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The Washington Football Team threw the Buccaneers a curve ball in terms of the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC last week, but the Bucs are still in great shape to make the playoffs. They did drop from a 91% chance of making the playoffs to an 86% chance after the loss, but the latter number is still the fifth-best odds in the NFC, per the New York Times'.

This doesn't mean the Bucs can lose their next game to the Giants, though. Tampa Bay's chances at making the playoffs will drop to 77% if that happens and you can pretty much kiss any remaining shot at the No. 1 seed goodbye. Especially when considering the Bucs currently have just a 5% to 7% chance of skipping the first round of the playoffs.

Unless the Bucs receive some help, which could happen if the following games play out in their favor.

5. Packers (8-2) at Vikings (4-5)

If the Packers lose, the Bucs then have the same amount of losses as the NFC's top seed, which obviously puts them in good shape moving forward. Especially considering the fact that the Packers play the Rams in Week 12. If the Packers lose to Minnesota and LA, the Bucs will have a chance to catch up in Week 14 when Green Bay travels to Chicago. If the Bucs win out and Green Bay then loses that game, the tiebreaker will come down to strength of victory, where the Bucs currently have the advantage, per ESPN.

If the Packers win, well, the Bucs are still chasing, but at least Minnesota gets taken down a peg. That will help the Bucs avoid disaster if they were to suck it up over these last eight games. 

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4. Cardinals (8-2) at Seahawks (3-6)

It's weird seeing the Seahawks three games below .500, but that's where we are today. 

A loss by the Cardinals would help the Bucs inch a bit closer to surpassing them in the division winner ranks (seeds 1-4), but Tampa Bay would still be behind due to Arizona having played one more game at this point. The good news is a Cardinals loss would put them at three conference losses on the year. If that happens, the tiebreaker between the Bucs and Cards would come down to strength of victory. The Bucs have that advantage, so they would have a shot to surpass Arizona with wins against the Giants and Colts over the next two weeks while the Cards rest on their bye in Week 12.

Can Russell Wilson get the Seahawks back on track against the Cardinals this week?

Can Russell Wilson get the Seahawks back on track against the Cardinals this week?

3. Washington (3-6) at Carolina (5-5)

Just like the previous matchup, the Bucs gain ground no matter what happens, here. But there's more onus on a Carolina loss since they're in the division. The Panthers saved their season with a win over the Cardinals last week and Washington definitely helped them by beating Tampa Bay. A Washington win should be preferred here, even if they did whip the Bucs last week.

2. Cowboys (7-2) at Chiefs (6-4)

Tampa Bay will jump the Cowboys and claim the No. 3 seed if the Chiefs were to win this game based off the NFL's head-to-head tiebreaker. But the Bucs need to make sure they win this week, because if it were to come down to a three-way tiebreaker, Dallas would hold the advantage when it comes to the NFL's fourth tiebreaker, which is best win-loss percentage in common games played (min. of four). Dallas has wins over the Eagles, Giants, Patriots, and Falcons. A Bucs loss to the Giants would put them behind by a game and would force them to rely on the Saints to beat the Cowboys in Week 13 to even things out. Assuming there's a three-way tie at that point, of course.

1. Saints (5-4) at Eagles (4-6)

The Bucs are a bad loss to the Giants and a Saints win over the Eagles away from giving up the lead in the NFC South. This would be extremely disappointing considering everything the Saints have gone through in terms of injuries, especially at the quarterback position. Sure, the Bucs have had injury issues themselves, but they still have Tom Brady, who is good for 10 wins in a season, alone. Neutralizing a direct threat such as the Saints makes it easy to put this game as the most impactful game on Sunday.

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