Are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers going to beat the Green Bay Packers tomorrow? No, probably not. Not only are the Packers one of the best teams in the NFL and the Bucs one of the worst, the Packers have plenty left to play for and the Bucs, well don't: they're playing for honor.
To make matters worse, the Bucs have been placing veteran players on injured reserve like crazy. Major Wright, Gerald McCoy, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Louis Murphy will all be out of action for the rest of the season. And the Bucs have been actively giving younger players a significant amount of snaps, probably with an eye to the future. Can they find a hidden gem toward the end of the season?
They're also evaluating their impending free agents. Do they need to bring Mason Foster back, or can Danny Lansanah play middle linebacker? Can Da'Quan Bowers be relevant as a backup defensive tackle? Can Jacquies Smith start at defensive end, and do they need to replace Michael Johnson? Can Josh Allen play guard? Can Demar Dotson be their left tackle for the next couple of years? Can they count on Kevin Pamphile?
All of that is much more relevant than, well, winning a game. Not that the Bucs would think of losing. Not that they won't give full effort. Some coaches are going to be fired over awful performances. Players still need to play hard to earn their spots on next year's roster. But some elements of what this team is doing is now about winning now: it's about the future.
So that's where everyone's at. The Bucs want to win, of course, but they're also evaluating. The Packers aren't: they're good and they're in this to win. They're the better team, they're probably more motivated to win, and there's no reason to believe they won't.
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