Picking A Wild Card Opponent

December 21st, 2021

First choice?

Yes, the Bucs are going to win the NFC South. One more “W” in the final three games takes care of that.

But who will Tampa Bay host in Round 1 of the postseason. For the purposes of this post, Joe will assume the Bucs (10-4) will not overtake Green Bay (11-3) for the No. 1 seed and grab an opening-week bye.

As of today, the 49ers (8-6) are the No. 6 seed with Minnesota (7-7) holding the No. 7 seed. New Orleans (7-7) currently loses the conference tiebreaker to the Vikings. The Bucs hold the No. 3 seed and would face the Niners if the season ended now.

But there are still three games remaining. And here are the remaining games for the 49ers, Vikings and slimy Saints:

49ers (8-6)
at Titans
at Rams

Vikings (7-7)
at Packers

Saints (7-7)
at Falcons

Don’t ask Joe to do the potential math for what happens if all three tie for the No. 6 and No. 7 playoffs seeds.

The more important question is who would you like the Bucs to face in the postseason. It should be one of those teams whether the Bucs finish with the No. 2 or the No. 3 seed.

Call Joe a masochist, but Joe would prefer to play the Saints. By default, Joe would take the team with the weakest and least experienced quarterback every time. Right now, that’s the Saints by a mile.

However, the Saints are unlikely to get to the playoffs. Why? Because they’re not very good. They will struggle with Miami (7-7) and they’ve already lost to both the Panthers and Falcons.

As a second choice, Joe would take the Vikings and their very leaky defense.

34 Responses to “Picking A Wild Card Opponent”

  1. Bucs&Bolts Says:

    Make it the Aints so we can send the, home crying 2 years runnin

  2. Cobraboy Says:

    The Saints aren’t very good?

    They just shut down the highest-flying offense in the NFL, and knocked the snot bubbles out of them.


    There is something missing from this team, a fatal flaw, and I can’t put my finger on it.

  3. BucsFanSince1976 Says:


  4. Francisco Guzman Says:

    Bucs need to beat the panthers this Saturday otherwise they’re looking at the 4th seed which you don’t want.

  5. Bird Says:

    Anyone but the saints please in that first game

    Its almost like they have a copy of our playbook at home 😂
    And saints are a very good team. Just limited with options on offense
    That defense is tops in nfl IMO

  6. Francisco Guzman Says:

    Cobraboy what’s missing is an incompetent coaching staff. Not a fan of BL.

  7. adam from ny Says:

    i’ll try my luck with the aints…

    brady and the boys nail down a win at home in the repeat seasonal trifecta matchup – but this time at ray jay

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    I agree, Francisco, not a big BL fan.

    Brady’s ability to read defenses makes the O tick, not the scheme.

  9. adam from ny Says:

    niners are kinda starting to scare me…they’re a pretty darn good football team

  10. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Cobraboy, what’s missing is coaching. If Bucs can’t beat the Saints in the playoffs, they shouldn’t be there, period!

  11. allbuccedup Says:

    Looks like if the saints win out sixth seed maybe third times a charm!

  12. adam from ny Says:

    we will at least win 2 of the next 3, given the easy schedule…

    it feels a bit like we’re backing into the position of division champs with once again losing twice to the saints in another season…

    a split with the saints and the division title would have felt right…

    the double loss deal to the saints makes it a little bittersweet…

    jenna could probably elaborate on this 🙂

  13. adam from ny Says:

    balsam hill and kamara are not gonna come back to ray jay in the playoffs and knock us off on our home turf for a 3rd time this year…

    i’m telling you we will be ready….

    and the o-line will not be sleepwalking thru the game…

    i want the saints…the slimy bunch as joe would say

  14. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The Saints aren’t very good?
    They just beat the fuk out of us, in our house, and on national TV.
    IMHO, the Saints are one QB away from being Division Champions.
    Whoever we play, God help us if they are able to pressure Brady with just 4 Men!
    All the teams who beat us have that in common.

  15. firethecannons Says:

    one game at a time Joe! wtf is wrong with you! the next game is the 1 game that reallly matters and that is Panthers forget all the other bs–next game is most important always the next game stop your stupid useless predictions–worry over now need story on how to help and not worry over games that may never happen who can replace Godwin–think and write … Joe is not a coach and is not programmed to think one game at a time. The Bucs will win one of their final three games and win the NFC South. Deal with it!–Joe

  16. ClodHopper Says:

    This is going to sound like horoscope star alignment bs but sometimes a game feels like a destiny win. You can kinda feel it before the game. Like the Giants in the Super Bowl during the Patriots undefeated season. Last year with the Saints in the playoffs felt like that too. The Saints don’t feel like that this time. I dont want to see them again this year.

  17. Slats Says:

    Hilarious that you think that Vikings will get in over the Saints with their remaining games. They will finish 8-9 at best with losses to Rams and Pack

    Saints will lose to the Fish but will beat Panthers and Falcs, Id trust Payton over Zimmer and Cousins always making terrible mistakes at the worst times

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Playing the Saints at Raymond James Stadium is not a very exciting thought…..the last two games we played…..Saints 47…..>Bucs 3….

