The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-8. They just won their second game of the season, and they've been pretty much awful throughout the year. They've lost every game in their division, and won only one game in their conference. This team should have no shot at getting first place.
Instead, they're two games out of first place. Two games! Ironically, the Bucs are also set to have the third overall pick if the draft were held today.
The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are both 4-6, with the Falcons ahead because of a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Carolina Panthers are 3-7-1. By some miracle, the Bucs are in this race. They could end up getting into the playoffs, and hosting (hosting!) a game against a wild card opponent.
Of course, that won't be easy. The Bucs are 0-6 in the division and would lose almost every tiebreaker you could think of. They'd have to win the division by having a better record than their opponents. And that likely means winning out against what is a pretty tough schedule. Hosting the Bengals in week 13, traveling to play the Detroit Lions the week after and a week 16 matchup with the Green Bay Packers are the toughest remaining games, and it'll be very hard to win those.
But it's not impossible, and the Bucs showed many signs of improvement today and the past couple of games. Mike Evans has been dominant throughout. Josh McCown looks vaguely competent. The defense is playing better. If they can keep that up, they actually have a chance.