The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren't playing today, but several teams that control the Bucs' destiny do play - so I'm going to take a look at them. Obviously the division rivals matter: the Atlanta Falcons have a bye, but the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints both play today.
Besides that, the Bucs are competing with a number of teams for a Wild Card playoff spot if they fail to win the division. The entire NFC East is an open division and the Lions and Bears are fighting for second place in the NFC North. Most of these teams play today, too. So let's take a quick look at their matchups:
New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams - 1:00 PM
The New Orleans Saints are coming off a dominant win against the Indianapolis Colts, and they get another easy matchup against the terrible St. Louis Rams. I have no clue what happened to the Rams. Sam Bradford has looked terrible, although he's not getting much help, but the real dropoff has been on defense. That defense looked like it had a bright future last season, especially with the addition of S Quintin Mikell. Instead, they've sucked. The Bucs need the Saints to lose this game, but they won't.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants - 1:00 PM
The Giants currently lead the NFC East at 4-2 and are coming off a bye week. They now face the 0-6 Miami Dolphins who are somehow fighting to get Andrew Luck. So yeah, that should be easy for the Giants.
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers - 1:00 PM
The Vikings suck, but they're now starting Christian Ponder and that gives them hope. What should really give them hope is the terrible defense they're facing and the ridiculous amount of yardage Adrian Peterson is going to rack up this year. But the Panthers have an explosive offense, and should still win this game.
Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos - 4:05 PM
Unless Tim Tebow actually does have magical winner juice the Lions should have few problems with the Broncos. Is any team the Bucs are competing with going to lose this week?
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles - 8:20 PM
Well, maybe the Cowboys can lose. That would make both teams 3-4, which is good for the Bucs. Otherwise I have no opinion on this game. I want both teams to lose, but that's not going to happen. Sadly.