    That’s right 3 total points in two games…..

    Give me the traveling 49ers.

  19. Swampbuc Says:


  20. alton d green Says:

    well the Saints really helped me manage my time better. I spent a lot of time watching to see how the Cardinals, Packers and Rams did. Now i’m down to watching the Panthers then the Jets and then the Panthers AGAIN. Now every Sunday is like watching grass grow and just about as exciting

  21. Oxycodoms Says:

    With this coaching staff facing the saints a third time is better then facing a team they havent played yet. Not the best when it comes to preparing for an opponent

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    Yes let that sink in, the falcons and panthers beat the saints. Bucs got smashed with “backups “ twice

  23. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Doesn’t really matter. Our Bucs aren’t going anywhere. The greatness of Tom Brady is the reason we’ll make the playoffs.

    Beyond that our mammoth coaching staff has set back and let him do it mostly by himself. They should be ashamed for taking advantage of the GOAT. Think about the numerous weeks we’ve watched our team get out coached, only to sit back with fingers crossed hoping TB12 would work his magic one more time.

    Last year was an anomaly for every team, but Im sure TB thought after having a whole training camp, and a more normal season his coaches and teammates would step up and improve. They didn’t. They have spent this entire season sleep walking, not carrying their share of the load.

    Four weeks left on this magic carpet ride, and then $hit gets really weird.

  24. Buc Wild Says:

    The only team we want to face in the 1st round is the Saints. Nothing would be more satisfying than ending their season 2 years straight.

  25. PSL Bob Says:

    Considering those 3 teams, think I’d go with the 49ers. Neither the 49ers or Vikings have played us regularly, so our weakened offense would have a better chance against their defenses. The Saints’ defense is stout and they outcoach us every time. Wouldn’t want to chance facing them again in the playoffs.

  26. G.Marosi Says:

    Minnesota is the team I would like the Buc’s to play not the Saints or 49ers!

  27. Ed Says:

    I want the Saints, they need to beat a physical team, they need to be toughened up if they want to go back to the SB. The finesse BS has to stop. The teams at the top of the NFC have to be tough. Rams, Cowboys and Packers all play hard.

    If the Bucs want to play with the big boys, they need to get through a mean-ass team like New Orleans. The Saints are a great test for the offensive line. In the NFL if you can beat a team the 3rd time you play them, you belong at home for the rest of the playoffs.

  28. Ed Says:

    “can’t beat” not can beat a team the 3rd time you play them.

  29. Snookman Says:

    Who cares. At some point in the playoffs you will play the best team. We proved we can beat anyone anywhere…

    P I’ll mm

  30. unbelievable Says:

    @Cobraboy – it’s called “desire”.

    They simply don’t have it this year. Not with any consistency.

  31. PanhandleBuc Says:

    All this doom and gloom! We will win at least 2 of these next 3 games while getting healthy and ready for a run! Our offense should have Evans, AB, BP, Miller, Gronk, and Tyler! That’s a pretty strong squad to pair with our talented defense. RoJo will get a lot of reps catching the football and Lenny should be back at some point! The sky is NOT falling, plenty of time left to get right!

  32. steele Says:

    The team with the weakest D, all the way, thank you.

    Be afraid of the 49ers. Their D is always good, and they’ve gotten their confidence back at least temporarily. Key is getting a pass rush on Jimmy G, who folds as quickly as any starting QB.

    The evil Saints. No, Joe, they ARE that good, in the ways that matter, and they don’t need a good QB. Teams like them, just tough hard hitting borderline dirty SOBs, are a bad matchup for finesse teams like the injured Bucs in the current configuration. You might like the idea of payback, finally punching the bully in the face, but I don’t know if they can do it, without an offseason and reinforcements.

    Of these, maybe the Vikings. Not great in any area, beatable.

  33. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again let me be clear. I loathe the Saints. They’re my most hated rival. I do not hate Atlanta or Carolina. Could it be because the Saints kick our butts?

    But I’m with Cobra. Why low rent the Saints simply because they have a horrible QB. That’s a challenge yes but they have some weapons to make up for it.

    First their defense is better statistically than ours!!! They shut us out and held high flying Aaron Rodgers to 3 points as well.

    When their two tackles get healthy with Kamara and Ingram to spell him as well as the running prowess of Taysom Hill…he trucked a couple of our guys…he’s a big dude. Sean Payton will adjust and play to his strength the defense.

    I think New Orleans is the team nobody wants to meet in the post season because they have a terrific defense and at playtime D.R.’s side of the ball usually has a lot to say about the results.

    Still I want to play New Orleans. It’s time to end their supremacy and the best way to do it is beat them straight up.

  34. Jeff Says:

    Bucs have about a 20% chance against the 49ers, 0% chance against the mighty Saints and 50% against the Purple People Eaters.