Of course, they can still win the division.
They can still make the playoffs.
That’s what makes the previous 17 days so abominable for the suddenly 2-4 Bucs.
The Bucs have lost three straight games in their attempt to fall of the NFC and NFC South wagon, but they’re still in it, which means each of these losses – the kick in the pants against New England, the Arizona embarrassment and Sunday’s blown win at Buffalo – resonates in its own way.
Aaron Rodgers is out. Ezekiel Elliott and Dallas are suspect. The Eagles are the only one-loss team in the NFC. The South seems winnable, even from 2-4, because the Bucs have all six of their division games remaining, with Cam Newton and 4-3 Carolina coming up Sunday before a trip to New Orleans, which currently leads the division at 4-2.
Then there’s Atlanta, 3-3 after they were squashed by New England on Sunday night (no choke involved) in the big Super Bowl rematch.
What’s nutty is that these young Bucs are just the kind of mercurial bunch that could win their next two games. They really could. Crazed league.
That’s what so abominable for the Bucs.
Granted, they deserve every bit of it. From the slow starts to the mistakes to the kicking troubles to the invisible pass rush to the invisible secondary to the collapse at Buffalo to the immaturity, the Bucs, coaches and players, have earned that 2-4. They own it. And all that comes with it.
This would be a winnable situation – if only the Bucs had the look of winners.
They can still win the division. I mean, they have all six games.
Or they could lose it going away.
Now comes Carolina, which slept through a Sunday loss at Chicago.
It starts Sunday.
Might end Sunday, too.