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NFL Playoff Picture: Buccaneers eye #2 seed

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers only just managed to get in position to grab a playoff spot, but one week and one win later they’re already eyeing the number two seed.

The Bucs beat the New Orleans Saints in a tight, defensive game, 16-11. That weird score gave the Bucs an 8-5 record, keeping them in a tie with the Atlanta Falcons on top of the NFC South. They’re also half a game ahead of Washington and one game ahead of the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers for a wild card spot.

More intriguingly, though, they’re also just half a game behind the Detroit Lions for the number two seed. The Seattle Seahawks appeared to have that spot locked down, but two wins in two weeks pulled them down to 8-4-1, opening up the number two spot in the NFC to a whole league of contending teams.

But while the Bucs may want the number two seed, they’ll first have to actually qualify for the playoffs. Because while they’re fairly secure right now, that could change really quickly. They can probably afford to drop one game, but two losses would be cutting it very, very close — and with games against the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers remaining, anything could happen.

NFC Playoff Picture

#1 - Dallas Cowboys (11-1)

#2 - Detroit Lions (9-4)

#3 - Seattle Seahawks (8-4-1)

#4 - Atlanta Falcons (8-5)

#5 - New York Giants (8-4)

#6 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)