The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

So You’re Saying the Buccaneers Still Have A Chance?

Bucs RB Doug Martin celebrating touchdown against Lions

So You’re Saying the Buccaneers Still Have A Chance?

BY Matthew Long


After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, the obstacles they would have to climb to make it to the NFL playoffs grow. To complicate things more, the tiebreaker rules in the in NFL are complex, to say the least. Many thought with the loss meant the Bucs would be eliminated, well not so fast.

Tampa Bay Times staff writer Greg Auman discovered “a string of 10 specific outcomes that would get the Bucs in“, 13 if you include, a Christmas miracle, God (aka the higher power of your choice), and a ton of luck. Full disclosure: things are going to get a bit wacky, so hold on tight…

Here are the 10 “So You’re Saying the Buccaneers Still Have A Chance?” things that will have to happen, from my view:

Thing 1)

The Pewter Pirates, and this is probably assumed, will have to beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Eating three straight losses to end the season is not a good way to start your new year and end your season. This is by far the most important thing that needs to happen.

Thing 2)

The Kansas City Chiefs would have had to beat the Denver Broncos. This has been done with a final score of 33-10, the Chiefs won on the field and in the stat box in nearly all categories. So, one down and nine to go.

Thing 3)

This Sunday, the Washington Redskins would have to tie with division rival New York Giants. Yes, a tie! Five games have ended in a tie since 2012 and two of them happened this season. The Redskins had one of those ties already this season, which was against the Bengals. This would not be the first time that these two teams ended in a tie game, they did it most recently on November 30, 1997, with a final score 7-7. This was the infamous Gus Frerotte “headbutting the wall” game.

Thing 4)

If the Redskins finish the season with a record of 8-6-2, they will lose tiebreakers with the Bucs and Packers.

Thing 5)

The Dallas Cowboys will have to beat the Detroit Lions Monday night on ESPN. Now, if the Lions do the thing that the Lions do, this is very likely to happen. However, the Lions do have a chance to win the first division championship in 23-years and would clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Cowboys. The Motor City team’s defense might be best that the ‘Boys have faced all season. They currently are sixth in total defense, eighth in rush defense, and ninth in pass defense.

Thing 6)

After a loss to the Cowboys, the Lions would have to beat the Green Bay Packers the following week, in a game that has been flexed to prime time on NBC. If the close game at Lambeau Field in Week 3 is a measuring stick, this Lions team has improved across the board, and get the final game indoors.

Thing 7)

The following four things are all things that would need to happen for the Bucs to win the tiebreaker for the strength of schedule. The Seattle Seahawks will have to take a loss to their west coast rivals, the San Fransisco 49ers. This would be basically the Niners not doing what they did in week three and risk dropping from probably the number two overall pick to the third.

Thing 8)

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts would have to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars at home. The Jags are in line for a top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and just fired their head coach, I’m not sure that this will a game where guys are going “lay their bodies on the line for”, as much as some other games.

Thing 9)

Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles will have to take an “L” from the Cowboys. With the way the Eagles have been playing this could be a shocking upset or another loss, and another brick in the road of learning.

Thing 10)

Lastly, the Tenessee Titans must beat the Houston Texans, who clinched the division with Tenesseee’s loss to the Jags this past week. The Titans have had some big wins late in the season and may have needed to win the division to make the playoffs. They also play in what most consider to be the worst division in the NFL. The Titans are without star QB Marcus Mariota and Houston seems to have bad luck when it comes to the draft and picking QBs. This game is really up in the air, Las Vegas has the Titans favored at home by three right now.

Yes, it is a long shot and without being a math wiz I can tell you that the percentage of this all happening is less than one percent. At the very least, it could make for a fun ride for the fans that those involved. Here’s to hoping.



[Photo: Cliff Welch /

h/t Greg Auman / Tampa Bay Times]



Follow Matthew Long on Twitter @mattlongsports for updates on all things sports and entertainment, and listen to The Cold Hard Truth: On Truth radio show Tuesdays from 8:30p-10:30p EST on MRN Broadcasting powered by and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

So You’re Saying the Buccaneers Still Have a Chance?
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So You’re Saying the Buccaneers Still Have A Chance?

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