(Buccaneers.com) – Bruce Arians called it a “huge game” and urged his players to adopt a playoffs mentality, four weeks before the postseason is actually due to begin.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers heeded their head coach’s words and came back from their bye week with a hard-fought 26-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday at Raymond James stadium. That much-needed victory gives the Buccaneers a significantly better chance to still be playing a month from now.
“It’s huge,” echoed Arians after his team had secured that victory.
“We had to do this. It was a big game for us. Guys did their jobs. They rested, they took care of the virus. We came back clean, healthy and it showed up today. We were a very fresh team, I thought, in the fourth quarter.”
The win halted a two-game losing streak just before the bye and improved Tampa Bay’s record to 8-5, which will keep them in the NFC’s sixth playoff seed for another week. It also puts them in position to potentially climb one spot higher over the final three weeks.
By defeating the Vikings, in particular, the Buccaneers gained a head-to-head tiebreaker and kept Minnesota, which had won five of their last six, from passing them in the standings.
The Buccaneers are now one game ahead of the 7-6 Arizona Cardinals, with the previously-streaking Vikings dropping to 6-7 and out of the playoff picture at the moment.
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