They did it.
It wasn't easy, but nothing Tampa Bay does comes without a struggle.
They kept us on the edge of our seats until getting what could be the best loss in franchise history.
In dropping a 23-20 contest to New Orleans, the Buccaneers guaranteed themselves the first pick in the 2015 draft that begins April 30th.
The teams finishes the season at 2-14, but looks can be deceiving when you control the draft.
Let the conspiracy theorists camp out at Roger Goodell's office. It doesn't matter. All the NFL commish has to do is look at the season and declare case closed.
We can remind him that this beleaguered franchise has lost 70 of its last 100 games, seven straight to New Orleans and finished the year winless at Raymond James Stadium.
Just as they did all season, the Bucs found a way to lose -- though head coach Lovie Smith might have aided the cause with substituting that he justified by declaring a need to look at players.
It doesn't matter. The fans will love him when the Bucs choose first or trade that pick for a bounty of draft choices.
So what if Bucs owner Bryan Glazer picked up the red phone and told Lovie to dump this one. So what if Smith didn't fight a call that nullified a Bucs onside kick at the end.
Not saying this happened, but no Buc fan would've cried. All they see now is visions of Heisman winners Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston dancing through their heads.
"We didn't have some of our best players in there at the end, but the guys we had in there we felt we could move the ball and be able to win with," Smith said. "We saw some guys in critical situations. If we had won today we would've felt better about this game, but the season as a whole is not where we want to be."
The last seven years is not where the Bucs want to be.
If Lovie played a role in this loss, the only question to ask is, where was this kind of creativity was all season?
New Orleans trailed 20-7 in the last 90 seconds of the third quarter when Drew Brees connected on two passes for 33 yards to set up first and goal, which the Saints turned into a touchdown 50 seconds into the final quarter.
Then the Bucs created some tape that might interest the CIA.
Josh McCown threw a key interception, which he has done all year. Six plays later Brees hit Marques Colston for a 36- yard TD and a 21-20 lead.
The Bucs got the ball with plenty of time to get into Patrick Murray's field goal range, but Lovie's Army of Angels intervened.
The Saints' Junior Galliette rushed McCown unimpeded as Kevin Pamphile whiffed on a potential block and tackled him for a safety. The Bucs had to punt and seemed to get the ball on an onsides kick, but it touched the foot of a Tampa Bay player and everyone within an hour drive of Raymond James Stadium breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Bucs receivers Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans, who both went over 1,000 yards in receptions, were used sparingly. Jackson was knocked out with an injury in the first quarter, and Evans was not in there in the second half.
It put Kennan Lewis in a position to get that critical interception off McCown, Saints head coach Sean Payton said.
"When Vincent went down, all of a sudden, it was a little bit easier to tilt or play Kennan on Evans," Payton said.
After the game, Evans moped about not playing, Jackson seemed to be in a celebratory mood, and McCown took everything in stride.
"I don't think anybody tanked it. We played the guys we played to rotate guys in to give them a look," McCown said. "The draft, that stuff is not relevant as far to how we're playing. All that other stuff is for people to try and speculate about, but we competed hard and that's the main thing."
The main thing now is the Bucs now control the draft.