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Week 14 NFL playoff picture: Buccaneers take big step toward winning NFC South

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Someone has to win the NFC South, and after Monday night, it will almost certainly be the Buccaneers.

The 6-6 Bucs haven’t had a good season, but their 17-16 comeback win over the Saints on Monday night gives them a 1.5-game lead over the Falcons in the NFC South, and the Bucs also have the tiebreaker edge over the Falcons. Tom Brady & Co. will almost certainly be back in the playoffs.

Here’s how the NFC playoff picture looks after Monday Night Football:

CURRENTLY IN
1. Eagles (11-1) Clear path to home-field advantage.

2. Vikings (10-2) Closing in on clinching the NFC North.

3. 49ers (8-4) Can Brock Purdy lead them to the playoffs?

4. Buccaneers (6-6) Should at least get to eight wins, which may be all it takes to win the terrible NFC South.

5. Cowboys (9-3) Won’t be easy to catch the Eagles.

6. Giants (7-4-1) Sunday’s tie was not a bad result for the Giants.

7. Seahawks (7-5) A game back of the 49ers for the division lead.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
8. Commanders (7-5-1) In good shape in the wild card race.

9. Lions (5-7) Surging late in the season, but possibly too late.

10. Falcons (5-8) Win tiebreaker over Packers based on strength of victory.

11. Packers (5-8) Aaron Rodgers will need to pull a miracle to get them to the playoffs.

12. Cardinals (4-8) Win tiebreaker over Panthers based on head-to-head.

13. Panthers (4-8) They’re only two games out of the NFC South, but it would take some extraordinary upsets for them to catch the Buccaneers.

NO CHANCE OF GETTING IN
14. Saints (4-9) Blew a golden opportunity to make the NFC South competitive on Monday night.

15. Rams (3-9) The worst defending Super Bowl champion ever.

16. Bears (3-10) Dead last in the conference.

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