Your Buccaneers 2014 Season Prediction

September 3rd, 2014
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Joe calls the 2014 season

Bucs icons Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks have publicly cautioned Tampa Bay fans to relax and give Lovie Smith’s defense a little time to grow and become dominant. It’ll get there, they believe, but right out of the gate is too much to ask. (You can read Brooks’ direct comments here)

Joe’s not going to argue defense with the Hall of Famers.

Just look at big-money defensive end Michael Johnson struggling a bit in preseason while adapting to lining up wide, something he didn’t do in Cincinnati. Cornerback Alterraun Verner has been open about the required adjustments to his game and how it will take a little time. Adrian Clayborn, to name another, is playing a new position at left defensive end. On Monday, Gerald McCoy told media he believed Clayborn’s transition could be the key to the Bucs season.

The point here is that Joe is not all-in out of the gate with the Bucs having an elite defense. The defense will be fine, yes, but elite through September? Doubtful.

Lovie’s formula

Just days after being hired in January, Lovie Smith said a great, turnover-machine defense could win eight games a year on its own. Thrown in game-changing special teams, Lovie said, and 10 wins could be had — all without a good offense. A good offense with a special quarterback can get you more, he said.

So Joe is going accept Lovie’s premise. But the problem is Joe has little confidence in the Tampa Bay special teams or offense, and the defense is likely to have that adjustment period.

Right now, Joe simply can’t blindly expect 35-year-old Josh McCown to have his first good full season as a professional starter. That would almost be an NFL miracle, especially in a brand new offense.

Yes, McCown has weapons, but two of them are 21-year-old rookies: Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Mike Evans. The Bucs appear to be expecting a lot from those two, and rookies often need time. Ironically, Mike Williams and Tim Wright, the two guys they replaced, both had spectacular, record-setting rookie years.

The offensive line has much to prove, so Joe just can’t bank on the Bucs offense putting the team on its back.

And rookie offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford? At best, Tedford and the offense have had a small setback in their development with Tedford being absent and limited after a medical procedure that’s been kept secret.

Gambling on fourth down

On special teams, Lovie is gambling with rookie kicker Patrick Murray, a guy who was out of football last year and played college ball at Fordham, where the pressure is minimal. A big field goal against Bucknell doesn’t compare to what Murray will face on Sundays. Joe’s not saying Lovie made the wrong call, but Joe can’t count on Murray for the sake of a preseason prediction. Kickers do make a huge difference, especially on defense-first football teams. Bucs fans experienced that pain last year.

As for the return game and coverage teams, the Bucs’ were average in preseason without many errors. That’s nice, but that won’t change games. For a team that expects to force a ton of punts, the Bucs don’t have an experienced or explosive return man.

Prediction

There’s no shame in the new Lovieball regime needing a little time to establish itself in the tough NFC South — with the fourth best QB in the division and the league lead in free agent signings.

The Bucs certainly will improve and impress at times, but as much as Joe hopes that will be enough, don’t count on it.

Bucs finish 7-9 in 2014.

76 Responses to “Your Buccaneers 2014 Season Prediction”

  1. gatrbuc17 Says:

    JOE………..Have you ever thought about changing the comments section to a more chat friendly forum? I write at another blog site about the Bucs and NFCS, but it is mostly a NFCN site.
    I believe that if you had a more friendly chat room you would get ALOT more hits. I know I would hang out here alot more

  2. Bucfreak Says:

    I think that’s a realistic figure. But, disclaimer, huge potential for boom-or-bust.

    I think if this team gets in a groove against Carolina and St. Louis then we can carry that momentum forward.

    If we lose those two games I hope we can gain traction.

    The Bucs are a pick by many to be an unknown quantity. Only time will tell. I like our odds. If the offense gets it together, I see second in the division, 10-6. If the offense is meh, 9-7. Anything less than meh is 6-10.

