With the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks winning their games today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. Two teams from both the NFC North and NFC West will end up winning at least nine games this season, while the Bucs can get to at most eight wins. The Panthers clinched the NFC South weeks ago, so the Bucs have no viable path to get to the playoffs anymore.
In all, this has been an up-and-down season. The Bucs looked terrible at the start of the year, but managed to turn it around and become legitimate playoff contenders after winning five games from week eight through week 13. Two losses to the Saints and Rams in the past two weeks have ended their playoff hopes and resurrected some #FireLovie chants, though.
The Bucs do have one thing left to play for: to prevent the Carolina Panthers from getting to that historic 16-0 mark. They did it once before, handing the Minnesota Vikings their only regular season loss in 1998. Now they can do it again.