The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally bucked their losing streak, and their win in Week 9 shifts the NFC Playoff picture.
Never count out Tom Brady.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in a free fall, losers of their last four games and in danger of dropping even further back in the NFL Playoff Picture. A showdown with an equally poorly positioned Los Angeles Rams team made a rematch of the NFC Divisional Round seem less like playoff titans meeting more like a game of desperation.
In the end, Tom Brady went vintage mode and led a comeback drive with under a minute left to get the Bucs back in the win column.
The loss by the Rams sinks them further down the NFC Playoff picture and further back in the NFC West race. Seattle managed to down the Arizona Cardinals in a tight battle that creates more distance between the Seahawks and the rest of the West and pretty much puts the Rams season on life support.
Tampa’s win, coupled with an Atlanta Falcons loss earlier in the day, propels the Bucs back into pole position in the NFC South. By way of a tiebreaker over Atlanta, Tampa Bay has reclaimed first place in the division and seems to have survived a bigger scare than anyone would have thought they’d experience.
It’s still a tough road for the Bucs, but the bleeding has at least been clamped. Tampa Bay heads to Munich next Sunday morning to play the Seahawks in a game that will hardly be easy and may once again knock Tampa back in the playoff race.
Updated NFC Playoff Picture after Bucs and Seahawks win Week 9
Here’s a look at what the NFC Playoff bracket would look like if the postseason started today:
Based on those standings, here’s what the playoff matchups would look like for the first weekend of action:
Each higher-seeded team would host its Wild Card Weekend matchup. The Philadelphia Eagles would have a first-round bye with the No. 1 seed and host any playoff game they play in.
NFC Wild Card standings after Week 9
Here’s what the Wild Card standings look like after Week 9:
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