The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered another defeat in prime time, this time against the Los Angeles Rams, 27-24. The loss drops to the Bucs to 7-4 on the season, as Tampa Bay slides down to the sixth playoff seed, while the 7-3 Rams surge ahead to the second playoff spot in the NFC atop the NFC West and have the tie-breaker advantage.

So what is the Bucs’ margin of error right now with a 4-4 record in the NFC?

“Very slim,” said Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. “This was a big one and the next one [against Kansas City on Sunday] is even bigger.”

If the playoffs started today, the Bucs would travel to Green Bay for a rematch in cold Lambeau Field against the 7-3 Packers, which lost, 38-10, in Tampa Bay earlier in the season. In the new seven-team playoff format in 2020, only the No. 1 seed – in this case New Orleans – would get a bye week.

Here is a current look at the NFC playoff picture entering Week 12.

CURRENT NFC PLAYOFF TEAMS

1. Saints (NFC South leader) – 8-2 overall / 4-0 division / 7-1 conference

Remaining games: at Broncos (4-6), at Falcons (3-7), at Eagles (3-6-1), vs. Chiefs (9-1), vs. Vikings (4-6), at Panthers (4-7)

2. Rams (NFC West leader) 7-3 overall / 1-1 division / 7-0 conference

Remaining games: vs. 49ers (4-6), at Cardinals (6-4), vs. Patriots (4-6), vs. Jets (0-10), at Seahawks (7-3), vs. Cardinals (6-4)

3. Packers (NFC North leader) – 7-3 overall / 2-0 division / 4-2 conference
Remaining games: vs. Bears (5-5), vs. Eagles (3-6-1), at Lions (4-6), vs. Panthers (4-7), vs. Titans (7-3), at Bears (5-5)

4. Eagles (NFC East leader) – 3-6-1 overall / 2-2 division / 3-3 conference

Remaining games: vs. Seahawks (7-3), at Packers (7-3), vs. Saints (8-2), at Cardinals (6-4), at Cowboys (3-7), vs. Washington (3-7)

5. Seahawks (First wild card) 7-3 overall / 2-2 division / 5-2 conference
Remaining games:
at Eagles (3-6-1), vs. Giants (3-7), vs. Jets (0-10), at Washington (3-7), vs. Rams (7-3), at 49ers (4-6)

6. Buccaneers (Second wild card) – 7-4 overall / 2-2 division / 4-4 conference

Remaining games: vs. Chiefs (9-1), vs. Vikings (4-6), at Falcons (3-7), at Lions (4-6), vs. Falcons (3-7)

7. Cardinals (Third wild card) – 6-4 overall / 2-1 division / 4-3 conference

Remaining games: at Patriots (4-6), vs. Rams (7-3), at Giants (3-7), vs. Eagles (3-6-1), vs. 49ers (4-6), at Rams (7-3)

IN CONTENTION

8. Bears – 5-5 overall / 1-1 division / 5-3 conference

Remaining games: at Packers (7-3), vs. Lions (4-6), vs. Texans (3-7), at Vikings (4-6), at Jaguars (1-9), vs. Packers (7-3)

9. Vikings – 4-6 overall / 3-1 division / 3-4 conference

Remaining games: vs. Panthers (3-7), vs. Jaguars (1-9), at Bucs (7-4), vs. Bears (5-5), at Saints (8-2), vs. Lions (4-6)

10. Lions – 4-6 overall / 0-3 division / 3-5 conference

Remaining games: vs. Texans (3-7), at Bears (5-5), vs. Packers (7-3), at Titans (7-3), vs. Bucs (7-3), vs. Vikings (4-6)

11. 49ers – 4-6 overall / 1-2 division / 2-5 conference

Remaining games: at Rams (6-3), vs. Bills (7-3), vs. Washington (3-7), at Cowboys (3-7), at Cardinals (6-4), vs. Seahawks (7-3)

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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bucballer
3 months ago

I’m sorry, but realistically the Bucs will be lucky to even make the playoffs… this coaching staff continues to get out coached almost every game. This is a huge problem! It’s as if BL just pulls out plays out of a hat regardless of down or distance. There is no cohesiveness to his play calling. No imagination on offense. Same bland calls. Not utilizing ur talent properly!

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Last edited 3 months ago by bucballer
4CTheMarket
Reply to  bucballer
3 months ago

Realistically, the Bucs make the playoffs. You should have said, that there is a chance they miss it. But the chances for making them are higher.

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Horse
Reply to  bucballer
3 months ago

I blame the lack of execution on Offense and the lack of Pass Coverage on Defense. When both fail; we lose.

