It’s tough to get to the playoffs within the NFL and it’s even harder to get there with a losing record, but that is exactly what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done this season.
The Bucs’ 30-17 loss to the Falcons on Sunday dropped them to 8-9, which implies they’ll now be heading to the postseason with a losing record, marking just the sixth time in NFL history that that is happened. There’s been some outcry over time that the NFL shouldn’t award a house playoff game to a team with a losing record, however the league has kept its format in place, which is why Tampa Bay can be hosting a wild card game next week.
Simply because the Buccaneers are heading into the postseason with a losing record doesn’t necessarily mean you must count them out. Although no one with a losing record has won the Super Bowl, they’ve managed to win multiple playoff games.
Let’s take a have a look at how teams with a losing record have historically done within the postseason. (Note: Three of the five teams to get in with a losing record won their division, but two others — the 1982 Browns and Lions — made the playoffs since the NFL expanded the postseason to 16 teams following the strike-shortened 1982 season.
1982: Browns (4-5). The Browns needed to play the highest the team within the AFC — the 8-1 Raiders — and things got ugly. Cleveland’s defense was torched for 510 total yards in a 27-10 loss. Although the Browns couldn’t stop Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett, this game was actually close until the top of the third quarter. On the Browns’ opening possession of the second half, they drove all the way down to the Raiders’ 11-yard line trying to break open a 10-10 tie. Unfortunately, Cleveland is the factory of sadness so you understand this story ends with something sad. Browns running back Charles White lost a fumble before the Browns could rating. The Raiders took the turnover and drove 89 yards for a touchdown that gave Los Angeles a 17-10 lead. Things only got uglier from there for Cleveland. Result: Raiders 27-10 over Browns.
1982: Lions (4-5). The Lions needed to go on the road to play No. 1-seeded Washington (8-1) in a game that was just about over before it began. On their first three possessions, the Lions lost two fumbles and threw a pick-six. The sport was so ugly, we should always just stop talking about it and do some trivia as an alternative. To stump your pals this week, ask them in the event that they know who the Lions’ starting quarterback was on this game. Answer: Eric Hipple. Hipple was sacked 4 times and threw two interceptions within the blowout loss. Result: Washington 31-7 over Lions.
2010: Seahawks (7-9). The 2010 Seahawks are the team that began the controversy about whether or not division winners should get to host playoff games. Despite going 7-9, Seattle still got to host the 11-5 Saints since the Seahawks won the NFC West while the Saints were a wild card team. The Seahawks would find yourself pulling off the upset in a game that is mostly remembered for giving us the “Beast Quake.”
With Seattle clinging to a 34-30 fourth-quarter lead, Marshawn Lynch took a handoff and immediately proceeded to run over everyone on the Saints defense en path to a 67-yard touchdown. The ultimate Sunday of Week 18 this yr was actually played on the eleventh anniversary of the “Beast Quake.”
Lynch’s touchdown helped the Seahawks pull off one among the largest upsets in NFL postseason history.
Wild card result: Seahawks 41-36 over Saints.
Divisional result: Bears 35-24 over Seahawks
2014: Panthers (7-8-1). Just like the Buccaneers, the Panthers won a weak NFC South, which is how they were in a position to get into the playoffs with a losing record. Within the wild card round, the Panthers were lucky enough to face a Cardinals team that was all the way down to its third-string QB in Ryan Lindley. The Panthers defense beat up on Lindley, who threw for just 82 yards while also throwing two interceptions.
Wild card result: Panthers 27-16 over Cardinals
Divisional result: Seahawks 31-17 over Panthers
2020: Commanders (7-9). The Commanders were an enormous 10-point underdog within the wild card round against Tom Brady’s Buccaneers, but despite that, they still almost pulled off the upset. With the rating 31-23, the Commanders had the ball in the ultimate 2:30 of the sport with a likelihood to tie, but their final drive got here up short after Washington had driven into Tampa Bay territory.
Overall, the three division winners that finished with a losing record have gone 2-1 within the wild card round, so a win by the Buccaneers next week is not out of the query. The Bucs even have a secret weapon that none of those other teams had and that is Tom Brady. When you could have essentially the most successful quarterback in NFL history in your side, anything is feasible.