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Postseason Predictions: How far will the Buccaneers go in the playoffs?

The Bucs Nation staff predicts the fate of the team.

NFL: Tom Brady Signs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Yes, I know, this has been mentioned often since they clinched the playoffs during their Week 16 victory. And following their Week 17 win over Atlanta, they locked up the fifth seed in the playoffs which matches them up against the NFC East Division Champions Washington football team. The Bucs currently sit as eight point favorites.

If Tampa Bay advances past the Wild Card round this weekend, it’ll mark their first playoff victory since the 2002 season — the season they became Super Bowl Champions.

This will be unfamiliar territory for many of Tampa Bay’s players. However, fortunately for them they’ll have players like quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Antonio Brown, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul that have many games of postseason and Super Bowl experience that can lead them on a potentially deep postseason run.

But how far will they go? The Bucs Nation staff offers up some predictions on how far their run may go.


Gil Arcia: This is a joyous time for many Bucs fans. Understandably so. Hearing the words “the Buccaneers are in the playoffs” is practically a gift from the NFL Gods. Or Tom Brady. Regardless, Tampa Bay is in the postseason and first up for them is the Washington football team. It’s not that this matchup is an easy one for Brady and the Bucs, but a favorable one. They will be without linebacker and defensive captain Devin White and the status of wide receiver Mike Evans is still up in the air. Despite all that, Tampa Bay should advance to the divisional round playoffs. With the win, the Bucs will become the lowest seed after losses by the Chicago Bears to the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams to the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. This will have them travelling to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers, where the Packers get the best of the Buccaneers this time around. There are still too many questions surrounding the defensive backfield since their matchup against the Chargers back in Week 4, an inconsistent pass rush to help them, and with a poor record against teams above .500 it’s hard to confidently say Tampa Bay can repeat their good fortunes from Week 6 when they beat Green Bay during the regular season. Still, this should be considered a successful season for the Bucs.

Playoff Prediction:
Wild Card Round - Win at Washington
Divisional Round - Loss at Green Bay

James Yarcho: I’m usually one of the more optimistic members of this staff but I see there are some Super Bowl aspirations in here. That said, I believe the Bucs take care of business against the Washington Washingtons, even without Devin White and (potentially) Mike Evans. From there, the Bucs will head to Lambeau to take on the Green Bay Packers who are chomping at the bit to get revenge for the embarrassment the Bucs served them earlier this year. But, alas, they will fail to stop Ronald Jones in the run game who will help control the clock as well as wear down the Packers’ run defense.

NFL: NOV 08 Saints at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Then, the marquee match-up we all want to see - Brady vs Brees III. Say what you will about how the Bucs and Saints games went in the regular season, I do not see Tom Brady losing to a team three times in one season. Not only that, but the postseason nightmares of years past end Brees’ championship dreams in his final season. Finally, the Bucs find themselves in their third consecutive regular season rematch, this time with the Chiefs who still just have too much speed and firepower. The Bucs get close, but fall just short.

Playoff Prediction:
Wild Card Round - Win at Washington
Divisional Round - Win at Green Bay
NFC Championship - Win at New Orleans
Super Bowl LV - Loss vs. Kansas City

David Harrison: The storyline in the off-season was all about Tom Brady. Early in the year, Tom Brady was the focus. Midway through the season however, the narrative turned more towards Tom Brady. As the team stumbled to a 1-3 third quarter of the season, all eyes were on Tom Brady. Over the past four weeks, Tom Brady’s resurgence has dominated conversations. Heading to the playoffs, I fully expect more attention to be dedicated to Tom Brady. And if there’s one thing Tom Brady knows better than anyone else, it’s winning and ruining the Buffalo Bills’ hopes and dreams.

Playoff Prediction:
Wild Card Round - Win at Washington
Divisional Round - Win at Green Bay
NFC Championship - Win at Seattle
Super Bowl - Win vs. Buffalo

Bailey Adams: We’ve all waited a very long time for this and I just want to be the 1,000th person to point out how nice it is that we’re talking about the Bucs’ playoff aspirations here in the first week of January rather than shifting focus to free agency and the draft. Now, that being said, I’m sure the fact that we’re talking Bucs playoff football is also going to bring everyone some nerves, and understandably so. Washington is a tougher matchup for Tampa Bay than people may want to admit, but I think Tom Brady and the boys get it done and move on to a second-round matchup against the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Now, this is a weird one. The Bucs dominated the Packers back in October. But this time is sure to be different, right? Well, I’m not so sure. But maybe? I’m stuck here, folks. I think the Bucs could absolutely beat Green Bay for the second time and get to the NFC Championship Game. And for whatever reason, I’d like the team’s chances of finally getting it done against the Saints (should they make it that far). But for some reason—maybe it’s the sub-freezing Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers’ current form or the potential for the classic “Bucs beating Bucs” trope to pop back up—I think this outstanding season ends in the Divisional Round for Tampa Bay. And just for the sake of waffling, I really do think this team can make a Super Bowl run. I’m just not confident enough to predict it, I suppose...

