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Early Christmas gift? Bucs can wrap up NFC South on Sunday

With some help, the Buccaneers can clinch their first division title since 2007.
Bucs running back Leonard Fournette (7) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Tom Brady (12) Sunday's victory over the Falcons in Atlanta.
Bucs running back Leonard Fournette (7) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback Tom Brady (12) Sunday's victory over the Falcons in Atlanta. [ DANNY KARNIK | AP ]
Published Dec. 8, 2021|Updated Dec. 11, 2021

Twelve shopping days before Christmas, the Bucs (9-3) can present their fan base its first division title in 14 years, though they’ll need some help wrapping it up.

A win at home Sunday against the Bills, combined with a Falcons road win (or tie) against the Panthers and a Jets win (or tie) at home against the Saints, clinches the NFC South for Tampa Bay. The Bucs would be assured of at least one home playoff contest as a result.

The Falcons, Panthers and Saints all enter Week 14 with 5-7 records. A win against the Bills means the Bucs could finish the 17-game regular season no worse than 10-7. Losses by the Panthers and Saints mean neither could finish better than 9-8 (or 9-7-1 if both tie).

If Atlanta wins Sunday, it conceivably still could finish 10-7 but would lose the divisional tie-breaker to the Bucs, who defeated the Falcons in both regular season meetings.

Currently, the Bucs own the No. 3 playoff seed in the NFC. The Packers also are at 9-3 but currently own the No. 2 seed because of a better conference win percentage. The Cardinals (10-2) own the top seed, which comes with a first-round playoff bye.

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