    Injuries to the Bucs will play a huge role in how we do this year. If everyone stays healthy I like our chances.

  3. Wombat Says:

    I think anything less than 7-9 would be a disappointment. Anything above that I think we would be making progress. I think if we can eeeck out some early wins, the team should solidify by years end with solid coaching and growth.
    Can’t wait till 4:25pm Sunday!!! TAMPA!!!!!!

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    I am SPOT ON with the Joes…….7-9 would be a nice season, a LOT of guys who haven’t played together……

  5. BritBucsince92 Says:

    Could be right Joe but my mooney is on some of the potential drawbacks you listed turning out to be OK. I am predicting 8 to 10 wins this year and a possible play off appearance if we get to 10.

  6. RastaMon Says:

    Joe….is they a Contact link for “Joe” …well that should explain itself…I don’t see one anywhere

    Joe prefers to immerse himself in all things Bucs in order to best serve readers, rather than spend time on customer service activities and answering hate and fan mail. –Joe

  7. lightningbuc Says:

    Season hasn’t even begun, and the excuses for flip-flop wearin’, no-cussing Lovie the Savior are already plentiful!

  8. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Ouch! Cant disagree with you on any of those points, Joe. Considering how little of the offense we have seen or know of, and once you throw in our aging QB and unknown status of the OC, it is easy to be skeptical. Depth at nearly every poition will be an issue this year, and unless you are Chip Kelly, injuries are an inevitable part of the game.

    That being said, I think we will be something special on defense this year. Led by Gerald and Lavonte it is going to be extremely hard for teams to run on the Bucs and I would not be suprised to see the Bucs as a top 5 defense, after forcing teams to only gain points through the pass.

    Bucs have a resurgent second half of the season to end on a 9-7 record, just missing the playoffs.

  9. BucsQcCity Says:

    If oline holds up and Tedford comes back soon:

    10-6
    2nd in the nfc south
    Wildcard spot

    VJ, Evans and ASJ will school the smurfs DBs in the division

  10. LynchMob Says:

    7 – 9 is probably correct. The only thing that might boost it is the fact that they might start 2-0 by beating Rams and Panthers teams that have their own issues to start the season.

  11. BucsQcCity Says:

    I’m also predicting that Lansannah will become the starter at SLB

  12. Evan Says:

    @RastaMon

    I guess if you want to troll him you have to do it publicly.

  13. Dewey Selmon Says:

    8-8 3rd in NFC South

  14. Vic Says:

    Dammit Joe. I hate when you make sense.

  15. Jim Walker Says:

    My expectations are very low after the last 7 years. Too much turnover, bad drafts, and constant chaos surrounds this organization. The problem is that the man who could fix this is now deceased.

  16. Prince Says:

    Lovie missed the playoffs SIX out of 9 years in Chicago. He ain’t no miracle worker. They’ll be much better next year.

  17. robert9 Says:

    7-9 would be a direct result of bad coaching and personell decisions. there is no reason short of signing another unnamed gaurd that this team can not go 10-6.

    If we are thrending towards 9 losses early in the season and the O line is holding up they damn well better put the cannon in there!

  18. robert9 Says:

    joe is always wrong. this is just more support for my thinking they go 10-6

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    Win-loss predictions by media and fanboys matter. No, really!

  20. RastaMon Says:

    Thank you. Joe has no viruses or infections, and the intermittent mobile-user glitches are history. Joe has numerous protections in place from multiple sources, in addition to daily testing, and Joe pays well for those processes. –Joe

  21. MGM Says:

    This prediction bodes well for the talented young QB getting his rightful shot with a sane offensive coordinator.

  22. MaHaBoNe.D Buc Says:

    So, do we draft our franchise QB next year? Then in year three is when we can expect a jump forward? Josh can groom him for one year then become the QB coach. Josh has a two year contract, makes sense. But will we be patient for two more years? remember Drew Brees will be a couple years older and I find our possibility of climbing over the Falcons and Panthers a lot better then. I know this won’t make the Mike Glennon mob happy, but get real! Career b/up at best.

