NFL Team Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The purpose of these previews is to provide a quick and dirty look at what the outlook is for each NFL team in 2019 according to my own philosophies and hot takes when it comes to pro football. That said, let’s take a quick report card look at where we came from, what’s expected, and the logic that drives my principles when evaluating NFL teams.

CategoryTampa Bay
Division:NFC South
SB Odds:60/1
Division Odds (Moneyline):+1000
2018 Rank Rushing Yds/Gm:29
2018 Rank Against the Run:24
2018 Rank Against the Pass:26
Returning Starters Offense:9
Returning Starters Defense:8

You may notice passing rankings are not included in my cute little NFL team report card. The reason for that is without at least one of, a top-10 ranked running game or top-10 defense, it generally does not matter how good your quarterback is. If you don’t believe me, read this genius’s irrefutable thorough analysis of elite quarterbacks, and how these two attributes correlate to their ability to win anything of note.

Now that you’re fully indoctrinated into my non-quarterback driven league cult, let’s do a quick run down of Tampa Bay’s significant roster takeaways for this season.

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Impact Additions – Acquisitions that are projected to start or have major rotational roles in 2019

4: DT Ndamukong Suh, LB Deone Bucannon, LB Devin White, SS Mike Edwards

Impact Losses – Departures that had started or had major rotational roles last season

4: WR Adam Humphries, DT Gerald McCoy, LB Kwon Alexander, WR DeSean Jackson

Difference Makers – Players who are widely considered among the best at their position heading into 2019

5: WR Mike Evans, TE O.J. Howard, DT Ndamukong Suh, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, LB Lavonte David

Potential Breakout Candidates – Second or third year players that are logical selections to make “the leap” in the upcoming season based on past performance

2: DT Vita Vea, CB Carlton Davis

How it could work

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( Getty Images )

For Tampa Bay Fan, they better hope one of Bruce Arian’s can shit out an offensive line and some semblance of a functional running game. Then, do his best quarterback whispering voodoo on Jameis Winston, who has looked more like a quality backup than the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be, in his four-year career.

Why it wouldn’t work

But, even if Arians can execute a magical make over to the Bucs offense in year one, Todd Bowles has to do the same with a defense that ranked in the bottom eight against both, the run and the pass. Injuries to Jason Pierre-Paul and Vita Vea to begin the year won’t help his efforts.

Regardless, management neglected to address all these issues from a personnel standpoint this off-season. Bringing in Ndamukong Suh to fill Gerald McCoy’s spot is a lateral move. Keeping the warm bodies of Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones Jr. to carry the load at running back isn’t exactly inspiring. And, they’re locked into big money contracts with three of four starters on the offensive line that can’t block anyway, so that’s peachy.

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Final Prediction

Yep, there just isn’t much hope to sell for the Bucs this season. It seems much more like a transition year for Arians and his staff to figure out who they want to keep around for the rebuild. As discussed in previous previews, the NFC is stacked so someone has to be the whipping boy.

Tampa Bay looks primed to fill that role. Without fantasy football, they could cease to exist from the NFL landscape for 2019. Kangol and all, I say they eat under 6 Ws this year.

That’s it for the South! Onto to the NFC West later this week.


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