The playoff combinations for the Tampa Bay Bucs are pretty simple. Beat Oakland and hope the Eagles beat Dallas and the Bucs are in. According to the league office, via the St. Petersburg Times, the NFC North is not a factor because a four-way tie with the Bucs, Cowboys, Vikings and Bears would mean the Vikings are the NFC North champions and the Cowboys are in as a wild card.
That said, the move of the Eagles-Cowboys game to 4:15 was met with some disappointment down in Florida. If the Bucs win, the Eagles would know they are out before taking the field, but the Bucs would still need the Birds to win in order to make it.
“That's tough,” tailback Warrick Dunn said when told of the schedule switch, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “But Donovan’s a pro, and guys play for pride."
Added linebacker Derrick Brooks: “We’re in that situation. The game is about lining up and winning, period. I’m not trying to give Philadelphia a motivational speech. I’ve got to make sure we're ready to play Oakland.”
And then there is the curious case of Jon Gruden. First, he must beat his former team, the Raiders, and then he must root for another of his former teams, the Eagles, to win.
“It’s really going to be an exciting week at the Gruden household,” he joked.
Meanwhile, Gruden had no update for reporters on the condition of quarterback Jeff Garcia. “He’s a tough guy, hopefully he’ll be ready to go against Oakland,” Gruden said.