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Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Kevin Pamphile (64) reacts on the bench during the final seconds of the team's 23-20 loos to the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.

NEW YORK — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers "earned" the first pick in next spring's NFL draft with their 2-14 record.

In their first season under coach Lovie Smith, the Bucs lost their last six games to secure the top pick over Tennessee, which had the same record under first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt. But Tampa Bay had the easier overall schedule in the weak NFC South, which was won by Carolina with a 7-8-1 record.

Clearly, neither of the coaches who lost in Super Bowls — Smith in Chicago and Whisenhunt in Arizona — had much positive impact in their debut seasons.

Rounding out the top five will be Jacksonville and Oakland, both 3-13, and Washington (4-12).