Playoff Prediction:
Wild Card Round - Win at Washington
Divisional Round - Loss at Green Bay

Evan Winter: The Wild Card matchup against the Washington Football team won’t be as easy as it initially appears, but I’m confident the Bucs will get the job done after watching the Sunday night game. Alex Smith’s calf injury has the Washington offense in a bad spot. If the Football Team can’t run the ball, then they’re basically ineffective. And guess what? Tampa Bay is really good at stopping the run. It doesn’t take a genius to put all of this together.

NFL: OCT 18 Packers at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I like the Bucs’ chances against Green Bay, as well. The Bucs offense is on fire right now and can play with anyone. The Packers defense has improved since Week 6, but there are still holes to exploit. I’ll go ahead and take the Bucs as long as they are mostly healthy.

So, that leaves the NFC Championship. I want to say the Rams will throw a wrench into everything, but the unknown statuses (stati?) of Andrew Whitworth and Jared Goff weigh too much in the equation. But, I do think the Seahawks can —and will— beat the Saints in New Orleans. This means the Bucs would travel to Seattle for a chance to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.

But Seattle will be too much to overcome. Russell Wilson will play his game and do just enough to win, leaving the Bucs one game shy of the big dance.

Playoff Prediction:
Wild Card Round - Win, at Washington
Divisional Round - Win, at Green Bay
NFC Championship Round - Loss, at Seattle

Chris Schoenherr: In the wild-card round, the Bucs will face a better-than-their-record Washington Football Team that fields one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. Despite this, I don’t think the Buccaneers will have a lot of trouble with them offensively or defensively and I predict that they’ll come out of Washington with a win. It should be a slow start for the offense, and maybe even the defense, but I don’t think Washington is too much of a concern with all of the talent that Tampa Bay brings to the table.

In the divisional round, the Bucs would most likely face the Green Bay Packers unless we see an upset from either the Rams or the Bears. If the Bucs go into Green Bay, I would just put a wrap on the season. With the way that the Packers have dominated offensively, I don’t think this defense will be able to hold them to less than 30 points. If these teams do face off, I fully expect a shootout that the Packers will win in the end. While the Bucs defense shut them down in week six, they are on a downward trend and can’t stop anyone at times. It’ll be close, as it was against the Rams and the Chiefs, but Brady once again won’t be able to pull out any late game heroics and the Buccaneers will get sent home in the second round.

Playoff Prediction:
Wild Card Round - Win, at Washington
Divisional Round - Loss, at Green Bay

Ben Hall: Prior to this season, following the addition of Tom Brady, everybody figured the Bucs would be in the playoffs. Now, it’s their time to shine. Heading into the matchup with the Washington Football Team, there's many things that could happen. The matchup of the day will be Tom Brady and the Bucs passing games against Washington’s secondary. I think Brady’s experience will help push the Bucs past an underrated Washington Football Football Team.

For the rest of the playoffs, I think it is up in the air. I don't think the Bucs will make it past the divisional round because they will put up against a talented Packer roster. However, we saw what the Bucs were capable of the last time those two teams squared off. Another great sign is the fact that the Bucs are getting hot at the right time. They’ve won four straight and the offense will be looking even stronger when they get Ronald Jones back. However, I don't think this team will have enough to take down the red-hot Packers.

Playoff Prediction:
Wild Card Round - Win, at Washington
Divisional Round - Loss, at Green Bay

Final Predictions

Gil: Divisional Round
James: Super Bowl (L)
David: Super Bowl (W)
Bailey: Divisional Round
Evan: NFC Championship
Chris: Divisional Round

Poll

How far do you think the Bucs will go in the playoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Wild Card Round
    (99 votes)
  • 24%
    Divisional Round
    (372 votes)
  • 18%
    NFC Championship
    (286 votes)
  • 4%
    Super Bowl - Loss
    (74 votes)
  • 45%
    Super Bowl - Win
    (683 votes)
1514 votes total Vote Now