Wild Card Could Be In Bucs’ ReachJune 7th, 2012
The only possible certainty about the NFC South is its uncertainty. With the exception of the Saints, teams in this division bounce up and down like the features of a Bucs cheerleader during a midfield routine.
This is why Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network and NFL.com seems to think the idea of a playoff run in the first year of the New Schiano Order isn’t completely far-fetched, so he wrote recently.
If there was ever a time for a young team in the NFC South to strike, this might be it. And given that the Bucs remain only one season removed from what seemed to be very legitimate progress, I’ll give them as good of a shot as any to take advantage of the Saints’ nasty situation ahead.
Tampa has the quarterback and the skill players to excel on offense. If the defense can hold its own against Carolina and Atlanta, the Bucs should be fully capable of getting their squad back on its previous track toward success. It might take a wild-card berth — since I’ll peg the Falcons as the division’s early favorite — but that’s nonetheless a scenario that could most certainly play out.
That’s the critical element for the Bucs: the defense. There is no way of sugarcoating it. The Bucs defense was an abomination last year. When healthy, can the Bucs defense really make that much improvement? Time will tell.
One thing certain is that the Saints are a mess, though a talented mess. If Drew Brees decides to sit out while amping up the volume on his contract hassle with the team, that’s one less team the Bucs will have to worry about leapfrogging to get a wild card.