BUCCANEERS CAN CLOSE OUT SEASON WITH THE 1ST PICK SUNDAY

Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their opponent this week, the New Orleans Saints, are out of the playoff chase heading into Week 17. Nonetheless, the Bucs still have something to play for as a loss would give them the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Buccaneers tickets for the season finale have an average price of just $104, currently. The cheapest tickets available are $37 which makes this week’s game one of the cheapest options of the week. Fans coming from out of town can find hotels near Raymond James Stadium for as little as $80 if you’re looking to stay near the building. You should also make sure to check out Hipmunk.com for any travel options, such as flights to Tampa from any city in the country.

Tampa Bay enters their home finale at 2-13 and has been relatively in shambles over the past month. They just recently started to get their running game going again with third-year back Doug Martin, but have struggled mightily all year to establish any sense of consistency or balance on either side of the football. Lovie Smith will be tasked with a huge turnaround in 2015, but before he can even think about that he’ll have to try to build some momentum this week with a big win over the Saints.

The Buccaneers are losers of five straight and will surely like to end that slide against the Saints, who they lost to in a 37-31 shootout earlier in the year. Mike Glennon was under center then, but Tampa Bay’s fortunes are back in the hands of Josh McCown to close out the season.

A loss would likely end the reign for either Glennon or McCown behind center in Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers would have the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and the option for several different signal callers, headlined by Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. Mariota hails from Oregon and is expected to be the top overall pick in this year’s draft, due to Winston’s off-the-field issues.

Either way, it’s a disappointing ending to what many believed would be an improved Tampa team this season. There’s a lot of work to be done, but at least there will be one more opportunity to get a victory in 2014.

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