SAN DIEGO — Not only did the Bucs win their fourth straight game Sunday, but nearly everything else across the league went their way, giving an additional boost to their playoff chances with four games remaining.
With a 28-21 win over San Diego, the Bucs (7-5) are tied with the Falcons atop the NFC South.
Atlanta, which lost at home to the Chiefs, would have the tiebreaker right now with a better division record (3-1 vs. 2-1), but if both teams win out, both will end up with 5-1 division marks.
And with the Redskins (6-5-1) losing to Arizona, the Bucs are in position to get the NFC's second wild card.
If the season ended today, Tampa Bay would be in the playoffs.
That's still a tenuous lead — the Bucs at 7-5 have limited margin for error ahead of the Packers (6-6), Vikings (6-6), Redskins (6-5-1), Saints (5-7) and Eagles (5-7), all still within two games with four to play.
The Giants (8-4) lost Sunday, so the Bucs are only one game out of the first NFC wild card, and New York plays Dallas next Sunday.