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There are seven games left in the Bucs’ 2021 regular season with Tampa Bay now 8-3, coming off a big, 38-31 win at Indianapolis. The Bucs are sitting pretty atop the NFC South division with a three-game cushion.

Tampa Bay, which travels to Atlanta on Sunday, currently has the third seed in the NFC playoff picture. The Bucs still have a shot at the No. 1 seed, which comes with a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs, but will need help with a loss or two from the Cardinals.

Here is a look at the current landscape in the NFC along with each team’s remaining schedule.

CURRENT NFC PLAYOFF TEAMS

No. 1 SEED: Cardinals (9-2)

Remaining: at Bears, vs. Rams, at Lions, vs. Colts, at Cowboys, vs. Seahawks
If Arizona wins out it claims the first-round bye and home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. That might be a tall order with games against the Rams, Colts and Cowboys looming.

No. 2 SEED: Packers (9-3)

Remaining: BYE, vs. Bears, at Ravens, vs. Browns, vs. Vikings, at Lions
How will Aaron Rodgers’ broken toe hold up down the stretch? After a week off to heal, Rodgers and the Pack have a few challenging games at Baltimore and against the Browns and Vikings down the stretch.

No. 3 SEED: Buccaneers (8-3)

Bucs WR Mike Evans

Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: USA Today

Remaining: at Falcons, vs. Bills, vs. Saints, at Panthers, at Jets, vs. Panthers
The Bucs could win out – and will likely need to in order to have a shot at home-field advantage in the NFC. But they’ll need the Cardinals to stumble at least once, too. Tampa Bay could win out on the road, but home games against the Bills and Saints will present a challenge.

No. 4 SEED: Cowboys (7-4)

Remaining: at Saints, at WFT, at Giants, vs. WFT, vs. Cardinals, at Eagles
Dallas is reeling from a home loss to Las Vegas on Thanksgiving and needs to rebound on the road at New Orleans on Thursday night. The NFC East division isn’t a juggernaut, but those teams always play each other tough. Philly, Washington and New York can’t be overlooked, and the game against Arizona will be huge in NFC playoff positioning.

No. 5 SEED: Rams (7-4)

Remaining: vs. Jaguars, at Cardinals, vs. Seahawks, at Vikings, at Ravens, vs. 49ers
The Rams have been on a slide, losing their last three games, including a pair to NFC playoff contenders in the 49ers and Packers. L.A. has a trio of hard road games ahead at Arizona, at Minnesota and at Baltimore in the coming weeks, followed by a home finale against the surging 49ers.

No. 6 SEED: 49ers (6-5)

Remaining: at Seahawks, at Bengals, vs. Falcons, at Titans, vs. Texans, at Rams
The 49ers have won four of their last five, including their last three games. A wild card berth seems like the best that could happen for San Francisco after a pair of losses to division-leading Arizona. Big games loom at Cincinnati, at Tennessee and at Los Angeles against the Rams to end the season.

No. 7 SEED: WFT (5-6)

Remaining: at Raiders, vs. Cowboys, at Eagles, at Cowboys, vs. Eagles, at Giants
The upset win over the Bucs has cued a three-game winning streak for the Football Team. A pair of games against Dallas and Philadelphia, plus a season finale at New York against the Giants will determine not only a potential playoff spot for Washington, but also the NFC East winner.

TOP NFC CONTENDERS

Vikings (5-6)

Remaining: at Lions, vs. Steelers, at Bears, vs. Rams, at Packers, vs. Bears
Minnesota has three winnable games coming up against Detroit and Chicago twice. That gets the Vikings to eight wins, which likely won’t be enough for a wild card spot. The Vikings will need to win those games and steal a win against a better team in the Steelers, Rams or Packers, which seems unlikely.

Falcons (5-6)

Bucs LB Lavonte David and Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson

Bucs LB Lavonte David and Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Remaining: vs. Bucs, at Panthers, at 49ers, vs. Lions, at Bills, vs. Saints
Atlanta is 1-4 at home this year, which is good news for Tampa Bay, which visits this Sunday. If the Falcons, who are 4-4 in the last eight games, are going to make a playoff push, upsetting the Bucs in the ATL is a must this week. Atlanta could finish 8-9 or 9-8 if that happens.

Saints (5-6)

Remaining: vs. Cowboys, at Jets, at Bucs, vs. Dolphins, vs. Panthers, at Falcons
Taysom Hill will replace Trevor Siemian at quarterback as the Saints face a must-win game against the Cowboys on Thursday night. After that, tough games at Tampa Bay and home against Miami are on the slate. A big win over the Cowboys could set up a 9-8 or 10-7 finish. A loss could continue the downward spiral of the Saints, who have lost four straight.

Eagles (5-7)

Remaining: at Jets, BYE, vs. WFT, vs. Giants, at WFT, vs. Cowboys
Philly is a helter-skelter team with no rhyme or reason to their wins or losses. The 13-7 loss at New York versus the Giants was awful last week. The Eagles return to the scene of the crime this week to play the Jets, who are fresh off a win, before their bye week. Philadelphia pretty much has to run the table to make the playoffs, which will be nearly impossible.

Panthers (5-7)

Remaining: BYE, vs. Falcons, at Bills, vs. Bucs, at Saints, at Bucs
Carolina has a bye week and a daunting schedule ahead afterwards with two games against Tampa Bay, one game at Buffalo and a game at New Orleans. Cam Newton is not the answer at QB, and neither is Sam Darnold, who is trying to come back from a shoulder injury. With Christian McCaffrey out for the rest of the season, the Panthers might not win again this season.

