWEDEL | AP ]
Published Dec. 28, 2020

The Bucs host the Falcons on Sunday in the regular-season finale. A look at how the outcome of that game affects playoff-bound Tampa Bay:

IF BUCS WIN

They clinch the NFC’s No. 5 seed and travel to the No. 4 seed for a first-round playoff game. The No. 4 seed will be the winner of the East Division, which remains up in the air going into Week 17. It’s Washington, if it wins Sunday at Philadelphia. If Washington loses, then the Dallas-at-New York Giants winner is the East champ and hosts the Bucs.

IF BUCS LOSE

They remain the No. 5 seed if the Los Angeles Rams lose to visiting Arizona. If the Rams win, the Bucs drop to No. 6 and travel for their first-round game to the No. 3 seed, which currently is Seattle but still could be Green Bay or New Orleans, depending on Sunday’s results.

Up next

Regular-season finale

vs. Falcons, 1 Sunday, Raymond James Stadium TV/radio: Fox; 97.9-FM