Atlanta Falcons must finish the season on positive note

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Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) celebrates as he scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Playoffs a year too soon for Buccaneers

After Mike Evans caught the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter against the Falcons last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers positioned themselves for a late playoff push. Outsiders, sure, but out of it? No way. 

That was, until, they lined up against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon. Up against the No. 32 defense fresh off a four-game losing skid, the Buccaneers stalled, falling to a 24-17 defeat at home. And with it go any realistic hopes of reaching the postseason.

At 6-7, Tampa Bay is now two games behind Minnesota (8-5) and Seattle (8-5), who currently hold the wild-card spots. With just three games to go, it appears very unlikely one of these teams will drop enough games, with the Bucs winning out.

But the fact they are even being discussed in the same sentence as the playoffs this late in the season is a positive. Last year, the Buccaneers won just two games. In fact, the last time they didn’t end the season with a losing record was in 2010. They have a chance to put that right this year, and two wins out of three will do it.

The Bucs’ arrow is pointing upward, and 2015 has been a big positive.

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