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Dave
Reply to  bucballer
3 months ago

That’s being a little over dramatic. All we have to do is win 3 of the final 5. And our final 4 games are against the Falcons twice, the Vikings, and the Lions. If we win 3 of 5, that means the Bears would have to win 5 of 6. And they have the Texans, Vikings, and Packers twice. They’re not winning 5 of 6 with that schedule. We split with the Falcons, and win our other 2 winnable games against the Vikings and Lions, and we’re in. That’s not even including the Cardinals, who have a tough remaining schedule.… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Dave
PewterHeart
Reply to  Dave
3 months ago

I like the schedule breakdown you wrote. This season the league was suppide to help us out but didn’t seem that way. A ling way for a bye and a handful of games where the opposing team had one day more up rest.

Next team will be ugly..unfortunately..my optimism has dwindled.

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cptsora
Reply to  bucballer
3 months ago

This has to be the dumbest take I’ve ever seen. The Bucs have 4 very winnable games and I would not pencil in an L just yet for the Chiefs. This is dumb.

The teams in contention for playoffs are the Bears whom have no offense to speak of and the Vikings that are 4-6 and would have to literally win all their games going forward to get the final seed.

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twspin
3 months ago

PlAYOFFS? PLAYOFFSSS??!!! As coach Mora from the Saints once said, You kiddin Me!! The only playoffs this Buc team is gonna see this year is from the comfort of their couches..with the rest of us. I’ve said it a thousand time since we did it..Acquiring old man Statue of Liberty Brady will go down as one of the biggest swindles in Buc History..50 mil worth. Sit back and watch the chiefs next week. Their Qn gonna make Tom seem like he is in..SLOW MO_…TION 9-7 is not gonna get us a wildcard. Hell, 10-6 might not either. if you guys… Read more »

RW
RW
Reply to  twspin
3 months ago

Do you just copy and paste your “Statue of liberty ” take in article after article? Try to think of something original!

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Dave
Reply to  RW
3 months ago

He does. He’s a moron. Just ignore him. The same way he copy and pasted the same “we better be ready for the beast Mr.Donald this week”. And what did Donald do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. He’s a troll. Brady is the 10th fewest sacked QB in the league. And that’s with an extra game played. He’s on pace for 22 sacks across 16 games. Just ignore the toolbag

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Pete Wood
3 months ago

Bucs go four and one to end season. They beat KC next week. They’ll get the 5 seed and beat the NFC east champs. They may win the next game, but will not make it to the superbowl.
We’re still one year away, y’all, but I’m optimistic.

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EastEndBoy
3 months ago

I suppose if the Eagles are allowed in the playoffs, we might as well be too, but it’s not going to be pretty going against a good team.

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4CTheMarket
Reply to  EastEndBoy
3 months ago

We won´t face PHI in the playoffs since we will not get the no.5 seed most likely.

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Big Wheel 80
3 months ago

We are not ready for the playoffs…

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surferdudes
3 months ago

Anybody believe this team can go to G.B. in January and get a win? Hell, I’m not sure they could do it in N.Y. either. This is not what the Glazers went all in on. Prime time embarrassments, no division title, a one, done playoff game. Licht, and Arains will have some explaining to do if that happens.

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bucballer
Reply to  surferdudes
3 months ago

Coaching, coaching, and coaching! There is no excuse when u do have talent on this offense!

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PewterHeart
Reply to  surferdudes
3 months ago

You think ol timer B.A. is going to care if he is brought into the Glazer office? Hell, he probably has his sights on re-retiring again.

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Captain Sly
3 months ago

Scott, Safe to say confidence is way down in this team at this point. No one cares about the playoffs, what we care about is fixing this mess BA has put us in. We literally should have lost the Giants game if not for Luck…. What’s frustrating is getting your hopes up only to be let down. Teams got some soul searching to do!

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Bucco-Bruce
3 months ago

Playoffs is far from what this team is looking to make. They need to get rid of Leftwich and Arians need to suck it up and start calling the plays himself. How are we supposed to be better next year when the cap is going to be lower and we can’t keep our free agents. Good luck to us!!

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bucballer
Reply to  Bucco-Bruce
3 months ago

Hey BA… just take back the play calling for one game. Let’s see if that makes a difference. Why not?

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PissedOffBuc1988
3 months ago

I’m done with tampa bay constantly letting the fans down. Bruce arians is worthless, so is Leftwich. He sucks as a playcaller. Brady sucks too. Idc if he’s the GOAT he’s made too many mistakes that have looked bad. Ask for a settlement and cut him after the season.

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Dave
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
3 months ago

You’re an idiot. Good riddance. Don’t let your ass hit the door on your way out

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PissedOffBuc1988
3 months ago

This team doesn’t want it.

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