The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at 2-10, are finally (almost) out of the playoffs after losing to the Cincinatti Bengals. And only because the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons both won today.
The math is simple: if the Bucs manage to win out, they'll have a 6-10 record. With the Falcons and Saints both at 5-7 and one game between the two teams remaining, one of them is (almost) guaranteed to end the season with a 6-10 record. Given the Bucs' 0-4 division record and 0-2 and 0-1 record against the Falcons and Saints respectively, they'd lose any tiebreaker against those teams.
The almost? That comes into play if the Falcons and Saints manage to tie their week 16 matchup, and they both lose every other games. That would leave them at 5-10-1, and the Bucs at 6-10. That leaves the Panthers, who would have to beat the Saints in week 14 and the Falcons in week 17, while losing the other two games -- and that would give them a 5-10-1 record, too. A Bucs team that wins out would have a 6-10 record, just barely enough to win the division in that one, ridiculously unlikely scenario.
That's the only way the Bucs can make the playoffs, and it's so unlikely, it's not worth contemplating. For the first time since the start of the season we can genuinely, with great, great confidence, say that the Buccaneers are no longer in the division race.
Time to start talking draft!