It was ugly, but the Bucs 28-24 victory over the Jets was an important one. The win, coupled with a Cowboys loss to the Cardinals, improved the Bucs seeding. Tampa Bay now holds the No. 3 seed, while the Cowboys fall to No. 4. The Rams, winners of five straight, hold the No. 2 seed.

If the playoffs started today, the Bucs would host the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round. Philadelphia would travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams, while the Cowboys hosted a rematch with the Cardinals. The Saints also remain in the hunt for the final playoff spot, but will need help to get in at 8-8. New Orleans plays in Atlanta next week.

By far, the Bucs most likely Wild Card opponent is the Eagles, as the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. Tampa played in Philadelphia back in Week 6, winning 28-22. Tampa Bay led 28-7 late in the third quarter, but allowed the Eagles to rally late. Philadelphia has won four straight games heading into a matchup with the Cowboys next week.

The Bucs return to action against the Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in Week 18. If Tampa Bay wins and the Rams lose to the 49ers, the Bucs will be the No. 2 seed.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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BazookaChip
BazookaChip
5 months ago

I like sitting at #3. Zero chance of us playing the Saints. LOL!

Kramerica Industries
Kramerica Industries
Reply to  BazookaChip
5 months ago

I thought this too but there’s zero chance of playing the Saints as the #2 either. Why? Because that would mean the Niners beat the Rams and that would eliminate the Saints entirely. It’s impossible to play the Saints in the first round.

aredsoxfan1
aredsoxfan1
Reply to  Kramerica Industries
5 months ago

That Rams/Niners game should be quite a game, with everything on the line for both teams. The Niners probably need a win to make the playoffs, although they could back in with a Saints loss to Atlanta. The Rams stay at #2 with a win, but with a loss can end up anywhere between #2 and #5 depending how Arizona/Tampa/Dallas do. Best thing to do is go out and beat Carolina bad in the first half so they’re ready to go golfing. If you let them stay in the game, they’ll make you play it out like the Jets this… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
5 months ago

Hopefully we will get a very fresh healthy Lavontae David, Shaq Barrett and playoff Lenny back for the first playoff game.Those three will make a world of diference on this team, especially on defense. Minter took way to many bad angles today and Shoyinka pretty much disappeared as a pass rusher today. Thank god Anthony Nelson, who PR refuses to recognize for whatever personal grudges, has stepped his game up. I’m pretty sure he has less snaps on the year and just as many sacks as PRs wonder boy.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  drdneast
5 months ago

One thing for sure, we have plenty of “next man up” confidence.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  drdneast
5 months ago

Maybe because Joe Tryon has one less sack in his rookie season than anthony nelson has had his entire 5 year career.

aredsoxfan1
aredsoxfan1
Reply to  drdneast
5 months ago

I wouldn’t count on having all 3 healthy and at full speed in 2 weeks. But any help will be welcome. A healthy Shaq would make the biggest difference, in my opinion. The pass rush was non-existent without him today, and that was against a pitiful OL.

Horse
Horse
5 months ago

Sounds good to me. Best news no one had any major injuries. Looks like Bell will get a good chance to play a lot more. He should be ready in the Playoffs to help. go Bucs! Keep the dream alive!

Buc76
Buc76
5 months ago

The saints wouldn’t beat us 3 times so bring them on. Need to get to number 2. Would hate to have to go to LA again to play the rams in the divisional then come all the way back and play the NFC championship if we win. Big if. Probably back to Green Bay again but Dallas at 4 could go up there and knock Green Bay off then possible Bucs cowboys in Tampa to go to the Super Bowl

SaskBucs
SaskBucs
5 months ago

The Ravens have been killing the Bucs. Had a chance to beat the Packers or take the hot hand to OT and they blew it. I didn’t see what all happened today but understand they gave the game away to the Rams. Shoulda coulda woulda but Bucs have gotten 0 help past couple weeks. The browns gave the game away to the Packers as well. I have seen some terrible coaching this season but mostly outta the AFC North.

Kramerica Industries
Kramerica Industries
Reply to  SaskBucs
5 months ago

While it is intensely frustrating the Ravens lost both those games by such close margins, look at the roster they’re playing with. In many ways, that they hung in until the very end in both games is, in itself, an incredible achievement. Some other teams in their shoes would’ve gotten obliterated in both games.

Randy H.
Randy H.
Reply to  SaskBucs
5 months ago

Yes, the Packers have been lucky the last half of the season,e.g. the Ravens and Browns games, hopefully that won’t happen in the playoffs.