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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 16 if you are a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan

Week 16 is here and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the NFC playoff picture. Who should Tampa fans root for to help their chances?

Baker Mayfield #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signals at the line of scrimmage during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 17, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16 of the NFL season. If you are a Buccaneers fan, you’ll have a few more games you’ll be paying attention to as they look to improve their chances of a playoff berth.

Result: The Buccaneers beat the Jaguars 30-12. This was a big win, as the Falcons were able to beat the Colts and the Saints lost to the Rams. That leaves the Bucs one game ahead of both of them in the division.

Saints vs. Rams

The Rams beat the Saints 30-22, which the Bucs have to appreciate. Tampa Bay can’t clinch the NFC South on Sunday, but a win would move them a full game up on New Orleans. This result also ensures that the Buccaneers will remain on top of the NFC South and firmly in the No. 4 spot in the NFC playoff picture for at least another week.

Colts vs. Falcons

Result: The Falcons beat the Colts 29-10 to improve to 7-8 and move into a tie with the Saints. If the Buccaneers win, they’ll be a game up on those two teams. If they lose, there will be a three-way tie for first.

The Falcons are going back to Taylor Heinicke under center, hoping that can spark some momentum to get off their two-game losing streak. Even with a win, Atlanta would move into second place in the division but still behind Tampa Bay. Bucs fans should be hoping for a Colts win just to make things easier down the road.

Atlanta Bay is a 2.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Lions vs. Vikings

Result: The Lions beat the Vikings 30-24, which drops the Vikings to 7-8.

The Lions are 10-4, and the Vikings are 7-7. Detroit would clinch the NFC North and a top-four playoff seed with a win or tie in this game. Minnesota losing would move them to 7-8 and give the Buccaneers a better chance at a Wild Card spot if they were to fall out of the division lead.

Detroit is a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Seahawks vs. Titans

Result: The Seahawks beat the Titans on a touchdown with less than a minute remaining. Seattle moved into the final wild card berth with the win.

Seattle is 7-7 and sitting on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture at the No. 8 spot. They haven’t played Tampa Bay this season and won’t, so their first tiebreaker would be their conference record. Both teams play non-conference opponents this week, and the Buccaneers currently own the tiebreaker with a 6-4 NFC record, compared to a 6-5 NFC record for Seattle. Tampa Bay fans should be rooting for Seattle in the chance that the Bucs fall into Wild Card contention.

Seattle is a 3.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Packers vs. Panthers

Result: The Panthers gave the Packers a tough time, but came up short in a 33-30 loss.

The Panthers have been eliminated from playoff contention. It may be hard to root for a division rival, but a Carolina win helps Tampa Bay way more than a Green Bay victory would. If the Packers pick up a win, they would move to 7-8. They can’t win the NFC North but could be in contention for a Wild Card spot. The Buccaneers own the potential head-to-head tiebreaker after Week 15’s 34-20 victory over Green Bay.

Green Bay is a five-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.