Low Expectations?

May 4th, 2023

The conclusion of the NFL Draft means a reset of over/under win total lines at sportsbooks around the country.

For some reason, the oddsmakers believe the Bucs’ outlook is grim in the subpar NFC South.

The graphic above was shown on the FS1 network during a discussion of the new over/under lines. The Bucs are among the NFL’s five projectd bottom-feeders.

Joe thinks the Bucs have no excuse not to win at least eight games this season.

Add it up. A remotely acceptable division record is 3-3. The Bucs play the weak AFC South this season, so a minimum result there should be 2-2. That leaves seven remaining games against prettty strong competition, but included there are home games against the Bears and Lions.

Is a 2-5 record acceptable in those other seven games? Of course not.

So by Joe’s math, head coach Todd Bowles and his squad need at least eight wins for respectability — as Joe relaxes on May 4 while mowing down Hooters wings and Big Storm beer.

Every NFC South team won at least seven games last season. So Joe likes the Bucs’ chances of busting that 6 1/2 win total line.

There’s too much talent on the Bucs roster to implode completely, and it’s difficult to lose a ton of games with a strong defense. And Todd Bowles has no excuse not to have a strong defense unless Devin White sits out games in a contract protest.

77 Responses to “Low Expectations?”

  1. FlBoy84 Says:

    With the Bucs having one of the worst head coaches in the league, it’s understandable.

  2. Ghost of Tom Brady Says:

    I’m gonna go put some money down on the over.

  3. Darin Says:

    8 wins with the goat last season. We’re talking bowles and maker. Under senor

  4. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Oddsmakers know a thing or two. The Bucs could easily get swept within the division. I’m a fan…but also a realist ( but not The Realist ).

  5. gp Says:

    They saw what so many others saw last year, a complete lack of imagination in game planning. When you enter every contest with the exact same game plan you used the week prior throughout the entire year, you become somewhat predictable.
    This is entirely on coaching, from the top down.
    Bowles has had 4 losing seasons in a row as HC.
    He has won 21 games in those 4 seasons.
    Do the math.

    As a diehard fan since ’76, I’d really like for him to prove me wrong but, I gotta baaaaad feeling about this season!

  6. frankbucsfan Says:

    8 wins is never acceptable. if this team is under .500 then the entire organization needs over hauling

  7. Max Says:

    We got lucky to have 8 wins the past year with all those vets AND brady. You think we’re gonna get 8 with an unknown QB?? Trust the oddsmakers…

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Impossible to know what the season will look like.
    The only real question is at the QB position, all the rest is capable
    Both QB’s had great production in college, Mayfield has a decent amount of NFL experience, the final record this year could surprise in either direction.

  9. WillieG Says:

    I hope I have to come here and tell everyone I was an idiot about Todd Bowles. I hope he wins Coach of the Year and makes me look stupid AF. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I will take the over…. barely. 7 wins for Coach Plays Not To Lose.

  10. ocala Says:

    I am betting on the under. Looks like easy money with no QB and arguably the worst head coach in the NFL

  11. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Bucs could actually be a better team but with a worse record. That’s bc we still have horrendous HC and ST coach. Bowles doesn’t know how to win close games and Cáñales is an unknown. I guess we’ll see if we start talking draft by early October.

  12. Jim Says:

    I’ll take the under

  13. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Absolutely, take the under.

  14. Pete O'Connor Says:


  15. The Beer Whisper Says:

    I take the over.

    Because everyone in the “peanut gallery” is usually wrong.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I never, ever bet against my Bucs……but I very rarely bet for them either.

  17. BucsFan1328 Says:

    Hard to see us not in the top 10 of next years draft. A top 5 pick with the QB’s coming out would be a good thing and means a proper HC would be coming in. I hope I’m wrong but our running game better be tenfold better or we have no chance

  18. Voice of Truth Says:

    2-4 vs the division is far more likely, we barely beat them with TB12 last year

    2-2 vs the afc south – their division might be worse than ours

    2-5 vs the rest is being kind – probably 1-6 with line win the Bears

    As I have said all off-season, and even with a good draft and deft handling of the cap mess – this is a six win team with Todd in charge – absolutely no confidence in his ability to field a winner

    I hope and pray I get to come on here in about 6 months and eat every word

    I will ask for seconds…

  19. K2 Says:

    The Bucs started last year with high expectations….didn’t matter either.

  20. Bosch Says:

    4 wins for the bucs including a 1-5 division record. A top 3 draft pick will yield a franchise QB and with a new HC, improvement will begin in 2024. Competitive in 2025.

    There wont be any reason for a fire sale, but they should sit Evans and Godwin in second half of games in which they are behind by three scores or more. Both Trask and Mayfield will see close to a 50-50 proportion of playing time with neither gaining a firm hold on the starting position.

  21. K2 Says:

    If we really want the number one draft pick…just bring Byron back.

  22. sasquatch Says:

    Media predictions have less than zero value. Don’t care.

  23. HC Grover Says:

    They know. The Bowles Curse is upon us. Only if the opposing coach outblunders Bowles will we win even 1 game. 6 is optimism gone wild.

