Just because it's meaningless doesn't mean the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren't taking the Arizona Cardinals seriously.
The game on Sunday means nothing; both teams are out of the playoff hunt and could mail it in, but the Bucs said they are taking it quite seriously, even if it does affect their position in the 2005 NFL draft.
"Nobody plays this game just to play,'' Ronde Barber said. "We play to win the football game. It will carry some weight no matter what we do. It carried some weight last year when we went to Tennessee and didn't play well (in a season-ending loss). We want to finish on a big note.''
Derrick Brooks agreed.
"Mindset is to win,'' Brooks said. "It is to win our sixth game of the year. That's the only thing we can accomplish at this point. That's what we're going out to do.''
One Buccaneer who is looking especially forward to meeting the Cardinals is safety Dexter Jackson. Jackson won the Super Bowl MVP award after the Bucs beat Oakland in 2002, but bolted for Arizona soon after the game. He was re-signed by the Bucs in October and this will be his first meeting against the teammates he started the season with.
"It would be really nice to show them they made a mistake,'' Jackson said. "I still can't carry it on my shoulder, but I just throw that off and keep going. I can't let it get to me. Life goes on.''
Kickoff time is 4:15 p.m.
Still Playing For Keeps
Bucs Blitz Top Stories
2017 NFL Free Agency: Fantasy ReactionsFantasy-slanted reactions from Editor-in-Chief Matt De Lima and Senior Fantasy Experts Adam Ronis & Dr. Roto to all the big 2017 NFL free agency moves!
Wackiest moments from 2017 Pro BowlThe 2017 Pro Bowl was filled with the NFL's best, and also included some memorable and enjoyable moments.
Scout NFL Network01/30/2017
Over-under stat lines for free-agent moversSeveral playmakers moved teams in NFL free agency (or trades), but the expectations aren’t that high, according to one gambling site.
Scout NFL NetworkWednesday at 12:38 PM
Report: Browns bring in Bucs S McDougaldESPN reported that safety Bradley McDougald visited with the Browns on Monday
The OBRMonday at 6:29 PM