Bucs Wild Card Chase Tightens

November 24th, 2023

Results broke reasonably well for the Bucs’ wild card hunt yesterday.

Wait a minute. How can the Bucs be chasing the playoffs while they’ve lost five of their last six games? It’s because the NFC is weak and the NFL has a seventh club in each conference qualifying for the playoffs, the glorious rule change of the 2020 season.

A 9-8 record scored the Seahawks a postseason Wild Card trip last season. Before that it was the Eagles at 9-8 in 2021 (the Bucs beat them) and the Bears at 8-8 for the 2020 campaign.

Tampa Bay (4-6) needs to close the season on a 5-2 run to be in line for a Wild Card. The good news on that front was the Seahawks (6-5) getting hammered by the 49ers yesterday. Currently, Seattle and Minnesota (6-5) hold the final two NFC Wild Card spots.

Seattle has a brutal final six games, including at Dallas, San Francisco and Philadelphia. The Vikings have the easier schedule that includes dates with the Bengals and Lions.

The somewhat troubling development for the Bucs’ Wild Card hopes yesterday was the Packers slapping around the Lions on the heels of beating the Chargers on Sunday. Green Bay (5-6) has risen from the dead in the playoff chase.

That Bucs-Packers game in Green Bay on Dec. 17 is shaping up to be huge, assuming the Bucs aren’t out of it by then, or they haven’t taken a commanding lead in the NFC South.

48 Responses to “Bucs Wild Card Chase Tightens”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Win the NFC South and the Wild Card chase is inconsequential. Got a hunch the key will be beating the Saints on New Year’s Eve.

  2. Leighroy Says:


  3. Leighroy Says:

    And even if they do get in, they’ll either travel to Philly or San Francisco or host the cowboys (and receive an encore performance from last years Wild Card round).

    Either way, they’d be destined for one-and-embarrassed. Playoffs are not some kind of saving grace miracle hope, it would only delay the inevitable.

  4. HC Grover Says:

    Has Bowles ever gon 5-2 in 7 games???

  5. Buc50 Says:

    I’d rather go 0-7 than 4-3. Something tells me we won’t go 5-2.

  6. Bucfan Says:

    Please do not make the playoffs. If they do, 100% bowels will be back for 2024!

  7. pewter941 Says:

    There is a 0 percent chance we make the wild card. We have to win the division if we want to make the playoffs.

  8. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Stop it

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Please the wild card will not come out of the nfc south. The bucs play the falcons and saints, the saint play the falcons twice and of course the bucs. My guess is the second place team will lose 9 or 10 games.

  10. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    IF and a BIG IF Bucs are still in it.

  11. Jason Says:

    I find it very difficult to believe that the NFC South gets 2 teams in the playoffs.
    Just saying.

  12. Jeff Says:

    Even JBF knows this team will not earn a wild card birth. This season has been an abortion.

  13. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    I still hold out hope for the Bucs to win the division and make the playoffs. At this point I’ll take a wild card spot. I don’t think missing the playoffs necessarily means Bowles gets fired. If there isn’t a solid replacement available to be had, we might have to deal with it again.

    Bucs fans would love this holiday season to bring us a big, fat Turducken for Thanksgiving and lots of presents under the tree for Christmas. Unfortunately all we’re getting from Licht, Bowles and Canales are cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and a fruitcake for Christmas and all we can do as fans is shut up and eat it.

  14. Buc50 Says:

    I want draft picks and a rebuild. A QB out of this draft class would be nice. Continuous 8-9 or 9-8 seasons means another lost decade.

  15. Pewter Power Says:

    You got jokes!!! I don’t see it and I don’t see any wild card team coming out of our division.

  16. stpetebucfan Says:

    Tend to agree with D.R. that N.O. game will determine who goes to the playoffs.

    I’m the cockeyed optimist here I guess…we at least have a realistic-optimist posting. Perhaps I should have stolen his moniker.

    Casey Kasem AT 40…before some of you guys time…always ended with “Reach for the stars but keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.”

    SI and most other major preseason predictions had the Bucs as a DISASTER this year winning TWO games. I don’t even know their SB odds but they must be truly LONG! I just want to be entertained by a team with heart and effort.

