Well, after getting a butt kicking last night, the Bucs are the subject of the scorn of talking heads nationwide. Old legs. Not as physical as once thought. Paper tigers. Whatever. It was one bad game that shouldn't tarnish the nice work they've done for most of the year. They were able to move the ball well through the air, which is encouraging. Now, the Carolina Panthers sit one game ahead of the Bucs at 10-3, only one game back of the Giants for the NFC's #1 seed.
How will it end? Should the teams be tied at the end of the year, division record would be the determinant, since they split the season series. Currently, both sport a 3-2 record. The Bucs have an 8-3 NFC record vs. a 7-3 Carolina NFC record. The Panthers clearly have the tougher schedule down the stretch. Thus, even though ESPN, Fox radio, and just about everyone in the country outside of Florida think the Panthers will claim the division, you really don't know if the season will end with the Panthers on top of the division. Something like this could happen: