The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not gone softly into that good night. In fact, they might have something to say come playoff time.
They came into Thursday night with only two wins against four losses. The season looked to be all but over.
However, a resounding trouncing of the Minnesota Vikings on the road has breathed some life into the 2012 season.
But is it enough for Tampa Bay to make the playoffs?
Aqib Talib Comes Back in a Couple Weeks
While the Bucs are more scared of the pass than a preteen is of a Friday the 13th movie, they might be able to find some comfort under their blanket.
In this case, that's the return of Aqib Talib.
Talib is a solid cover cornerback and his presence should improve Tampa Bay's ability to stay with receivers.
But the Pass Rush is Still Non-Existent
Tampa Bay's pass rush took a hit when Da'Quan Bowers went down for the season. Before entering the Metrodome, the Bucs were ranked 29th in sacks with a grand total of eight.
However, he has been activated and played limited snaps against the Minnesota Vikings.
That doesn't mean that everything that ails the Bucs defense will be righted.
He is not going to be able to jump on the field and start dragging down opposing quarterbacks. Bowers, who has an injury history, should be eased back into a playing role to avoid creating any complications as his career progresses.
The NFC is Too Good
Tampa Bay improved to 3-4 with their Thursday night win. But that doesn't make them a favorite to reach the postseason.
The Bucs still have two dates with the Atlanta Falcons and one with the resurgent New Orleans Saints. Throw in contests against the Rams, Broncos, Chargers and Eagles, and it's hard to see the Bucs only losing two more games.
Quite simply, their slow start will do them in.
This team is heading in the right direction, it just won't bear much fruit for this season.
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