    Mayfield has shown tons of both and so he “entertains” me. The kids are entertaining me. Some of the vets like Winfield, LVD, Wirfs and others entertain me. The playcalling does NOT entertain me.

    Reaching the playoffs with ALL the obstacles from cap restrictions to loss of a GOAT at starting QB a new OL..new OC..etc…would be a major accomplishment that would entertain me!

    Mayfield is not the problem….yet…if he reached the playoffs a couple of years and gets bounced in the first round then we can talk.

  17. Tye Says:

    In Bowels’s 91+ (36-55) games as HC, what makes ANYONE believe he has FINALLY cracked the code for winning in the NFL?

    Curse of Bowels!

  18. PowerOfPewter Says:

    A 9-8 record probably wins the Division. But TBH, a 5-2 run by the Bucs to finish up the regular season is unlikely, given that they’ve only won 4 of their first 10 games. And both Saints and Falcons have an easier remaining schedule than the Bucs.

  19. It's Corn Says:

    4-6 and evaluating playoff possibilities lol. How about winning another game?

  20. Henry Says:

    Playoffs? Who wants to watch this boring asf offense and half-wilted defense get thumped in the playoffs? This season is toast. Can we just skip to the draft?

  21. MegaFailure Says:


  22. Cobraboy Says:

    Oh, boy!

    A 16th pick into perpetuity!

    That’s how to build a competitive roster!


    If a team is not relly in the hunt, not pretenders, they should be positioning themselves for the draft.

    After laying the Falcon and Texan eggs, not to mention impotence in other games, I’m ready to plan stocking for the future.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    Bowles defines mediocrity in NFL Head Coaching.

  24. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Cant see a WC happening even with a head to head win VS Minnie. Win the division? Absolutely possible. 2 game back with 4/7 division games left puts the ball squarely in their court..They really do control their own destiny

  25. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Cobraboy it’s not where you draft but how you draft. I think NE and KC have proved that

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    @Buckeye: where you draft determines what the potential player pool is.

  27. Oviedo Jim Says:

    Please stop the bull crap!

  28. WyomingJoe Says:

    I think that we should BLOW UP the loser “fans” on this site WHO WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED! You know the ones that I’m talking about. The ones who gave up on the Bucs in training camp. The ones who give up on the Bucs year after year. So I say, resign Mayfield and dump those pathetic, whining excuses for fans.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    WyomingJoe … Are ya done?

    Now go take your cheerleading outfit off and have a nice day.


  30. D Cone Says:

    If Joe is counting on a 5-2 finish then Colts, Falcons, Saints, Panther x2 are all must wins.

    Packers have been getting a little better each week and are now winning with a lot of injuries and will be healthy by mid December.

    Bucs are not looking any better than they were week 1. At least we know they will be playing their Best after Thanksgiving because they have been all season.
    Consistently So-So.

  31. Bucs 95 Says:

    Rather not make the playoffs at this point seeing who the top 2 teams are in the nfc and the nfc south winners will host the cowboys in first round , I rather see the saints or falcons get destroyed then us in the first round maybe the saints have a better chance against dallas cause there defense is good

  32. Lowest Common Denominator Says:

    Reaching the playoffs just to get eliminated in the first round should never be the goal

  33. Henry Says:

    Hey Wyoming Joe, go back to milking your steers.

  34. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    One and done in the playoffs does nothing for the fans but pain and embarrassment because we hold out hope for a win even though we’re sure of the loss. It’s all for the owners and players who get exta money for the game.

  35. Buccos Says:

    I for one have not given up on this season the Bucs just need to get hot at the right time. If we can beat the Saints and the Falcons we will control our own destiny. This team has remained competitive and is much much better than the teams from the lost decade. If the team quits on bowls, then he should be fired if they keep playing their hearts out in every game and coming close and maybe he deserves another year. The jury is still out. those fans who have already given up on this team are like a cancer and need to be removed

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    What is the freaking point? We’d have no hope of winning in the playoffs. So we should he proud that we get a participation award?????

    I am so disgusted with this team right now.

  37. Cobraboy Says:

    Sure, -layers may still play hard for Bowles.

    Because they know if Bowles & Staff are issued the apple and roadmap, the roster gets gutted.