  23. Bill T Says:

    I don’t usually agree with Joe, but I think he makes many sound points. Offensive line is very suspect. McCown has been a journeymen at best, so can’t expect him to tear up the league. I think the D can be dominant, but I do have concerns with our pass D, especially deep over the middle.
    I’d love 10-6, but I think 7-9 or 8-8 more realistic with this tough schedule. Its imperative we start the season 2-0

  24. Dreambig Says:

    Joe – All logical points. 7-9 sounds about right. McCown seems capable when given time but he played about 4 qtrs and threw 2 pics and fumbled twice, and seemed to hold on to the ball too long. If the oline isn’t solid, he is going to cost us some games. It’s also disconcerting that after the third game, Lovie said the oline played reasonably well but he seemed more concerned that the D’line didn’t play to his expectations. I hope he holds both units to exceptionally high standards!

  25. Pewter Jesus Says:

    So what QB do you think we’ll draft next year? Winston? Hundley?

  26. Mark Says:

    There is a generally tendency to overvalue talent based on preseason and especially based on camp. We are far behind Atlanta and NO in terms of depth and talent. Your record assessment is pretty good although I think they go 6-10. We may eek one out against STL but I think the majority of the wins come late in the season as the team starts to gel. Things are moving in the right direction…slowly.

  27. lightningbuc Says:

    Offensive line was suspect last year, but we were told Glennon still should have “led” this offense to so much more. I’m expecting the same of McCown-receivers,offensive coordinator, offensive line, new system etc. can NOT be used as excuses.

  28. Matty Says:

    Can’t argue.

  29. Buccfan37 Says:

    Even if MG8 is a good career backup, it’s good to have that position solidified on the team. I think he can handle the relief position capably and will play during the season. With the surrounding players assembled Glennon (the cannon) will win games if McCown is unable to play or produce effectively.

  30. KSV Says:

    I also see the Bucs in the 7-9 to 9-7 range this year. With a little luck we could be in the Wildcard hunt, but realistically you have to think that next season is the one where we finally break through to being a top contender and making the playoffs.

    My biggest worries this year are 1. our offensive line (not much to like about the way they played in the preseason) 2. our DE’s (GMC will be fine…will Johnson, Clayborn, Gholston, Bowers step up?) 3. QB play (I just don’t see a 35 year old career journeyman/backup QB lasting the entire season) and 4. the secondary (Is Verner ready to get back to his Pro-bowl form after nursing an injury all summer).

    What I’m most excited about this year …WR’s (we have a very capable group this year with VJax, Evans…and I really like Louis Murphy and Herron)…ASJ will become a serious weapon and maybe even a top 5 TE…RB’s are as good as any group in the NFL…LB’s are gonna shine this year…and Safety, as Goldson is solid all year and Mark Barron has an all pro type year!

    If the O-line play solidifies, and our DE’s can put pressure on opposing QB’s, this will be a fun season to be a Bucs fan, but making the playoffs is probably one more season away. GO BUCS!!!!

  31. billy buckaroo Says:

    This team could go 4-12 or 12-4 or anywhere in between.
    Too many unknown factors and too many new situations this year to make an accurate PREDICTION at this time.
    No way around it other than to see a few games and get a feel for what is happening. A few weeks into the season will give a much better analogy of what we have.
    I can say that enthusiasm for this team after all the changes is very positive!
    I”m pumped

  32. I'm Tom Brokaw and this is an American story Says:

    You need to flip it Joe. We got 2 wins early . A hurt Cam Newton with a depleted receiving core and the Rams weren’t going to be good before Bradford went down.

  33. BringBucsBack Says:

    All valid points, Joe. Remember though, even the Rutgers coach went 7-9 in his first year.
    I’m not drowning in the Kool-aid (just sippin’) when I say that we can expect the Bucs will be around 10 wins! Our team has good talent AND NFL coaches, now!

