The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had great opportunity to improve their playoff chances with a win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The Bucs lost 24-23 to their division rival, but didn't lose any ground in the race for a postseason berth.
With losses by the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, the 6-5 Bucs stayed put as the seventh seed in the NFC. Thanks to a better conference record (and a lucky win on the Fail Mary against the Green Bay Packers), the 6-5 Seahawks remain ahead of the Bucs for the final wildcard spot.
It's pretty amazing to think that the Bucs are in the playoff hunt with five games remaining. No one really thought that this team would be as good and competitive as they are in Year One under head coach Greg Schiano.
But if the Bucs are to make the playoffs, they will have to win at least three more games (maybe more) during a final stretch that features some tough matchups. Next week, the Bucs have to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver. They also have to play the New Orleans Saints and Falcons once more; both on the road.
The last two home games remaining are against the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams.
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