The Bucs clinched the NFC South title and an automatic playoff berth with a 32-9 win over the Panthers. The victory improved Tampa Bay’s record to 11-4 and moved the team to the No. 3 spot in the NFC playoff picture earlier in the day. Yet Dallas’ big win over Washington moved Tampa Bay down to No. 4 late Sunday night. The Bucs still have a chance at the No. 1 seed, but would need to win out and get some help from the Packers, Cowboys and Rams to move up to the top spot.
The Packers have the league’s best record at 12-3 and the top seed in the NFC. Dallas (11-4) won the NFC East and beat Washington on Sunday Night Football. That moved the Cowboys ahead of the Rams and Buccaneers due to the better conference record, which is the first tiebreaker. Dallas has an 9-1 record in the NFC, compared to L.A.’s 8-3 mark and Tampa Bay’s 7-4 record.
The Los Angeles Rams beat the Vikings in Minnesota, 30-23, to also move to 11-4 and the No. 3 seed behind Green Bay and Dallas. The Rams hold the tiebreaker over the Bucs not just due to a 34-24 win over Tampa Bay in L.A. in Week 3, but because of a better conference record. Los Angeles has an 8-3 record in the NFC compared to Tampa Bay’s 7-4 mark. Los Angeles is a game ahead of Arizona (10-5) and has not yet clinched the NFC West division.
Let’s take a look at the current playoff picture in the NFC.
Current NFC Playoff Picture
No. 1 seed – Green Bay (12-3)
Remaining schedule: vs. Minnesota, at Detroit
No. 2 seed – Dallas (11-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Arizona, at Philadelphia
No. 3 seed – Los Angeles Rams (11-4)
Remaining schedule: at Baltimore, vs. San Francisco
No. 4 seed – Tampa Bay (11-4)
Remaining schedule: at New York Jets, vs. Carolina
No. 5 seed – Arizona (10-5)
Remaining schedule: at Dallas, vs. Seattle
No. 6 seed – San Francisco (8-7)
Remaining schedule: at Houston, vs. Los Angeles Rams
No. 7 seed – Philadelphia (8-7)
Remaining schedule: at Washington, vs. Dallas
Green Bay would get a first round bye if it holds on to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Dallas would host Philadelphia in the first round if the playoffs started today. The Rams would host the 49ers, while the Bucs are currently slated to host the Cardinals in the first round.
NFC Teams Still Alive For The Playoffs
8. New Orleans Saints (7-7)
9. Minnesota Vikings (7-8)
10. Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
11. Washington Football Team (6-8)