  34. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Haters, homers, bitchers and moaners. Everyone’s got an angle.

    8-8 or 9-7 are the magic numbers. Boom.

  35. mike n Says:

    thats what I had. This really is a rebuilding year … It will take this year and next off season for evan, asj, sims, and tedford to be clicking. Unfortunately, you can’t make up for the debacle that was morris, dom, freeman and schiano in one off season.

  36. deminion Says:

    @Joe @everyone am I the only one that has a problem with Mike Jenkins starting over J Banks?

    No. But don’t believe depth charts.–Joe

  37. Tom Says:

    7-9 sounds about right. There’s a few things that will need to play out (primarily the offense) that could push us to 8-8 or 9-7 but I’m not expecting miracles

  38. Macabee Says:

    I’m going with 12-4 this season simply because that’s what I want to happen. When you have no idea if your guards can block or you’ve never seen the offense, and your team has changed 24 players on the 53 man roster, it’s not the time to cower in a corner. They are just as likely to go 4-12 as they are to goo 12-4.

    So my philosophy is to raise my cutlass, be a die-hard Buc fan and enjoy the ride or go down with the ship. I’m not using any stats, or metrics, or other useful information to make my prediction like most serious prognosticators would. Instead, I’ve chosen to pull my predictions straight outta my…….well you know where. So take that! Bam! Go bucs! (says macabee as he downs another shot of Jack!)

  39. Clintro Says:

    I expect them to struggle early and pull it together at the end of the year and predict a 9-7 season maybe 1 more win if things go really well. But I would be ok with 7-9 as long as we show well and see improvement thru the end of the year and finish strong. #GoBucs

  40. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    I’m seeing a lot of articles about Lovie’s defense which they call the Tampa-2 out there. Lovie’s does not play the tampa-2 as you all new it. It’s a variation with a little cover-3 and some blitz packages mixed in. They will use the cover-2 when teams go no huddle especially on third and long but for the most part you will not see it that much. His d works because it is not predicated on the safety making the big hit but everyone focusing on the ball and causing turnovers

  41. jo_mama Says:

    Joe,

    Put your money where your Mouth (fingers) is. Which games are they going to win or lose?

    6 and 10 and that’s a great season for this team.

    Vs. Panthers – W
    Vs. Rams – W
    @ Falcons – L
    @ Steelers – L
    @ Saints – L
    Vs. Ravens – L
    Vs. Vikings – W
    @ Browns – W
    Vs. Falcons – L
    @ Redskins – W
    @ Bears – W
    Vs. Bengals – L
    @ Lions – L
    @ Panthers – L
    Vs. Packers – L
    Vs. Saints – L

  42. tickrdr Says:

    As a charter member of the MGM, I again must point out that MG8 (3rd round rookie) and the Bucs were 4-4 in the eight games where we did NOT FACE A TOP FOUR DEFENSE. Remember even Matt Ryan went 0-6 against those teams. That was without:
    Doug Martin
    Mike Williams
    No other 3rd receiver or tight end of note
    A completely retooled offensive line

    And it was with:
    Greg Schiano
    Mike James and Bobby Rainey
    Undrafted Tim Wright
    4 of 5 offensive linemen traded or let go, prior to training camp.

    Yet McCown et al are predicted to only go 7-9??
    Even with 12 years of experience as a QB.
    With Mike Evans, ASJ, Myers, and Doug Martin back.
    With a new coach and OC.
    Every single draft pick utilized on the offensive side of the ball.
    With all of the new free agents too.
    And with everyone expecting the defense to head toward “elite” status.

    I suspect that most MGM’ers think Mike would get us at least to 8-8 with the rest of this team, but I’ll only speak for myself.

    If McCown plays well, …….. 10-6 and playoffs as wildcard.

    tickrdr

  43. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Okay, now I can add my predictions.

