At 4-7, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are almost out of the playoffs—but they still have a tiny, tiny chance. That chance: about 0.2%, per Football Outsiders’ estimates. Out of 1,000 times the Bucs will get into a situation like this, they’ll get to the playoffs about twice. That’s...not great.
However, it’s also more than zero. It’s extremely unlikely, bordering on impossible, but we’ve seen weirder things in the NFL. The first thing that has to happen for the Bucs to make it to the playoffs: they have to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
That’s an uphill climb all on its own. Las Vegas bookies claim they’re 2.5-point underdogs—not horrible, but certainly not a likely winner. And that’s just this game: following Green Bay, they face the Detroit Lions, the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers, and the New Orleans Saints—all teams with winning records, all teams that’ll be favored over the Bucs.
Add in the fact that the Bucs have been placing some key starters on injured reserve, and any kind of playoff run looks extremely improbably, if not entirely impossible. Five consecutive wins, and even then they’ll need some help from other teams. Not very likely.