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NFL Playoffs: Buccaneers Looking to Expand NFC South Lead with Win Over Browns

Coming out of their bye week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need more than just wins to improve their playoff stock.

Rested and hopefully rejuvenated, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into Week 12 with a two-game winning streak after defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and NFC West-leading (at the time) Seattle Seahawks.

At 5-5, the Bucs would be a third-place team in most NFL divisions. 

In the NFC South, Tampa Bay is the top dog and looking to put some space between them and the rest of the group this weekend. 

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The entire division is off for Thanksgiving, but all four teams are in action on Sunday with the New Orleans Saints playing the latest contest, visiting the San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) at 4:25 P.M. eastern time. 

Obviously, the Buccaneers would benefit from a 49ers win there, but also hope to see a Washington Commanders (-4.5) win over the Atlanta Falcons, and hope to see the Denver Broncos (-2.5) ride toward victory against the Carolina Panthers.

If all of those things happen, and the Bucs (-3.5) handle their own business visiting the Cleveland Browns then the division lead will swell to two games with six left to play. 

Meanwhile, the race for the top seed in the NFC may feel a little out of reach, but if the Green Bay Packers can upset the Philadelphia Eagles (-7) Sunday night, then things get a bit more interesting. 

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Thanksgiving isn't completely devoid of football that will interest Tampa Bay though, because if the New England Patriots can defeat the Minnesota Vikings (-2.5), then the gap between the fourth-seed and second also shrinks. 

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This is the time of year Buccaneers fans start cheering for other teams as their goals begin to align and the enemy of their enemy becomes their friend. 

For Week 11, those friends are the 49ers, Commanders, and Broncos. 

Those who want to keep the top seed in the NFC hopes alive also want to make sure they're cheering on the Packers and Patriots. 

Stick with BucsGameday and the Locked On Bucs podcast for more coverage on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the season.

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