    All things being good, I am predicting 9-7 for the season, making it our first winning season in a good while.

    However, I’m adding the condition that injuries do not interfere with that record. If substantial injuries occur to key players, my prediction changes to 6-10. Those players? McCoy, David, Martin or McCown. Maybe Banks, who I think will have a great year.

  44. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Btw, I notice all these MGMers who insisted Mike Glennon would be the starter in game one have changed their tunes. If you all were wrong about that, it stands to reason that you can be completely wrong about him as well.

  45. MadMax Says:

    Pluck Connor Shaw from the rams practice squad….Im telling you, that kid will be starting somewhere in a year or two.

  46. Ra'Shad Says:

    I can’t take another sub 500 season. Sorry fellas but I can’t.

  47. Harry Says:

    Debbie Downer!

    But it is probably reasonable. For me, I would use the 7-9 as a floor that the Bucs have indeed improved. I predicted 9 wins, with 8 being more realistic.

  48. MadMax Says:

    Meant “Browns”, DOH! was listening about the Rams just then, lol.

  49. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    As to Josh McCown, if he stays healthy, I think he will have his best year. This isn’t easy for me to admit, because I wanted us to draft a franchise QB (Carr; who has looked great). When McCown was signed, I said that he was just after his cash cow and asked what was the point of drafting an aging QB who would retire in 1-2 years.

    However, he has earned a certain level of respect since coming to Tampa. He is the same age as Drew Brees, who is still playing at an elite level. McCown may have been a backup for many years, but he has not been given the opportunity to start in many years either.

    I don’t think he’ll be elite. I don’t think he will be extra special. I think he will be solid so long as he isn’t injured or pounded constantly by defenses (grrr Oline).

    I think our defense will be much better than Brooks thinks. He’s wisely cautioning against high expectations, but I don’t think 9-7 is very high.

  50. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Ra’Shad Says
    “I can’t take another sub 500 season. Sorry fellas but I can’t.”

    Or what? It’s not like you’ll go away or stop following the team. I know I couldn’t.

    I love the Bucs (as I’m sure you do). They are in our blood. You ain’t going anywhere ;)

  51. Buccfan37 Says:

    I read where Newton is also suffering ankle pain after off season surgery. Big padding around his hairline fractured ribs. If he can be got, go get him Bucs.

  52. b.Bruce Says:

    Fu haters,my bucs 11/5.if your with me let me here it.Tampaaaaaa.

  53. phil Says:

    My prediction is McCoy will become the next NFL 100 million dollar man. With Watts contract on the books look for McCoy to go bigger.

  54. stevek Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:
    September 3rd, 2014 at 11:39 am
    Btw, I notice all these MGMers who insisted Mike Glennon would be the starter in game one have changed their tunes. If you all were wrong about that, it stands to reason that you can be completely wrong about him as well.

    Hey Bonzai,

    Glennon is the QB of the future. It is only right that McCown gets first crack at the job. How about you and a large segment of our dilusional fan base being foolishly loyal to a back stabbing coward, aka Josh Freeman?

  55. Martinii Says:

    If statistics are for losers, prediction for fortune tellers, and fans are those who love and support their team no matter what the outcome, than I choose to be a fan. Therefore the Super Bowl is my call, nothing less…… Go Bucs

  56. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I have the bucs at 6 wins. unles old man mcCown is benched or injured. That is the only way i see the bucs ceiling rising from 6 wins.

