[2017 NFL Preview] Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Welp. Once again we ended up going a few days without some NFL Previews here at THE USB.

And once again you can put the blame fully on the shoulders of Madden 2018.

Sorry guys, I’m only human and I only have so much spare time.

BUT HEY! WE ARE BACK BABY! And now it’s time to preview a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in almost twenty years but face some lofty expectations this seasons. THE TAMPA BAY BUCS!!!

LETTTTTTTTTTT’SSSSS GETTTTTTTTTTTT READDDYYYYYYYYYYYY TOOOOOOOOOOOO FUMMMMMMBLLLEEEEEE!!!!!

 

 

 

 

2017 NFL Preview

 

 

 

 

Record Last Five Seasons: 7-9 (2012), 4-12 (2013), 2-14 (2014), 6-10 (2015), 9-7 (2016)

Last Playoff Win: Super Bowl XXXVII vs. Oakland

Last Playoff Appearance: 2007 Wild Card vs. New York Giants

Super Bowl Wins: Super Bowl XXXVII vs. Oakland

Last Super Bowl Appearance: Super Bowl XXXVVII vs. Oakland

 

The Head Coach:

Dirk Koetter

Coaching Record: 9-7

Playoff Record: 0-0

Grade: C+

 

2016-17 Team Leaders:

Passing Yards/Touchdowns: Jameis Winston (4,090), Jameis Winston (28)

Rushing Yards/Touchdowns: Jacquizz Rodgers (550), Doug Martin (3)

Receiving Yards/Touchdowns: Mike Evans (1,321), Mike Evans (12)

Tackles: Kwon Alexander (145)

Interceptions: Brent Grimes/Keith Tandy (4)

 

2017 Projected Starters:

Grade Key:

  • ELITE
  • GREAT
  • GOOD
  • NOT GOOD
  • ROOKIE
  • HORRIBLE

Offense:

QB: Jameis Winston

RB: Jacquizz Rodgers

FB: Austin Johnson

WR: Mike Evans

WR: DeSean Jackson

TE: Cameron Brate

LT: Donovan Smith

RT: Demar Dotson

RG: J.R. Sweezy

LG: Kevin Pamphile

OC: Ali Marpet

Defense:

DE: Robert Ayers

DE: William Gholston

DT: Gerald McCoy

DT: Chris Baker

LB: Kwon Alexander

LB: Lavonte David

LB: Devante Bond

CB: Brent Grimes

CB: Vernon Hargreaves

FS: Keith Tandy

SS: J.J. Wilcox

 

The Schedule:

vs. @ Miami Dolphins (September 10)

vs. Chicago Bears (September 17)

vs. @ Minnesota Vikings (September 24)

vs. New York Giants (October 1)

vs. New England Patriots (October 5)

vs. @ Arizona Cardinals (October 15)

vs. @ Buffalo Bills (October 22)

vs. Carolina Panthers (October 29)

vs. @ New Orleans Saints (November 5)

vs. New York Jets (November 12)

BYE WEEK

vs. @ Atlanta Falcons (November 26)

vs. @ Green Bay Packers (December 3)

vs. Detroit Lions (December 10)

vs. Atlanta Falcons (December 18)

vs. @ Carolina Panthers (December 24)

vs. New Orleans Saints (December 31)

 

Three Things I Like About The Buccaneers This Season:

-Jameis Winston: Jameis Winston is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL who looks like he’s ready to take that next step into the “great-elite” category. This is going to be a huge season for Jameis. It’s his third year in the league and there are playoff expectations this year in Tampa Bay. He needs to take that next step and I personally believe he will. He’s been an impressive NFL QB so far (despite his accuracy issues) and the Bucs have a lot of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. With Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard to throw the ball to, don’t be shocked if Winston finishes as one of the NFL’s best QB’s statisically this season.

-Defensive Front Seven: Overall the Bucs have a pretty good defense on paper, but I really like what they are bringing to the table with their defensive front seven. Gerald McCoy, Robert Ayers, and Chris Baker are all studs. Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are welcome to play on my team any day of the week. Yes, there are a few holes here, but the talent they have elsewhere should more than make up for them. If Tampa Bay turns into one of the best defensive teams in the NFL this season, these guys will be a large reason why.

-Mike Evans: He’s the only “elite” player on Tampa Bay’s roster. Most NFL fans will not admit this, but Mike Evans has a legit cause as to why he should be called the NFL’s #1 WR. The guy catches anything thrown his way and he has found the perfect fit in Tampa Bay. I expect Evans to finish as the #1 or #2 wide receiver this season when it comes to receiving yards and touchdowns. How is that for expectations?

 

Three Things I Hate About The Buccaneers This Season:

-Offensive Line: Every NFL team has it’s weaknesses. I think it’s safe to say that the Buccaneers weakness is obviously on the offensive line. Demar Dotson and Ali Marpet are fantastic players, but the rest of the line is questionable at best. Donovan Smith has been way too inconsistent for my liking since he arrived in the league. J.R. Sweezy sucks so bad that the offensive line depleted Seattle Seahawks were willing to let him walk in free agency and he rewarded the Bucs by not even playing a game last year. If for some reason we see a decline in the play of Jameis Winston, I think we’ll know who to put the blame on.

-Dirk Koetter: Nothing against Dirk Koetter. He’s been a good coach overall in his career and plus….he was once the offensive coordinator for the Oregon Ducks so I’ll never hate the guy. However, is Dirk Koetter really the guy that’s going to take the Buccaneers to the next level? Tampa Bay hasn’t won a playoff game since their Super Bowl win over Oakland fifteen somewhat years ago and the expectations for the Bucs this season are playoffs or bust. I definitely have my concerns about Koetter when it comes to going head-to-head against the top coaches in the NFL. He had a decent year in his first season with the Bucs, but like I mentioned earlier, expectations have risen. How will the first-time NFL head coach handle the pressure?

-NFC South: The NFC South is a brutal division. The last two NFC Champions have come from the NFC South and there’s a good chance they can make it three in a row this year. The Panthers should have a rebound year in my eyes. I have some concerns about Atlanta and a Super Bowl hangover, but they are still a dangerous team. And the Saints are my DEEP DEEP Super Bowl pick this year. If Bucs fans think that their team is just going to cruise to a division title this year, they have another thing coming. It’s going to be a dog fight in the NFC South.

 

The Prediction:

9-7

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