Why Tom Brady, Buccaneers will be behind Falcons or Panthers in NFC South standings after Week 8

By | October 28, 2022

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers were supposed to roll over the NFC South, otherwise known as the NFL’s weakest division in 2022. Now, they will be in second place at the halfway point of the season.

Tampa Bay lost a third consecutive game with Thursday night’s 27-22 home loss to Baltimore. That dropped the Buccaneers to 3-5, or the first time Brady has been two games below .500 in his career as the greatest starting quarterback to ever play in the league.

That also means that, come Sunday night — ahead of the Buccaneers having another tough matchup against the Rams in Week 9 — they are guaranteed to be trailing the Falcons or the Panthers in the NFC South standings.

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That’s because Atlanta (3-4) is hosting Carolina (2-5) on Sunday. Should the Falcons win that game as home favorites, they would be 4-4 and up a full game on the Buccaneers despite losing a close game at Tampa Bay in Week 5.

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Should the Panthers win, there would be a three-way tie between them, the Buccaneers and Falcons at 3-5. Carolina would own the tiebreaker, thanks to its three wins all coming in the division, against New Orleans (in Week 3), Tampa Bay (in Week 7) and Atlanta. That would put the Saints (2-5) out of the equation even with a home win over the Raiders on Sunday.

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In the event the Falcons and Panthers tie, then the Falcons would be 3-4-1 and the Panthers would be 2-5-1. That’s advantage, Falcons, again; it would give them a half-game lead over the Buccaneers. At least the Buccaneers, at 3-5, cannot fall behind the Saints, given they beat that team in Week 2 in New Orleans.

The Buccaneers won Super Bowl 55 after the 2021 season as a second-place wild card and a No. 5 seed. They lost in the divisional playoffs as a powerful, division-winning No. 2 seed last season. It’s fair to say Tampa Bay isn’t “right where it wants to be” after its latest disappointing defeat.