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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 18 if you are a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan

Week 18 is here and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are NFC South champions. We break down who Bucs fans should root for to help their seeding.

A Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan looks on during the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on January 02, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Update: The Bucs took down the Panthers 41-24 to close out the regular season in Week 18. With the Rams falling to the 49ers in overtime, the Bucs have clinched the No. 2 seed in the NFC and will host the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card round.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed to the 2022 NFL Playoffs this year as NFC South champions. The Packers have claimed the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but the Bucs could still secure anywhere from the No. 2 to No. 4 seeds depending on how things shake out in Week 18.

The Bucs are 12-4 and while they could tie the Packers at the end of the season, Green Bay will claim the conference record tiebreaker. The Bucs can claim each seed based on the following results:

No. 2 seed: Bucs win and Rams loss or tie, OR Bucs tie and Rams loss
No. 3 seed: Rams win OR Bucs loss/tie and Rams tie OR Bucs loss and Cowboys loss/tie
No. 4 seed: Bucs loss plus Rams loss, plus Cardinals loss or tie, plus Cowboys win

The two, three, and four seeds all get a home game in the wild card round. Of that group, only the two seed is guaranteed a home game if they advance to the divisional round. The three and four could get a home game, but re-seeding means it will require some upsets in the first round.

If you are a Bucs fan, you’ll have a few games you’ll be paying attention to as they look to improve their playoff seeding.

49ers vs. Rams

A Rams loss and a Bucs win moves Tampa into the No. 2 seed. That’s pretty straight forward. The Rams are four-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Seahawks vs. Cardinals

If the Rams win, Seahawks-Cardinals has no bearing on the Bucs. If the Rams lose and the Cardinals win, Arizona would win the NFC West. If the Bucs lose, Arizona could then move ahead of them in the standings based on conference record tiebreaker. The Cardinals are seven-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cowboys vs. Eagles

Saturday update: The Cowboys beat the Eagles, which puts a little more pressure on the Buccaneers to win and keep the Cowboys from passing them in the playoff seeding.

If the Bucs win, Cowboys-Eagles has no impact. If the Bucs lose and the Cowboys win, Tampa would remain ahead of the Cowboys if the Rams won but would drop behind Dallas if the Rams lost. This is due to Tampa having the head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas, but losing the conference record tiebreaker, which comes into play if three or more teams are tied and one has not swept all the others or been swept by all the others. The Cowboys are seven-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.