The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won four straight games, are now 7-5 and are tied for the division lead with the Atlanta Falcons. Unsurprisingly, that means they have a pretty good chance of making the playoffs.
That chance is about one in two, if we can go by several football analytics outlets’ estimates. Football Outsiders gives the Bucs a 47.4% chance of making it, numberFire 47.3% and FiveThirtyEight even estimates their chances at 55%. That’s a remarkably consistent set of numbers, all of them pointing to one fact: the Bucs are more likely to make the playoffs now than they have at any point since at least 2009.
Which is really encouraging because, y’know, playoffs are fun. That’s why you play the game. To win the game. All that stuff.
The Bucs have four remaining games, of which they’ll need to win at least two, but more likely three or even four to make it to the postseason. With three of those games against division opponents and the fourth against the NFC-leading Dallas Cowboys, this won’t be that easy.
But the Bucs are close. And that’s a new feeling for a lot of us Bucs fans.