The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are NFC South Champions


With a win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the Buccaneers clinched a division crown, marking the first time they have done so in three straight seasons and guaranteeing a home game in the opening round of the playoffs.

In 2021 and 2022, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won consecutive division titles for the first time in franchise history. Now they've made it three in a row.

With a 9-0 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 18, the Buccaneers clinched the NFC South and locked themselves into the fourth seed in the conference playoff field. The win in Charlotte improved the Bucs' record to 9-8 and eliminated both the Saints and the Falcons from division title contention. This marks the ninth time Tampa Bay has finished first in its division and the sixth time since the NFC South was formed in 2002.

In addition to the last three seasons, the Buccaneers also won the NFC Central in 1979, 1981 and 1999 and the NFC South in 2002, 2005 and 2007.

The Buccaneers have now qualified for the postseason in four consecutive seasons, with their Wild Card berth in 2020 leading to a thrilling run to Super Bowl LV, in which they became the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl in its home stadium. This is just the second time in team history the Bucs have recorded four straight playoff seasons, equaling their run from 1999-2002, which culminated in victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.

As of the conclusion of the 1:00 p.m. games, the Buccaneers are one of only two teams that have made it to the postseason in each of the last four years, joining the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buffalo Bills could make it a group of three if they clinch a spot later in the day.

Overall, this is the 14th season that has ended in a playoff berth for the Buccaneers. In addition to their nine division titles they were also Wild Card entrants in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2020. After a players' strike reduced the 1982 regular season to nine games, the NFL conducted a "Super Bowl tournament" that included eight teams from each conference, and the Buccaneers got in as the NFC's seventh seed.

All four division winners in the conference are guaranteed at least one home playoff game. The first seed gets a bye in the Wild Card round and the other three division winners host the three Wild Card participants. As the lowest-seeded division winner, the Buccaneers get the highest-seeded Wild Card team. Times and dates for the games will be announced at the end of Week 18.

This information was provided to Tidings Media by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is reprinted with permission.  

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