Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians previously has said his team is simply happy to be in the playoffs, regardless of the seeding. That said, they still want the highest seeding they can get.
Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Arians made it clear that his team wants to finish 11-5 and to capture the fifth seed in the NFC via a Week 17 victory over the Falcons.
“We’re gonna play everybody,” Arians said. “Atlanta’s playing so good, there’s no way we could get the lead like we had last week [against the Lions] and rest anybody. But we’re gonna play to win and try to keep our momentum going.”
Arians also elaborated on his recent claim that it’s “Super Bowl or bust” for the Buccaneers.
“That’s what we expect to do,” Arians said. “Our first meeting every year, our goal is to win the Super Bowl. . . . [T]hat is our goal every year. I don’t shy away from it.”
Arians doesn’t shy away from much of anything. Although his methods won’t deliver a division title in 2020, nailing down the No. 5 seed means that the improving Buccaneers will play at the Giants, Cowboys, or Washington in the wild-card round. Thus, Tampa Bay will be favored to win the team’s first postseason game since Super Bowl XXXVII, some 18 years ago.
If they were traveling to Green Bay, New Orleans, or Seattle as the No. 6, the path to the divisional round won’t not be quite as clear.