TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can clinch the NFC South division Sunday night with a win over rival New Orleans Saints.
The Saints have owned the South recently, winning the division for four straight seasons. When New Orleans beat the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium last season en route to the division title videos emerged on social media of a dance party in the Bucs’ stadium.
“Those images kind of stick with you,” Bucs’ offensive lineman Donovan Smith said. “They give you the incentive to go out there and play harder. At the end of the day if we go out there and play our style of ball, keep doing what we’ve been doing and building, we’ll be having a different conversation next week.”
The Saints beat the Bucs in six straight regular-season games. However, Tampa Bay won the most important game in last year’s post-season.
“It will mean a lot for me personally, not being able to win one throughout my career and finally getting a chance,” Bucs’ linebacker Lavonte David said. “We want to capitalize on this opportunity. Like you said, man, the Saints have had our number the past whatever years in the regular season.”
Clinching the division is only the first step. The Bucs are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC, with their eyes on the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
“It’s definitely a big deal if you can have home-field advantage,” Smith said. “The way Raymond James has been rocking out all season it’s only going to be that much better in the playoffs.”
The Bucs are encouraging fans to wear red for Sunday night’s game.