  57. buddha Says:

    Frankly Joe, I don’t care about your prediction. I appreciate your concerns and analysis, but as we all know these are not predictive of games. We don’t know how much the Buccaneers will improve over the season. We don’t know how much “quit” there was in the team last year. We don’t know how many injuries we will suffer to major players. We don’t know how much having our top running back return will make, or the new Full back, or how good Evans or the new tight ends will be. Yours is the safe call and I made a safe one as well–8. Las Vegas says 7 as well. The bold pick would be significant lower say, 5 or less or significantly higher 9 or 10. I think more of Tedford than you do. Assuming he maintains his health, he is a really smart and inventive offensive mind. He will show that eventually. The defense will be good, though you are right to say, have a little patience. You are also right to say let’s not expect too much of our rookies. I think you’re wrong, however, about special teams. We’re all ready for the games. This kicker is very good and he will show it. When did we ever have an all pro returner–never. But Lovie treats special teams like defense. There will be big plays and he will usually win the field position battle. Then, there is the question of turnovers–not in your analysis. Lovie’s track record there is really good and that was a major focus of training camp.

  58. feelthepewterpower Says:

    I had a feeling it was 7-9…probably 8-8 had Barth been there. I actually feel 10-6, which seems high right now, but not if our defense hits on all cylinders which I feel it can. Will be tough to win the division, we’d pretty much have to beat the Saints twice, and win most if not all our home games, which is a stretch, but one never knows with injuries and breaks a team can get along the way; it wouldn’t shock me. Consider the Buccs had thee hardest schedule of any team last year (played number two defenses, and went up against the number three offenses in the league metrically), and have improved in many areas this offseason. If they make it through September .500 record and above…look-out! Buccs have already caught two breaks with a depleted Carolina team (who on that offense scares you besides Cam, and Kelvin is a big target, but will he stretch the field??). They caught another with Bradford going down, though Shaun Hill is no slouch, with both of these teams at home – must wins early-on in the year, imo. The play calling for the Buccs last year was horrendous, and in this league,it’s not third down conversion rate that matters, it’s moving the sticks on second down to eliminate third downs. Teams that convert 5 percent more second downs per year than the avg conversion rate see an avg of 2.8 wins more, compared to 1.5 more wins with 5 percent higher avg. rate. That’s nearly double. With our uptempo offense, hopefully well be moving the sticks a lot more efficiently compared to last year, and keeping McCown off his back.

  59. feelthepewterpower Says:

    btw, Carolina’s secondary is suspect! Need to take advantage of them Sunday!

  60. feelthepewterpower Says:

    err, moving the sticks on both 1st and second downs….but second downs are where you usually can be the most creative and not have the pressure of fail and punt. As long as we’re not trying to set-up third and shorts and going for the sticks on early downs…….that’s the wrong mentality to have and we had that last season!

  61. Espo Says:

    My prediction is the same as every year. 16-0. Then it changes to 15-1, 14-2, you get the point.

  62. buddha Says:

    One more thing. If you want a really well-reasoned OPINION of why the Bucs should make the playoffs, take a look at Steve White’s blog. He loves the BUCS but he’s no homer and was outspoken in his criticism of Schiano. Here’s his summary (and it should fire up real fans):

    “It has been a long time since the rest of the league had to truly worry about traveling to Tampa Bay. Sad but true. The Bucs haven’t made it to the playoffs since 2007 and haven’t won a single playoff game since the Super Bowl in 2002. Let me tell you a secret that if the other 31 teams don’t know yet, it’s one that they’ll understand in just a few weeks: shit is about to get real when it comes to lining up against the Buccaneers. Lovie Smith’s Bucs are made for two things, kicking ass and chewing bubble gum and I heard there’s a shortage on Hubba Bubba in the Bay area. You had better jump on that bandwagon now before everyone else starts to take notice as well.”

    Yerah man!!!

  63. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Still undefeated!

  64. Lou. Says:

    @Joe –

    “The intermittent mobile-user glitches are history.”

    We enjoy your site and appreciate the news.

    However, sine you started calling us “liars” when we report on problems, we have become less apt to inform you about site issues. Doesn’t mean they don ‘t happen; we just don ‘t bother to mention them. (The Kardashians have solicited me a number of times over the last two days, for example).

    If your service fails to generate reports, it has a glitch. Or perhaps a lie.

