After months of questioning if anybody wanted to win this division, the NFC South race has finally been settled.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers in a 30-24 victory in Week 17 to clinch themselves the division crown and a home game in the playoffs. The team was the preseason favorite the win the South with many predicting that they’d have it wrapped up before the holidays. However, the Bucs struggled throughout the year with a maddeningly inefficient offense and found themselves in a dogfight with the rest of their struggling division rivals. Nevertheless, the Bucs still managed to cross the finish line and will be the No. 4 seed in the NFC.
This marks a second straight NFC South title for Tampa Bay as it won the division last year. Coming off their Super Bowl run the year prior, the 2021 Bucs actually improved on their record with a 13-4 mark to end the regular season. The team squashed the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card round before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional round the following week.
This is the eighth division title in franchise history and the first time the Bucs have won back-to-back in divisional crowns. They will head to the postseason for the 13th time in their history.