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What Buccaneers win over Jaguars in Week 16 means for NFL playoff picture in NFC/AFC

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16. We break down what it means for the NFC and AFC playoff pictures.

Baker Mayfield #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stands on the sidelines prior to an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Raymond James Stadium on December 24, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-12 in Week 16 of the NFL season. Despite these in-state teams being non-conference opponents, the game could be a factor in their respective playoff pursuits. Let’s take a look at how the Tampa Bay victory affects the NFC and AFC playoff pictures.

Tampa Bay needed a win to stay on top of the NFC South, and they got it. The Bucs move to 8-7 and sit a game ahead of both the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. This means that Tampa Bay currently has the No. 4 seed in the NFC. No matter if they win out, the Bucs can only be as high as the No. 4 seed in the NFC based on the records of the other division leaders in the NFC. Tampa Bay plays a big divisional game against the Saints in Week 17 and then against the Carolina Panthers to end the regular season.

The Jaguars move to 8-7 on the season, but good news for Jaguars fans as they own the tiebreaker over the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. All three teams have the same record, but Jacksonville benefits as every AFC South team lost this week. For now, the Jags remain in the No. 4 spot in the playoffs heading into Week 17. They will take on the Panthers in Week 17 and the Tennessee Titans in Week 18.