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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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fredster
fredster(@fredster)
1 month ago

Dallas is always over rated. Every year they under deliver especially in December and playoffs. Prescott is good not great. The defense isn’t very good. Packers look legit but we can beat them or anyone when healthy. Wouldn’t be surprised if Washington can take that division way Dallas been sucking lately. Go Saints lol. Like see Dallas lose Thursday night then packers and Cards drop a couple.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
1 month ago

“There are seven games left in the Bucs’ 2021 regular season with Tampa Bay now 8-3” Scott – do the math: 17 games less 11 games equals 6 games left on the schedule. There’s all kinds of combinations and permutations that can determine the final NFC playoff structure from 1st to 7th seeds, but it’s rather simple for the Bucs: Win at least 3 of the 6 remaining games, with one of those wins being against the Saints at home, and the Bucs are NFC South division champs with at least one home playoff game. Win out, and the Bucs… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Naplesfan
bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 month ago

That’s some good informative info post. U said what we were all wondering. Ur best post yet! U must have found the proper mixture, no doubt. Ur meds of course.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 month ago

I broke down the 1-2-3 scenario more specifically above. Basically, we’re in 3, and to get higher, we do need help, even if we do win out. But given probabilities, the odds of us passing at least one of GB and ARI if we can win out like that are pretty good. I actually think we have a better chance of passing ARI than we do GB. If we win out, then we need GB to lose to any team left on their schedule, BUT their remaining schedule is relatively easy – vs Bears, @-- Ravens, vs Browns, vs Vikings,… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
Reply to  toofamiliar17
1 month ago

The problem for Green Bay is that the Vikings and Ravens and even the Browns show occasional signs of life and could lose one or two of those games, particularly depending upon unknown and unknowable injuries or COVID status in those games to a key player like Rodgers or Adams. Same problem with the Cards, and of course, same problem with the Bucs. In the last six games of any season lots can happen. That’s why they play the games. The Bucs therefore are positioned well to take advantage of any stumbles by either of the two teams ahead of… Read more »

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 month ago

I agree – win out, and we’re exceedingly likely to land at least the 2 seed, with a solid shot at the 1. Even just one loss very likely = 3 seed though, unless one of GB or ARI really badly stumbles down the stretch, which could happen. If we lose 3, then I think seeding doesn’t matter, we’re just not a very good team, and we’d be screwed whether playing the entire playoffs at Ray Jay or on the moon.

Lawdy
Lawdy(@lawdy)
1 month ago

JUST WIN BABY

Dman
Dman(@dman)
1 month ago

We’ve still got a shot at home field advantage. Packer and Card will be tough. No interest in facing Washington again – we don’t match up well and their coaching staff has our number,

Jonbuc
Jonbuc(@jonbuc)
1 month ago

I count six games remaining as well. Scott may need to be placed in the concussion protocol given his recent predictions/article accuracy. :)

aredsoxfan1
aredsoxfan1(@aredsoxfan1)
1 month ago

My prediction is we go 5-1 down the stretch and stick in our current position. We should really be able to win out which would likely get us in the top 2. Unfortunately we’re down in the tiebreaker with both teams in front of us as well so we probably need to finish ahead of them.

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
Reply to  aredsoxfan1
1 month ago

One at a time we knock ‘em down! Each game is its own game and as long as we find a way to win. I’m good. It is nice that Playoff Lenny is in peak form for the final playoff push. This team is getting healthier and players r coming alive. This team really does have a chance at another magical season. When AB comes back, with a healthy Gronk, this team may not be able to be beaten again. It could happen.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  aredsoxfan1
1 month ago

See above regarding the tiebreakers. But yea, if we go 5-1, I think there’s a good chance we get stuck at the 3 seed, which would really suck. Would hate to have to go on the road in the second round, and with our road struggles for most of this year, you can’t like our chances there. Losing to WFT has really put us in this position, in which we really need to win every week to put ourselves in a really strong position come January.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
1 month ago

In the quest for playoff seeding…. Assuming, for the sake of simplicity, that we win out…. We need Arizona to lose to any of CHI, @-- DAL, or LAR. If that happens, then we would tie them on the second tiebreaker, which is in-conference record, and beat them based on record in common games (the Cardinals would have lost to both the Panthers and one of those other teams we played, whereas we’d have just one loss, to the Rams). To beat the Packers, we most likely need them to lose one more than we do the rest of the… Read more »

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
1 month ago

Wow have things changed in Bucville. Here we are heading into December and the topic of conversation is not whether or not we make the playoffs, since that seems all but assured, but how we might still reach the number 1 seed. Goodness, I can’t count how many times we’d be adding up losses to reach the number 1 Draft pick. As Jim Harbaugh might say, “Who’s got it better than us?”

plopes808
plopes808(@plopes808)
1 month ago

While I’m trying to keep my expectations in check…we DO have the best chance of winning out of the top 3 seeds. Buffalo and New Orleans are not easy opponents but they are both beatable and we play them both at home. It’s very realistic that we are able to win out and the 2 seeds above us lose 1-2 games.
Regardless of seeding though, the team seems to be peaking at the right time again. Getting back some of the key injuries will also go a long way toward making the top seed a strong possibility.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17(@toofamiliar17)
1 month ago

edit

Last edited 1 month ago by toofamiliar17
Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg