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Buccaneers have a chance to make the playoffs

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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-3 and have a shot at the playoffs, albeit an outside one. They almost certainly need to win the NFC South to get there, which is a challenge with the Atlanta Falcons being 4-1 — but being 2-0 in the division helps in terms of tiebreakers.

Being two games down after five weeks of regular season play isn’t a great starting point, but we’ve seen worse. After all, the Bucs haven’t made the playoffs since the 2008 season.

Football Outsiders gives the Bucs a 9% chance to make the playoffs, and a 6.7% chance to win the division, while FiveThirtyEight gives them a 14% chance of making the playoffs and a 10% chance of winning the division.

In other words: not. bloody. likely. But not impossible, either. The Bucs have had long odds to make the playoffs in basically every season since 2008, except for 2010, and haven’t made good on them once. But long odds are not the same as impossible odds, and we tend to forget that: the Bucs’ chances are significantly better than hitting on a solo number in roulette, for instance.

There’s also a realistic scenario where the Bucs do get there. One where Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, J.R. Sweezy, Luke Stocker and Doug Martin getting healthy revitalize both the defense and the offense, and give the Bucs the boost they need to beat the Falcons to the division title.

It’d be nice if that actually happened this year. Otherwise, we’re looking at a decade without any playoffs for the Buccaneers. That’d be a bit much.