The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' playoff chances took a big hit when they lost in New Orleans on Saturday afternoon.
Tampa Bay (8-7) enters Week 17 trailing both the Packers (9-6) and Redskins (8-6-1) in the race for the final NFC wild-card spot.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, there’s an 0.0016 percent chance (60,000-to-1 odds) that the Buccaneers make the playoffs.
First, the easy part: Tampa Bay needs three results next week in order to tie for the final spot: a win against the Panthers, a Packers loss to the Lions and a Redskins tie against the Giants.
Such a scenario would result in a tie between the Packers and Buccaneers -- one that would need to be broken by strength of victory. The Redskins would be eliminated on the conference record tiebreaker.
The Buccaneers trail in that metric right now, but they would make up most of the deficit by beating Carolina next weekend.
Still, there’s only one narrow path where they’d be able to pass the Packers.
The Bucs would need two teams that they previously beat to win –- the Chiefs (against the Broncos on Sunday) and the 49ers (against the Seahawks in Week 17).
And they’d need four teams that the Packers beat to lose – the Lions (against the Cowboys on Monday), plus the Jaguars (against the Colts), Eagles (against the Cowboys) and Texans (against the Titans) in Week 17.
If only five of those six games go the Buccaneers' way, they’d tie the Packers on strength of record but then lose the second wild-card spot on strength of schedule.
So if you’re keeping track at home, the Buccaneers need to cover a nine-team parlay to reach the playoffs. And FPI projects an 0.0016 percent chance that all nine of those games go Tampa Bay’s way.