The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost today. It was ugly, though not as ugly as some losses earlier this season. For a while it looked like they were going to win it, and then the Chicago Bears scored 21 points in a quarter without scoring a single point at any point during the rest of the game.
So now the Bucs are 2-9, in last place in the dvision...and still not out of the playoff race.
The Atlanta Falcons just lost a last-second nailbiter to the Cleveland Browns, dropping them to 4-7. The Carolina Panthers are at 3-7-1 on a bye week. The New Orleans Saints lead the division at 4-7, but face the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. They seem unlikely to win that game, which would put the Falcons back on top. And the Bucs just two games behind.
Yep. Two games behind. This division is so horrible it seems to be going for a unique accomplishment: six-win division champion. And hey, if the Bucs win out, they have five wins! They do kind of have to beat the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers to do that, though. Might be a bit of a problem.
The Bucs probably aren't going to the playoffs this year. It's not literally impossible, but two different models gave them just an 0.3% chance last week. Now, with a loss to the Bears, that chance must be even smaller.
This is just a testament to the putrid nature of the NFC South. This division is a joke. But it's our joke, and it's the best chance the Bucs have had at a playoff berth in years. Even if it's a tiny, tiny chance.