I could write a short novel on all the different things that can happen in regards to the playoff race. With one week to go, there are still several possibilities, but honestly who cares what happens for other teams outside of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So what do the Bucs need to get into the playoffs? Well, it's really pretty easy. There are three things that have to happen, in no specific order for the Bucs to make the playoffs. If any one of the three things don't happen, we're out. Those three things?
1) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must beat the New Orleans Saints in Week 17. Doesn't matter the score as long as the Bucs have more points than the Saints at the end of the 4th quarter.
2) The Washington Redskins must beat the New York Giants. This game is at 4 PM, so we'll know if this game even matters by the time it kicks off. The Skins just beat the Jags, and the Giants are slumping so it's not out of the question.
3) The Chicago Bears have to beat the Green Bay Packers. This another 4 PM game. The Bears have already clinched the division but still have seeding issues to consider.
This is all certainly possible. Of course, we have to take care of business. The Skins can do it (ugh, I hate having to put faith in Rex Grossman) and we have to hope the Bears are playing for more than pride.
There it is. Follow those steps and we're in. Miss a step, and we're out.