Countdown: Top 10 X-Factors For 2018 – No. 5

July 21st, 2018

Only five days until training camp!! 

That means we’re up to No. 5 on the countdown of the 10 X-factors for your 2018 Buccaneers season.


No. 5 – Jason Pierre-Paul

This is one is as straightforward as it gets. If JPP turns in just the solid season he had in 2017, then the Bucs defense is massively improved from a year ago. It’s literally that simple.

Close your eyes and think about the 29-year-old athletic freak with his hand in the dirt and delivering his trademark relentless and well-rounded effort. Envisioning that flashes Joe right back to 2012, when Michael Bennett was doing his thing off the edge for Tampa Bay.

That season, the Bucs defense was No. 1 in the NFL against the run with Bennett, Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller and the late Daniel Te’o-Nesheim taking the vast majority of snaps on the defensive line. The Bucs, though, complemented the great run defense with arguably the worst pass defense in league history, one that allowed an average of 297 yards per game through the air.

The Bucs have plenty of depth behind Pierre-Paul, which should allow him to stay fresh, but Joe isn’t going to pretend Mitch Unrein and Vinny Curry are special players or talents. They’re not.

JPP will earn $12.5 million for a reason. If he becomes the annual Bucs defensive line bust, then he probably pulls the whole pirate ship as we know it down with him.

No. 6 – Todd Monken Impact 

No. 7 – Ronald Jones

No. 8 – Contract Years

No. 9 – Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 10 – Noah Spence

And just in case you missed Saturday’s series introduction, here are four guys you won’t see on The Countdown and why.

5 Responses to “Countdown: Top 10 X-Factors For 2018 – No. 5”

  1. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I love the changes we made to the Dline. Not only added a “player”, as we typically do, we should have depth. Now, they just need to go out and put in the EFFORT

    No “tree hugging” here this year! Or the stick carriers will march down One Buc Sinkhole to burn down the Palace

  2. Season Is Over Says:

    “The Bucs plenty of depth behind Pierre-Paul, which should allow him to stay fresh, but Joe isn’t going to pretend Mitch Unrein are Vinny Curry are special players or talents. They’re not.”

    What does this say about the GM that paid them 3.5 and 7.6 million per year? I’m sure Curry has close to a top ten salary on this team. Why would Licht pay that kind of money to non-talented players? Just imagine if we had coaches able to make players better.

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    Eager to see how the new Buc additions to the team fit in and play out. Improvement is all any fan can ask for.

  4. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Yeah Vinny Curry is #26 paid DE which is probably overpaying slightly but what choice did Licht have? We needed quality lineman and when they are in demand you have to pay above or at market value. Like Joe says overpaid today is underpaid tomorrow, contracts aren’t going down.
    JPP was a great and equal deal to me. Giants wanted cap and draft ammo and we needed a proven DE. Win-win.
    Go JPP! Welcome home!
    GO BUCS!

  5. D-Rome Says:

    I don’t think I knew that Daniel Te’o-Nesheim passed away. I couldn’t find details on his passing which usually means an OD or suicide. Sad regardless how.