I mean sure, there is still *some* leverage, but according to our simulations, the NFC playoff race is pretty much done (exact seeding still open, of course) apart from the NFC South "race" and the possibility of an epic Seahawks collapse (which I could somewhat see coming tbh) pic.twitter.com/TubhGSuEUv
— Timo Riske (@PFF_Moo) November 15, 2023
A win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against one of the NFC’s best teams on the road is quite unlikely, but if it does happen, the team’s playoff chances could soar as a result.
Pro Football Focus analyzes every team’s playoff chances from week to week, and the Bucs face one of their bigger swings in Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers. According to PFF, the Bucs will jump to a 62% chance of making the playoffs with a win in Santa Clara, but they’ll drop to a 32% chance to make the playoffs with a loss. While the team is still in the hunt with a loss, a win would be huge for Tampa Bay in its hunt to get to the postseason.
The big advantage from a win over the 49ers would come from the victory in conference. As it stands, the Bucs are the only team in the NFC South without a losing record in the conference, currently standing at 3-3. Should the Bucs win against San Francisco, the Bucs would be 4-3 in conference and would hold a positive record against the NFC, which would be a boon for future playoff chances.
That being said, if the Bucs lose, they aren’t out of the hunt. The NFC South is weak this year, and the Saints currently lead the division at 5-5 with a bye week in Week 11. Even if the Bucs lose, they’re set to be a game back of the NFC South lead.