Setting The Playoff Field

September 9th, 2020

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The National Football League loves to talk up the churn.

Every year, division champions are overthrown. Every year features an array of new playoff teams. There’s no reason to think the 2020 season, already unique in so many ways, won’t follow the pattern.

Except for New England’s iron hold on the AFC East, this league doesn’t believe in the status quo retaining power. And without Tom Brady, the Patriots will face a tough challenge holding off the Bills.

Change is in the air once again, and no franchise has forged a new identity more dynamically than the Buccaneers, the media darlings of the offseason. Everyone’s talking about Tampa Bay’s upgraded roster, so Bryan and Joel Glazer decided to check out the goods themselves on Wednesday.

They’ll be in New Orleans this weekend, hoping to feast on gumbo and the imposing Saints.

As the league kicks off, here’s a crystal ball to juggle through the next 17 weeks.


Despite a 37-11 record in the past three seasons, New Orleans hasn’t cashed in during the playoffs. Veterans Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins are savvy additions and this defense is stout enough to complement a perennial offensive powerhouse. A fourth consecutive division title appears likely, helped by the league’s premier special teams.


On paper, only the Cowboys have as many playmakers as the Bucs. Dak Prescott is poised for a big season and he is surrounded by elite weapons, although the offensive line isn’t what it used to be. There are concerns on defense, particularly in the secondary, but Dallas is built to win its share of shootouts.


Aaron Rodgers doesn’t look like a happy camper, so the Vikings will have every opportunity to unseat the Packers. Dalvin Cook’s health is a key and it’s about time Kirk Cousins gets some respect as one of the NFL’s better quarterbacks.


The 49ers and Seahawks should stage a heck of a battle atop this division. Teams that lose the Super Bowl typically don’t fare well the next season and the injury bug has already hit San Francisco hard. Russell Wilson gives Seattle a considerable edge under center and Pete Carroll always has his team ready to play.


The Bucs have enough talent to win 11 games, which should be more than enough in an expanded playoff field. San Francisco’s rugged defense is fast and physical while the Eagles, smartly coached, have just enough to slide into the No. 7 postseason slot.


Write Bill Belichick off at your own peril. Cam Newton appears healthy and motivated while New England’s defense is still stellar, despite all those missing parts. Buffalo is coming on strong, but Josh Allen remains a young quarterback learning the ropes.


Pittsburgh’s defense played valiantly in 2019, almost overcoming a woeful attack. Here comes Ben Roethlisberger to the rescue, eager to prove he can still sling it with the best. Baltimore’s good, but the Steelers are better.


Speaking of veteran quarterbacks with much to prove, Philip Rivers should thrive behind one of the league’s elite offensive lines and a strong running game. Sorry Nashville, it’s too much to expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to match their extraordinary efficiency of 2019.


The Chargers don’t have a quarterback, the Broncos just lost Von Miller and the Raiders are wildly inconsistent. Towering amid the rubble are the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes and all those dangerous targets. Rookie back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has a chance to be special.


League MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens won’t finish 14-2 again, but they’ll have an opportunity to redeem themselves in the playoffs. Yes, Buffalo’s defense is that good, and yes, the Titans still have enough to win nine games again and squeeze into the final spot.

Bill Currie Ford
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Tampa, FL 33614

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12 Responses to “Setting The Playoff Field”

  1. 813bucboi Says:


    GO BUCS!!!!

  2. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Saints were 8-4 under Brees last year . In playoffs, he didn’t beat Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff , Case Keenum, Alex Smith, Matt Hasselback or Rex Grossman.
    I’m more concerned about week 2 vs Carolina with a QB, Bridgewater, who was 5-0 last year and a new Coach with no NFL tape on his team to prepare.

  3. Ndog Says:

    Alan you do understand it’s not 1 on 1 don’t you? Geez

  4. Darin Says:

    The Bucs have enough talent to win more than 11 games. Have ya looked at the other teams talent? Fitzy and Klueless took it to the aints opening week a cpl seasons ago but the Bucs are dogs with Brady and Bruce? Cmon people double your money

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I’ll match Bucs talent up with anyone, my point is Brees has HOF numbers but he’s overrated to me.

  6. Ndog Says:

    Alanbucsfan at this point he probably is and the worst nightmare for our franchise is Jameis taking over for Brees. Give that guy a running game, and a dominant oline and the league is in serious trouble.

  7. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    I rooted for JW while he was a Buc and could envision a scenario where he “gets even” with the Bucs as a Saint no less…but JW is currently a 3rd stringer. Jeez NDong is consistent if nothing else.

  8. james west Says:

    we will find out in 77 hours and 34 minutes and counting

  9. james west Says:

    yes i love my bucs, been a fan since the beginning, 76 to be exact, but this year, looks feels and smells different, than ever before, for the obvious reasons, and the not so obvious, we are stacked with players with something to prove, on both sides of the ball, also household names, in the twilight of their careers wanting rings, or chasing their big money contracts, i predict right now we will win, the division, sweeping the dirty taints, and when we go into their house, game one and beat them, it will ruin there year, setting us up for a playoff run and home field advantage throughout the post season

  10. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Love your take, Mr. james west!

    I am not making a prediction but I see no reason that we can’t win the division this year. We are as strong as anyone on paper.

    Whether we win the NFC South or go in as a wild card the key is readiness. With a bit of luck we will be rolling at the high level at the end of December and into January that can carry us to a Super Bowl win.

    Go Bucs! 🏉👑 🤩

  11. SirClicksAlot Says:

    Seems weird to type as a Bucs fan, but anything less than the playoffs this year is a huge disappointment. We have the talent, the experience, and the coaching, just need a little luck baby!

  12. orlbucfan Says:

    Can’t wait for the 43 y.o. ‘wonder’ Brady to win it all for the Bucs. Won’t happen. He’s too old, and asking to get creamed. We got a decent backup? I sure hope so!