    We still enjoy the site and appreciate your work.

  65. kenflo Says:

    Our safety play will make or break our defense… De’s need to become some sort of threat!!!

  66. Architek Says:

    Ummm so since when did the Falcons become a juggernaut????

  67. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    @Joe

    Won’t criticize you for being off base with your number, it’s a very “safe” pick. But I will say that’s not exactly a bold prediction! You’re as conservative as Tony Dungy’s offense.

  68. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    “Btw, I notice all these MGMers who insisted Mike Glennon would be the starter in game one have changed their tunes. If you all were wrong about that, it stands to reason that you can be completely wrong about him as well.”

    Nah Bonzai I’m still holding on to a slim chance of hope that Glennon starts after the bye week, as I stated he would if not by opening day. Obviously the opening day prediction looks off, so I can only hope for the sake of in no particular order (1) my FF team…I have Evans and Jenkins, so the Cannon needs unleashing, (2) the Bucs as I still can’t believe McCown gives the team the best chance to win, and (3) my bragging cred @ JBF…:-)

  69. Martinii Says:

    Mike Florio has Bucs making the playoffs.

  70. Buccfan37 Says:

    Bonzai… you wrote all the fans who said Glennon would start game 1. I guess 2 can be described as all, because that’s all I saw that made that comment.

  71. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    I think there were actually a handful of us that said Glennon would start bye week or sooner (opening day). Hey can’t be right every time :-) Hopefully I’m wrong with my 6-10 2014 Bucs prediction too. 10-6 or better would feel pretty good even if I just don’t see it this year.

  72. Brandon Says:

    My claim to fame is nailing the 10-6 record for the 2010 season, I then tanked 2011 like nobody’s business, and then I was looking promising for 2012′s 9-7 prediction before the bottom fell out.

    Here’s my game-by-game look at how the Bucs will do.

    Week 1 vs. Panthers-Banged up Cam Newton and a band of misfit WRs and an even worse Oline? Okay, okay, the Panthers rely on an extremely tough D to win them games. Not this week. The Bucs pound the Panthers offense and force multiple turnovers, one of which finds its way into the endzone, and the Bucs prevail, 27-10. Bucs 1-0
    Week 2 vs. Rams-Another excellent D that posed all KINDS of matchup problems the past two years, but this O is being led by NOT Sam Bradford. With Sam Bradford, this had the makings of a tough defensive game, it still will be, but the home team will prevail again behind just enough offense and some Lovie-ball to win 17-13. Bucs 2-0
    Week 3 at Falcons-Lovie Smith has a great record against the Falcons but these are two completely different teams, at this point in the season, the Falcons D will be decent, they will suck badly by the end. They will move the ball on O and make enough plays on D to win this one at home, Bucs lose 24-13. Bucs 2-1
    Week 4 at Steelers-Playing the 3-4 Falcons got the Bucs ready to play the 3-4 running Steelers. They fare better on offense against the Steelers, but the Steelers make enough plays to eek out the win, 23-17. Bucs fall to 2-2.
    Week 5 at Saints-Saints are rolling at this point in the season, the Bucs haven’t yet gelled on either side of the ball, but they’re coming… Saints prevail 31-20. Bucs fall to 2-3
    Week 6 vs Ravens-Bucs return home after 3 weeks on the road and finally start to get something rolling before the break. Flacco and the Ravens running game can’t get going, Ravens D no longer championship caliber, Bucs win 31-10. Bucs even record to 3-3
    BYE WEEK
    Week 8 vs. Vikings-Vikings O consists of AP and little else. Vikings D consists of a giant hole left by Jared Allen and mediocre talent in most other positions. Mike Zimmer has his hands full this year, Bucs whip Vikings 27-6. Bucs 4-3
    Week 9 at Browns-Bucs 0-3 on the road at this point, by this time, Johnny Football will be playing fairly regularly with the struggling Browns, but not playing well. The Browns are the early favorite to draft #1 overall and lose big at home, 24-9. Bucs improve to 5-3 and second place in the division.

