11 Reasons The Bucs Finish 11-5

September 7th, 2020

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The last time the Buccaneers were labeled “paper champions,” they didn’t handle it very well.

In 2001, Tony Dungy’s final year on the Tampa Bay sidelines, Steelers safety Lee Flowers tossed out that insulting description after Pittsburgh’s 17-10 midseason triumph at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs finished 9-7 and were trounced 31-9 at Philadelphia in the opening playoff round.

Let’s see what happens the second time around.

By all accounts, the Bucs enter the 2020 season as paper champions.

Everyone from Peter King to Peter Schrager are talking up this roster and coaching staff, declaring Tampa Bay a serious Super Bowl threat. And while a flurry of key injuries can sink any franchise, this looks like an 11-win football team.

On paper.

Here’s 11 reasons why:


The league’s ultimate winner appears invigorated by this new challenge, free of Bill Belichick’s shadow and eager to work with the NFL’s premier wide receiver tandem. Brady’s attention to detail should raise everyone’s level of play and you’d better believe there won’t be 41 giveaways on his watch.


Rob Gronkowski is a throwback to the days when tight ends were required to block. He’s very physical at the point of attack while rookie right tackle Tristan Wirfs should be a road grader upgrade on Demar Dotson.

LeSean McCoy


In a dynamic offseason spree, the Bucs added Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy, who are both proven targets. Ronald Jones faces quite a challenge in holding off Fournette, who won’t be facing 8-man fronts in 2020.


The Bucs have been very fortunate in avoiding injury up front, but they know good fortune might not last. In adding Joe Haeg, Tampa Bay now has a veteran, versatile reserve to rely on.


For his career, Ryan Succop has converted 94 percent of his FG attempts from inside the 40. That’s the kind of consistency Buc coaches have craved since Matt Bryant left town and took his kicking tee with him.


Through 10 games, the inexperience of Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting was exploited for all to see. The final six weeks were a different story for this secondary in general and these corners in particular.


Jason Pierre-Paul is available from Week 1 instead of rehabbing. His hulking presence makes it dicey for opposing offenses to commit major resources in an effort to slow down Shaq Barrett.

Devin White, healthy and experienced


Once Devin White shed that knee brace, he began to live up to his billing as a speedy playmaker. As the game slowed down, White played faster. This kid could be special.


Brady hates turnovers and he’ll go to any length to avoid picks. That’s why he boasts one of the lowest career interception rates in NFL history and that’s why Bruce Arians wanted him behind Door No. 2.


Antoine Winfield Jr. has been described as a ballhawk. If so, he’ll fit in nicely as a rookie safety, giving Todd Bowles some enhanced flexibility in a young defensive backfield.


The closing slate appears favorable for a stirring playoff push — if the Bucs can avoid their usual sluggish start. The most challenging matchups are at RayJay, so this would be a good time to join the crowd and establish a home field advantage.

Bill Currie Ford
5815 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33614

Ira Kaufman’s column is presented by Bill Currie Ford. Click on Ira to visit BillCurrieFord.com.

35 Responses to “11 Reasons The Bucs Finish 11-5”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Great analysis, Ira, and add in Brady’s coaching ability

  2. Guadalajara, Mexico Fan Says:

    I would add Coaching Staff too

  3. Destinjohnny Says:


  4. WillieG Says:

    16-0. It’s a weird year, so the Bucs will be weird, but in a good way. They’ll be the first team to host and win a super bowl after gong undefeated during the regular season.

  5. RioDeJaneiro Bucs Fan Says:

    I fully agree with Ira. But I think that we still need quality depth behind Shaq Barrett and JPP. This is the weakest link that must be addressed immediately. Sign Clay Matthews or even Cameron Wake. Rely on Anthony Nelson, Cam Gill and Quinton Bell (0 sack combined) is a huge liability at this point.

  6. Colonel_mp Says:

    Not to mention last year’s #1 rush defense returning all of its’ starters.

