Photo Credit: The Inside Zone (featured image), ESPN (team logos)
After their disappointing 31-24 loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Christmas Eve, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit with a very small chance a clinching a berth in the postseason with a 8-7 record. However, it can be done, but only if each of these eight game results go their way over the course of the final 17 regular season games this season.
Here is a list of all eight things that MUST happen in order for the Buccaneers to get into the postseason.
Dallas Cowboys (12-2) over Detroit Lions (9-5), Week 16
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7) over Carolina Panthers (6-9), Week 17
Dallas Cowboys (12-2) over Philadelphia Eagles (6-9), Week 17
Tennessee Titans (8-7) over Houston Texans (9-6), Week 17
Indianapolis Colts (7-8) over Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12), Week 17
San Francisco 49ers (2-13) over Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1), Week 17
New York Giants (10-5) tie with Washington Redskins (8-6-1), Week 17
Detroit Lions (9-5) over Green Bay Packers (9-6), Week 17
Should all of this happen, there would be a 3-way tie for the final NFC wild card spot, the #6 seed, between the Buccaneers (9-7), the Packers (9-7), and the Redskins (8-6-2).
The Buccaneers would win the tiebreaker to eliminate the Packers based on strength of victory, and they would win the tiebreaker to eliminate the Redskins based on best win percentage in conference games.
All of this happening would make the Buccaneers playoff-bound for the first time since the 2007 season. The chances that all of these things happen are extremely small, however.