Cautiously OptimisticJuly 12th, 2013
On paper the Bucs look to have a very strong team sans two positions, perhaps three at the most. Joe fully expects the Bucs to be better. Playoffs? Joe can’t go there yet.
It’s not the first time Joe has written that. And for the same reason, Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune isn’t ready to anoint the Bucs a playoff team.Cummings appeared recently with “The Fabulous Sports Babe” on WHFS-FM 98.7 to talk about the Bucs’ chances this season.
“I am excited for this football team, too. I think this team has a real opportunity to win nine or 10 games and get into the tournament and make some noise there,” Cummings said. “The concern I have, it is just a damned, difficult division that they are in.
“Nobody else in the NFL has to go up against the Saints and Drew Brees twice and the Falcons and Matt Ryan twice and even Carolina and what they provide. There are two big obstacles in front of them in winning this division. They could win 10 games and not get to the playoffs just like happened a couple of years ago. It can happen again. They could have a tremendous season and not get a payoff.
“That to me is the real downer, but the big thing is, I expect this team to be much improved again. They almost doubled their victories [from the previous season] last year. I don’t think they will double them this year but if they win four or five more and get to 10 or 11 wins, they have a shot at the playoffs and we all know anything can happen. That has to be the objective.”
Joe totally agrees with Cummings. The NFC, not just the NFC South, is simply friggin’ loaded. The Bears won 10 games last year and missed the playoffs. There is no weak team in the NFC North. The NFC West has two of the game’s best teams, San Francisco and Seattle. For this reason and this reason alone, the only way Joe can see the Bucs making the playoffs is by winning the division, and Joe isn’t ready to crown the Bucs division champs quite yet.
The Bucs should be an improved team. Not sure winning the division is in the cards.