    Nobody wants to be on the gutted list.

  38. Buccos Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai I understand your frustration but to me a higher draft pick is not the answer. I want to see it on the field now, on Sunday. The Titans game is this team’s ceiling. Of course we are now dealing with some injuries. But I would love to keep bragging rights of being division Champs. Just think back to the lost decade and try to keep things in perspective

  39. UKBuccaneer Says:

    A top 10 pick is a guarantee of nothing. Just as a bottom 10 pick doesn’t doom you to eternal mediocrity. I’m not sure if anyone is aware of this, but building a team takes several years, and involves multiple draft picks over multiple rounds, free agency and even trades. Amazing, right?

    Tanking for a QB is a fools game.

  40. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    The problem is the Panthers are literally the worst team in the league. Beating them just proves we are not ‘the worst’ but we still can’t beat good teams.

    Winning the division means little to me, winning a ring does. Or at least competing with a chance to beat good competition.

    Right now, this team is incapable of that.

  41. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey BB, Cobra, and a few other fake fans, how about You Get Lost! You call yourselves Buc fans, huh? How about full of crap “fans”? And by the way, I hated Brady from the time he ended up down here. The old fossil himself. BM would have won the 2020 SB with our Bucs team. We sure didn’t need Brady, his soap operas, and his salary cap drain.

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    UKBuccaneer Says
    “A top 10 pick is a guarantee of nothing.”

    Absolutely right.

    It all depends on the pick you make in that top 10. And I personally do not trust Bowles to make a good choice.

  43. Obvious Says:

    A top pick guarantees you nothing? Um yeah IT DOES! What are you people talking about?

    Let’s say for instance You’re on the Titanic.. There IS ONE lifeboat. It ONLY has 5 seats!

    So what is the good idea here? Hmm… Maybe if I wait until the TITANIC sinks instead of getting on the Lifeboat if I’ll have a better chance to live? Hmm? I bet I’ll find a piece of wood that would be better than getting on that “BETTER THAN AVERAGE CHANCE OF LIVING” lifeboat NO PROBLEM… Just as long as I don’t get wet. OH WAIT!

    So is it better to play the averages or is it better to be forced to wait in a long line to get on that Lifeboat with ONLY 5 seats? You tell me.

    A game or two more losses “ICEBERGS”, then YOU’RE ON THE TITANIC!

    HOWEVER, I have to agree that we need to hit a couple more icebergs before we BETTER start to head towards that Lifeboat.

    I guess some are just moving “a little closer” to that lifeboat before we crash into the “next iceberg”

    I personally WANT TO WIN! I just don’t see us doing that in our current situation. Mr. Bowles seems to be a wonderful man. As most have concluded, he may not be suited as having the right strength to do it successfully as a head coach.

    We DO NEED to FINALLY find our franchise QB. Though Baker sure has done the best he can and quite frankly Better than I thought he could, he seems to be missing a couple Key Elements in “today’s” football. 20 years ago (with far fewer giants everywhere) he would have been something really special because the One thing that HE HAS that not even money can buy is A GIANT HEART! He’s just missing the stature in today’s football. Not the gust. HE HAS THAT IN SPADES! And I DO love to watch him pull off Houdini escapes. I would rather he completes more passes though.

    A better draft position, the more OPTIONS to choose from ~ equals a better chance at successfully finding our franchise QB. If we hit another iceberg anytime soon, maybe we should hall ass towards that Lifeboat.

    From a fan who loves his team win or lose.

    GO BUCS!

  44. Hodad Says:

    Green Bay will wipe the floor with us. Love will have a career day. The good news is black Monday will be right around the corner.

  45. UKBuccaneer Says:

    The last time we hit that iceberg we drafted the current saints backup QB.

    An NFL has *never* purposefully tanked and taken a Super Bowl winning, franchise type QB.

    Tanking doesn’t work.

  46. mark2001 Says:

    Have to tell you. That game in Green Bay will be sooo cold. So the team with the best running game should have an edge. And that isn’t a good thing.

  47. Darin Says:

    Wild cards will come down to the last week of the season. The bucs won’t be in the conversation. Get your heart out of your head

  48. Bucsman90 Says:

    If bucs dont win the division, no shot they are in contention for a wild card spot