First of all, there’s the Houston Texans. They’re one of the worst teams in the league, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA. I’m not kidding, they’re ranked 30th, which is perhaps not entirely surprising given the fact that they’ve been starting Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage at quarterback. And they’re low ranking is almost entirely due to their completely incompetent offense.
Looking at their traditional statistics, they’re really only good at one thing: pass defense. Now that’s an important thing to be good at, but it’s not exactly good enough to carry you to the playoffs, especially when your offense is as godawful as Houston’s.
Still, they’re in the playoffs, mostly because the rest of their division was somehow even worse than they are.
On to the Oakland Raiders. An actually good team until a week ago, when they lost quarterback Derek Carr. Oops. Making matters worse, they now lack left tackle Donald Penn (yes, the guy Lovie Smith wanted gone). Luckily for them, they face the Texans.
The Bucs are a better team than either of them. Better than the Texans by virtue of Houston being terrible. Better than the Raiders by virtue of still having their starting quarterback and left tackle.
A third team that may be worse than the Bucs: the Seattle Seahawks, who face the Detroit Lions today. Not that the Seahawks are bad by any means — however, they’re one of three playoff teams the Bucs beat this year, along with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, both of whom have a bye week.
And yet, the Bucs are at home, watching other teams play. That’s rough, but the fact that they can honestly say they’re better than a few teams in the playoffs right now bodes well for next season.