  73. Brandon Says:

    Week 9 at Browns-Bucs 0-3 on the road at this point, by this time, Johnny Football will be playing fairly regularly with the struggling Browns, but not playing well. The Browns are the early favorite to draft #1 overall and lose big at home, 24-9. Bucs improve to 5-3 and second place in the division.
    Week 10 vs. Falcons-Falcons in free fall, Bucs riding 3 game win streak. The Falcons O can’t get by on an aging Roddy White, no running game, and one threat in Julio Jones, the D has gone from competent in the first meeting, to one of the league’s worst. Bucs get their revenge, 34-14. Bucs improve to 6-3.
    Week 11 at Redskins-Redskins not playing well, RGIII has clearly regressed and has taken a pounding to this point, Kirk Cousins is considered the QB of the future. Bucs roll into Washington and put a smackdown on the Redskins O and make enough plays to pull out another win, 17-13, and the national media really begins to notice. Bucs 7-3
    Week 12 at Bears-Bears were atrocious on defense AFTER Lovie left, he’ll be wanting to get his revenge on Chicago brass. Bratty Jay Cutler and the Bear offense really hit a road block with the Bucs D in town. Bears D is improved by still no better than average. Still, on the road, riding a 4 game win streak, Bears out-Lovie ball the Bucs and escape with a 23-20 win. Bucs fall to 7-4
    Week 13 vs. Bengals-Bucs carry 4-0 record at home into this game. As it turns out, losing offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, shows he was holding back the Cincy offense more than he was helping it, Jiminy Christmas! Bengals pull away from Bucs on the road and prove to be the better team on both sides of the ball, 23-13. Bucs 7-5 and people start writing the team off.
    Week 14 at Lions-Lions up and down throughout season. Jim Caldwell has the Lions playing more disciplined, but now the team doesn’t seem to have the talent they used to. Suh is just pretty good, Calvin Johnson is still a one man show but shows signs of slowing down, Stafford has great stats but starts to prove himself as Tony Romo 2.0, the D isn’t particularly good. Bucs go into Detroit and prevail on the road, 23-16. Bucs move to 8-5.
    Week 15 at Panthers-Panthers have improved since week 1, but they’re struggling to reach .500 behind a very good defense, not as good as last year, and an offensive line and WR group that is improving. Bucs have few answers for Panthers in Charlotte, Panthers are victorious 27-16. Bucs fall to 8-6 and in danger of falling out of playoff chase.
    Week 16 vs. Packers-Packers not as dominant in years past but still plenty good. Lovie always had trouble against the Packers and their multiple set offenses. Packers lead from beginning to end in a tightly contested game, 27-23. Bucs fall to 8-7 and playoff hopes have dimmed.
    Week 17 vs. Saints-As like with almost every year in recent memory, the Bucs and Saints play in the final regular season game. Much like in previous seasons, Saints have little to gain, a lot to lose by playing their starters. Sean Payton learned his lesson when he played his starters through 3 quarters in a meaningless game against Raheem’s miracle squad of 2010, and got them beat up so bad that they dropped a road playoff game to the only team in history to make the playoffs with a losing record. Saints rest starters and Bucs whip the backups, 31-10. Bucs improve to 9-7 and hope for some help to get into the dance.

  74. Michael Duggan Says:

    9-7 but just missing the playoff’s. Second half of the season will be where we gain steam.

  75. Brent Says:

    6 maybe 7. Need another draft. Depth looked weak in pre-season. At least we have some talent now and no more dumb/psycho coaches like Morris and schiano. Organization seems stable now..

  76. iamkingsu Says:

    I disagree joe. We got off to slow starts the last two years because we didn’t have a coach that knew how to win close games and it snowballed from the there.Its a tough schedule but Some how some way I see us finishing 10-6

 
 

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