It’s way too early to make a really informed judgement on what the Bucs (or anyone else besides the Patriots) season might look like. However, that isn’t stopping early opinions from rolling in on Tampa Bay trying to improve their 5-11 finish last year.
And, interestingly, there’s not a lot of “lukewarm” opinion, right.
For example, ESPN has it’s own formula “Football Power Index” or FPI rankings and let’s just say that they don’t have a lot of faith in Dirk Koetter, Jameis Winston, Gerald McCoy, etc. being able to bounce back this season.
The FPI, has the Buccaneers all the way at the bottom of league total in wins with 6.5 in their formula. Now, the Bucs do have a dastardly start playing at New Orleans, hosting the Eagles and then hosting the Steelers for Monday Night Football. Still, it would seem that they have enough talent on both sides of the ball to easily be 7-9 or 8-8.
By the way, the ESPN ranking also pegs Tampa Bay at just 10% chance to make the playoffs and a mere 5% to win the NFC South. Remember a year ago, the other three division teams, the Saints, the Panthers and the Falcons all made it to the post season.
So, that’s one end of the “negativity” spectrum.
The other was Wednesday morning on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”
There was a segment on “which team is flying under the radar right now,” which is something that they frequently debate on the show. And interestingly, with every team not named the Patriots or Eagles to choose from, co-host Kyle Brandt went right for the Bucs hat in front of him:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 30, 2018
Brandt does make a good argument that a year ago with the buzz around the team, HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” etc. that this feels different. And clearly, the Buccaneers bolstered their defensive line in free agency and the first round of the draft, and also drafted some good prospective DBs for competition and a game breaking running back in the second round, too.
Again, it’s May, and debates about this stuff have a short shelf life, but are still interesting to consider.
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