Buccaneers clinch wild card if they win today, may rest starters in Week 17

Michael David Smith
·1 min read

The Saints’ win over the Vikings eliminated the Buccaneers from NFC South contention, but if they beat the Lions today, the Bucs clinch a wild card. In which case they may decide to take it easy in Week 17.

Bucs coach Bruce Arians acknowledged that he might want to rest some of his top players if the Bucs find themselves in that situation next week against the Falcons.

“We’ll look at what possibly can change,” Arians said, via Jon Ledyard of PewterReport.com. “If we’re locked into a spot I wouldn’t be against resting a couple guys. But we’re still going out to win the ball game.”

The Buccaneers would still be playing for playoff seeding in Week 17 even if they clinch a playoff berth today, but regardless, they know they have to win on the road in the playoffs to advance. Arians may decide he wants to rest key players like Tom Brady, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski.

Although Brady played in plenty of meaningless Week 17 games when the Patriots already had their playoff seed clinched, he never sat out a Week 17 game. He did, however, sometimes leave games early. No one should be surprised if Brady plays a series or two to stay fresh in the season finale, and then gives way to Blaine Gabbert.

Buccaneers clinch wild card if they win today, may rest starters in Week 17 originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Tampa Bay
+140+3O 51.5
New Orleans
-167-3U 51.5