  7. El Buco Realisto Says:

    And there is one reason they will not!!!!!!!!! ole stale biscuit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Colonel_mp Says:

    @Rio … So what were you saying last year when Shaq had maybe double digit sacks for his career before he came over? New guys have to show if they belong And Clay may be good for maybe 20% of the plays, worth it?

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Let me add defensive continuity…….all returning starters & returning coaches to the same schemes…..

  10. mark2001 Says:

    Like it Ira… been watching the game for along time…(not as long as you have, sage), but it looks like an 11-5 or at worst 10-6 team to me.

  11. El Buco Realisto Says:

    And the defense will be exposed!!!!!!!! Now other teams have a hear of tape and tendencies of the toilet bowl defense!!!!!!!!!!!! The sheep will soon “realize” the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  12. unbelievable Says:

    All starting defenders from last year*

    *except Carl Nassib

    Overall though, good job from Licht keeping everyone together. Now let’s hope that improved pass defense carries over this year and wasn’t a fluke.

  13. Ndog Says:

    This team should go 13-3

  14. Bucsfan951 Says:

    With BA ridding this team of the cancer that plagued it for many years, it’s time to put together everything and make a run for the Lombardi.


  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Donald Igwebuike never missed a kick inside of 38 yards — and he’s available.

  16. Darin Says:

    Dont like the season prediction business but if you’re gona do it and you’re a Bucs fan go with 16-0. Every game i turn on I’ll be expecting a W. Wont be expecting anyone eating them tho!

  17. El Buco Real-Lisp-o Says:

    Hey hey hey girls!
    This is sweet cheeks Real-lisp-o, the alternative lifestyle
    brother of Realisto!
    My brother had a crush on Arains but Bruce jilted him!
    Oh no he jus di-int!
    Now my brother is sooooo mad….
    Just ignore him

  18. Kobe Faker Says:

    Kobe Faker Says:
    September 5th, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Shaman Kobe Faker performed nonstop 48 hours spiritual ritual to the Gods to recieve the secrets of the 2020 tampa Buccaneers future

    Chicken feet, goat blood, the whole nine yards

    The ouija board screamed out numbers

    10, 3, 2

    #10 – 10 wins and playoffs for the 2020 bucs season

    #3 – 3 times the Bucs and Saints will play each other this season

    #2 – the winning quarterback of the final 3rd game in the playoffs will be wearing the #2 uniform

    The Divne Kobe Faker has spoken

    And it shall be”

    Kobe Faker

  19. Ndog Says:

    I love that 951 thinks it was one person that caused is to lose yet the team brings in the greatest TE of all time, a top 10 draft pick at RB, a potential HOF 3rd down back, a new kicker and a new first round RT.

    Yes all of the losing had nothing to do with a putrid defense and all of those players they just upgraded.

    At this point your are embarrassing yourself so just stop and focus on the team we have now unless you want me and others to keep making your comments look silly.

  20. catcard202 Says:

    This team is 1 missed block away from 6-10 & another top10 draft pick in 2021!

    If 43yr old TB12 goes down for any significant amount of time – I have ZERO faith in the current #2/#3 QB’s on the 53 man roster…I seriously doubt either can string together a winning season down the stretch – even with the plethora of offensive weapons at their disposal.

    Factor in the Bucs Luck w/ picking K’s & I’m not holding my breathe for making the playoffs or playing the SB in the Den of Depression!

    Cross-fingers that the worst case scenario never comes to fruition & TB12 leads this roster to the promised land…How cool would it be to make history that even the 1972 Dolphins would be envious of. (Winning a SB in front of the Home crowd!)

  21. Bucsfan951 Says:


    Did I say it was only directed at JW?


    Did you ask for my favorite pregame speech by JW? Here it is!

    1,2,3 into the 4
    The Bucs q’s and C’s coming out dat door
    Now we don’t know how to do these rhymes
    We know about pancake blocks and throwing dimes
    Now the time has come for us to compete
    Now we gotta do it one way, one team, one heartbeat
    Now let’s go out here and have a great day
    And let’s kick some jag *ss, Tampa Bay

    Even tho Ryan Fitz called him out for this lame poem/pregame speech, it was still one of my favorites!

