Tampa Bay’s 47-7 win at Detroit on Sunday allowed the Bucs to clinch a playoff berth, and no worse than the No. 6 seed in the NFC postseason. A win over Atlanta at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday would allow the Bucs to lock up the No. 5 seed that the team currently has. Should that happen, the Bucs would travel to face the winner of the NFC East division, which is currently held by 6-9 Washington. Even if the Bucs lose, a Rams loss to the Cardinals will still secure the fifth seed in the playoffs for Tampa Bay.

If Washington beats Philadelphia on Sunday night, it is in the playoffs as the No. 4 seed. If Washington loses, it’s out of the postseason and the winner of the Dallas (6-9) vs. New York Giants (5-10) game on Sunday would win the NFC East and lock up a first-round home game against Tampa Bay.

Rams QB Jared Goff

Rams QB Jared Goff – Photo by: USA Today

The other remaining wild card spots will come down to the final weekend as well with three teams in contention. The Seahawks beat the Rams and clinched the NFC West title on Sunday, so Los Angeles needs to beat Arizona (8-7) to clinch a spot. The Bears (8-7) can also make the playoffs by beating the Packers in Week 17.

If Chicago loses and Arizona wins, then the Cardinals and the Rams would get in. If the Rams win, then the Bears would get the final playoff spot regardless of the result of their game against the Packers. The Rams would only miss the playoffs if they lose to the Cardinals and the Bears win. Complicating matters for L.A. is the fact that quarterback Jared Goff suffered a broken right thumb in the team’s loss at Seattle, putting his Week 17 status in jeopardy.

For the top seed in the NFC and a first-round bye, the Packers can clinch that with a win over the Bears or a Seahawks loss on Sunday. The Seahawks can clinch the top seed with a win and losses by the Saints and the Packers. The Saints can still get the No. 1 spot with a Packers loss and a Seahawks win.

Here is a current look at the NFC playoff picture entering Week 17.

CURRENT NFC PLAYOFF TEAMS

*1. Packers (NFC North leader) – 12-3 overall / 4-1 division / 9-2 conference
Remaining game:
at Bears (8-7)

*2. Saints (NFC South leader) – 11-4 overall / 5-0 division / 9-2 conference

Remaining game: at Panthers (5-10)

*3. Seahawks (NFC West leader) – 11-4 overall / 3-2 division / 8-3 conference
Remaining game:
at 49ers (6-9)

4. Washington (NFC East leader) – 6-9 overall / 3-2 division / 4-7 conference

Remaining game: at Eagles (4-10-1)

*5. Buccaneers (First wild card) – 10-5 overall / 3-2 division / 7-4 conference

Remaining game: vs. Falcons (4-11)

6. Rams (Second wild card) – 9-6 overall / 2-3 division / 8-3 conference
Remaining game:
vs. Cardinals (8-7)

7. Bears (Third wild card) – 8-7 overall / 2-3 division / 6-5 conference
Remaining game:
vs. Packers (12-3)

*= Clinched playoff berth

IN CONTENTION

8. Cardinals – 8-7 overall / 2-3 division / 6-5 conference
Remaining game:
at Rams (9-6)

9. Cowboys – 6-9 overall / 2-3 division / 5-6 conference
Remaining game: at Giants (5-10)

10. NY Giants – 5-10 overall / 3-2 division / 4-7 conference
Remaining game:
vs. Cowboys (6-9)

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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fredster
fredster
1 year ago

I guess if had to pick I’d rather play Giants or Washington. Dallas offense been clicking and they have won several in row. Whoever it is would be embarrassing to lose to 7-9 team. Lol. Could happen we struggled big time with Giants already. Bucs SEEM to be playing better now but who knows.

twspin
twspin
1 year ago

Don’t matter who you face in the playoffs.If you are a good team you will win. And you’re gonna have to face the best anyway on down the line. The great thing about the playoffs is you know what you got very quickly. You either suck or move on. The best survive.

TBChucky
TBChucky
1 year ago

Dallas’ defense is a big liability for them. Their receivers could give our secondary problems though. If Alex Smith isn’t ready, or is still banged up, Washington would be starting their 3rd string QB. I’d like our odds even with their defense.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
1 year ago

I was shocked Washington didn’t take care of business at home on Sunday vs the lowly Panthers, but its the Football Team after all – a generic substitute with a pathetic offense.

My least favorite team to face from the NFC LEast is the Dallas Cowboys. I picked them to win the division at the start of the season and predicted they would beat the Bucs in round 1. I hope my Nostrodamus impression turns out to be a NostroDumbAss prediction.

Spitfire
Spitfire
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Pretty sure we all do. Cowboys or Giants would be the harder of the 3 but in the end we should be able to destroy all 3. If we can’t then we don’t deserve to be there this year. The Giants and the Bears were silly games that we should have run away with and I’d like to think we would if we have to do it again.

76bucsfan46
76bucsfan46
1 year ago

Will Bucs try to sign Snacks Harrison for playoffs ?

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

Should be able to beat the WFT. Do a lot of max protect, and a ton of quick hitters to Godwin, AB, and Gronk. If we do that, it will neutralize their pass rush. Shades of the 2015 Pats vs Seahawks SB On defense, keep the safety over the top at all times for McLovin. And have David cover L.Thomas all game. We do that on offense and defense, it should be no contest. As far as Dallas is concerned, I can’t help but to laugh. I’m not worried about them one bit. We can eliminate their running game. If… Read more »

fredster
fredster
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

You can take all the Dalton stats with Bengals and throw them out it’s not Bengals. Lol. Dallas is a legit offense and Dalton been playing fairly well. I hate Dallas and the d still isn’t good but it’s not as bad as earlier in the year. If we don’t get a lead I could see us having real hard time stopping Dallas run game and WR’s. We have had trouble stopping great run games. We will find out soon enough but strength of this team is not defense and Dallas isn’t the team I’d want to play, but again… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  fredster
1 year ago

So when Dalton was a Bengal, he didn’t have a good offense? Sure seemed to me like he did. Had AJ Green, Joe Mixon, Tyler Eifert, T.Boyd, T.Owens, etc And you are what you are. Andy Dalton is one of the worst prime time game QB’s to ever play the game. And when it comes to playoff games, he’s equally as bad, if that’s even possible.. Even this year, he’s been average. No more no less. 14 TD’s vs 7 INT’s. 192 yds/gm. 90 QB Rating, and 6.7 YPA with the best offense in the league around him. He has… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave
Spruce
Spruce
1 year ago

I don’t know about the Buc’s but I know Brady has a lot of motivation. Especially after losing to Miami in the last game last year and throwing a pick six in the process to lose it. Then going on to lose miserably to an under rated Titan’s team and throwing a pick six in that one as well. Be careful what you wish for. Playing a hapless NFC East team sounds great on paper but it does have a down side. First is it’s on the road in the cold weather. Second against a team with zero expectations and… Read more »