Every week in the NFL is a big one, to be fair, but this penultimate weekend was particularly big for some teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the teams with a playoff berth on the line on Saturday, and they didn’t let it slip away from them as they crushed the familiarly poor Detroit Lions 47-7. Tom Brady played in just the first half, completing 22 of 27 passes for four touchdowns and nearly 350 yards. That’s all the Bucs needed to clinch their first playoff spot in 13 years.
Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins took a major step closer to also making them as they held off the Las Vegas Raiders 26-25. There was more ‘Fitzmagic’ from Ryan Fitzpatrick as he completed a pass while being tugged to the ground by the facemask, helping set up the winning field goal as time expired. The Dolphins went to 10-5 with the win and are very close to making the playoffs in remarkable fashion given their last couple of years. The luck wasn’t so good for the Arizona Cardinals, though, as their 20-12 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers means all hope of them making the playoffs are now over.