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    I still like what my man Mike Tyson once said, Everybody got a plan..until they get hit. I still remain….Cautiously Optimistic.

  23. Bucsfan951 Says:


    It’s as if the majority of Bucs fans knew what a poser the dude was. 5k yards doesn’t go far when you give the other team 121 points off of your turnovers.


  24. adam from ny Says:

    yes ira 11-5…

    and no superbowl…

    at least not this year

  25. adam from ny Says:

    gay and winston lost us at least 4 games – clearly on their shoulders…

    we were more like a 9-7 type team last year…

    and this year with all the upgrades, the offense and defense should each win us one more than the number i just stated above…leaving us at 11-5…

    and without a superbowl win…

    let’s not get crazy people…if you’re a bucs fan, that’s kool…but try to be realistic about this team once in a while…

    11-5 is the number (baring major injuries or covid collapses)

  26. adam from ny Says:

    wow winston is 3rd string….???

    the sky is really falling for said dude

  27. Buc4evr Says:

    Any other year with this roster I’d be confident that Bucs would be Super Bowl contenders. This year with the practice schedules impacted, no preseason games, a new QB, and two rookie starters that have never played an nfl game, I just don’t see a lot of early success. I think it’s going to take at least three or four games to get the timing and communication down. Think we will have 10 wins.

  28. Clean House Says:


  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t really care how many games we win, so long as we make it into the playoffs.

    On the topic of QB, Tom Brady is the best QB in history. Of course he is better than Jameis Winston.

    And so far as Jameis Winston being the third string with the Saints, do be stupid. Obviously, Brees is better and the just gave a contract to Hill. Hill was a horrible investment. He won’t replace Brees.

    No, Jameis Winston will most likely plague us for years.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Clean House, you can’t seriously believe that. Whether you are a Bucs fan or not, you have to know better.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Buc4evr, the Bucs were one of about ten teams who had their players privately practicing on their own in pads by choice, and they did it more than any other team. Heck, the other teams players saw the Bucs players doing it and decided they would as well.

    I would not fret over this team needing a few games. That won’t be the case.

  32. Clean House Says:

    Bonzai, the secondary was terrible- I’ve heard the hype before- I remember the D had a 5 game streak with Mike Smith- saved his job for half a
    season. I don’t see the huge improvement. Teams shredded the Bucs passing D last year. I’ll be a believer when I see it. Until then I’m not going to be a victim of Stockholm Syndrome- I’m excited yeah and hope they prove me wrong.

  33. RioDeJaneiro Bucs Fan Says:

    @colonel my point is: if, for example, JPP (not a young guy for Football) is injured, Shaq will face double or even triple coverage every single down. Last year, when DCs realized how dangerous Shaq is, they went all over him and his production dropped deeply (even with a consistent player like Nassib on the field). First four games = 9 sacks, 10th sack was in week 8. Only when JPP returned, Shaq re-emerged to his monster season.
    Clay Matthews played more than 50% (614 to be precise) of the snaps with the Rams and had 8 sacks last season. Our youngsters? Zero sack combined in the NFL (I really hope that it’ll change as soon as Week 1, but…)
    So, I believe it would be a very smart move to add him to the roster to relief JPP and Shaq – and to be a starter, in case of an injury.
    The best way to make our secondary effective is a consistent pass rush, so I do think that our beloved BUCS need proven and reliable depth at OLB.

  34. Clean House Says:

    I agree 💯 about Clay Matthews
    Sign him up!!

  35. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Bonzai says:

    “And so far as Jameis Winston being the third string with the Saints, do be stupid. Obviously, Brees is better and the just gave a contract to Hill. Hill was a horrible investment. He won’t replace Brees.”


    Rojo is the guy…for now. He’s got the starting spot and it is up to him to hold onto it. He entering his 3rd year…nows his time.

    I’ll bet you rojo loses his starting position before JW becomes 2nd on the depth chart.

    If they had confidence in rojo, they wouldn’t have brought in shady, 4net, AND drafted Vaughn.