Sunday's game could very well decide the division. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 4-3 and ranked second in the division while the New Orleans Saints are 5-3 and leading the division. The Carolina Panthers are essentially out of contention, while the Atlanta Falcons are behind both the Bucs and Saints, having lost to the Bucs earlier this year.
As such, Sunday's game between the Buccaneers and Saints will determine the division leader - and quite possibly the division winner at the end of the year. While a win for the Bucs won't guarantee anything, the Bucs do need to win that game to stay in the race for a division title. And with a competitive NFC this season it seems less likely every week they can earn a Wild Card playoff spot, especially after they lost games to both the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
The Bucs have a very tough schedule ahead of them, but winning Sunday's game would certainly make up for any future missteps. They would earn a 3-0 record in the division, an important tiebreaker, while also hurting the Saints' chances of making it to the postseason. More importantly perhaps, winning on Sunday would show the NFL and themselves that they are true contenders - and that they can beat good teams consistently. Because that's something they haven't been able to do these past three seasons.