The Bucs aren't going to the playoffs this year. I know that's not earth shattering news but after nine games the Bucs are in last place in the worst division in football. The NFC South is a joke. Not one team is above five hundred. In an era where parity runs rampant, being this bad is quite impressive. Lovie Smith knows this isn't where he thought his team would be after nine games. "The master plan wasn’t for us to be 1-8 right now and I can just answer that way," Smith said. "I’m disappointed in where we are right now and hopefully we’ll turn things around, but again, that wasn’t the plan for us to be where we are right now.”
What is so disappointing about the teams record through nine games is that they aren't taking advantage of the divisions down year. These opportunities don't come around often. Had the Bucs just won two more games this year the team would be right in the middle of a playoff race. Again, no one is saying the Bucs are championship caliber, but being eliminated from playoff contention this early in the season is inexcusable. Although if you asked Smith, he still feels like his team is competing for the division.
"How many games are we out of first place? Three. That’s how I’m looking at it. I’m glad we’re in the NFC South right now with how it’s turned out for us," Smith said. "There’s still hope before this game. We’ve been talking to our football team about, ‘Hey, man, we’re running out of time to make a run,’ – unless everybody in our division loses. Of course, we knew playing [a division opponent], one of us would [lose]. Two of us have lost [this week] so we’re still hanging in there and that’s an opportunity with that.”
If the Bucs had three wins instead of one maybe those comments hold true. But the Bucs aren't in that position. They are in last place. Even in the NFC South one team has to win the division. Unfortunately for the Bucs, that one team won't be them.
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