  24. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Brady was a handicap last year. He’s gone. The Bucs will win at least 9 games and the division. Not a fan of Bowles at anything more than a DC, but we have talent enough on both sides of the ball to win the division. I believe the new OC can get enough, no matter who plays QB, for a 4-2 division record. 5 wins in the other 11 games is doable. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  25. Usfbuc Says:

    Have to agree that we will likely be under. My ceiling was 8 wins, like others just can’t imagine even with Brady having a bad/distracted year that we would post more wins than last years team.

    I would love to be wrong. Unfortunately I think we will do just good enough to not land a top five pick.

  26. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Under definitey!

  27. Bucco Bruce Says:

    All I can say is I want to win but I want an actual franchise QB for once in my life. Caleb Williams or Drake Maye whoever comes out on top after this year we should grab and start building again. We are getting young on oline and dline. Young secondary, need some lbs, edge, and will need a wr or two within the next few years. We will see on rb and te what happens. So basically if Tristan is as good at LT as at RT we should be much closer and just need a QB and another stud or 2 on defense.

  28. Allbuccedup Says:

    Well we may be in the running for Williams, Maye, Penix or McCarthy.

  29. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Someone needs to explain the massive amount of talent the Bucs lost:

    Baker can roughly play like last year’s Brady, White’s better than Fournette, Otton’s better than Brate, Goedeke or Mauch at T not much worse than last year’s Donnie, Jensen back, Hainsey back at G, Feiler, 3 great receivers back.

    Defense: 2nd year Hall better than last year Gholston, Vita, KC, Gaines as good as Hicks (& on the field)…Barrett, JTS, Nelson, Gill back (Barrett and Gill were out), plus 2 new rushers every draftnik liked, LVD/White back with a better backup, Dean/Davis/Winfield back with Neal replacing Edwards (a wash). Why are the Bucs suddenly awful?!? Media is so lazy.

  30. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    And obviously Wirfs at the premium tackle spot.

  31. Saskbucs Says:

    Scary line. I agree that this roster is too talented despite the QB ? To go 6-11. I won’t bet it either way but the other teams in the division have their faults. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the division in any order at the end of the season. A lot of unknowns. Saints should be in the basement or I hope they are. I have high hopes for Canales and the new O, more mobile QB, more motion and deception, stronger run game. If that all comes together with a top half of the league D we should have a shot at 8-9 wins again. Bowles scares me and if they win 6 or less … he is top of the list for reasons why unless injuries hit hard. Gonna be an interesting year, I’m looking forward to lower expectations and competitive games, Go Bucs!

  32. Pewter Power Says:

    Yep I remember these same no it all wise guys predicted a full collapse and rebuild for Seattle.

  33. Joe Swanson Says:

    Too much talent on this team, our talent is no better than anyone else. Talent is relevant to what your coaching can bring out. We did not draft an offensive tackle or safety which should have been 2 out of our first 3 picks. I do not understand the mind set on this team. Unless Licht wants to play with the offensive line like he did last year. If Jensen retires this year we will definitely be hurting.

  34. mg Says:

    1 injury away from 1st pick in the 2024 draft

  35. APiratesLife Says:

    It’s not for “some reason,” but instead it’s because we have a less-than-ideal qb situation. In this day, if you don’t have a qb, you’ve got nothing. We have nothing.

  36. Bucs Guy Says:

    The good news is if the Bucs are in the bottom 5 with those teams, the only one I possibly see looking to draft a QB in 2024 is Washington maybe.

  37. Bucs Guy Says:

    The problem with last year was the injuries to the OLine. Any team that lost 2-3 players throughout the season would have had protection and run problems also. See SB 55 for what happened when the Chiefs lost two starting OLine players.

  38. BA'S Red Pen Says:

    Little Confidence

  39. Timbo Slice Says:

    Call me crazy, but I think we are a better team than last year. May not be great, but overall I think the team, as a whole, takes a step forward this year.

  40. Buc4evr Says:

    Think the team may be better than last year, with of course the exception of the QB position and the Kicker. As far as Canales , how could he be worse than Leftwurst? Bowles is Bowles, no better, no worse than last year.

    Probably take the “under” as our QBs are probably going to be pathetic and our history with Kickers is outrageously bad. Been there done that since 1976.

  41. NDOG is an Idiot Says:

    AFC Championship game against the Eagles baby!! Go Baker Go

  42. D-Rok Says:

    Ask me again after the last preseason game. Little clue how this team will shape up this year, but my gut feeling is 7-8 wins.

  43. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    May 4th, 2023 at 5:31 pm
    I never, ever bet against my Bucs……but I very rarely bet for them either.

    I bet against my Bucs occasionally. I usually pick us to lose on most night games or any game where Joe and the JBF experts here are saying we have an easy win against a bad team.
    I usually win and if I don’t I just consider it buying a win.

  44. stpetebucfan Says:

    “All I can say is I want to win but I want an actual franchise QB for once in my life. Caleb Williams”

    Oh great another savior. So you want the next Jameis Winston?

    Oh and you jackwagons are simply willing to write off next year to get some totally unproven talent…AGAIN. Perhaps at least Caleb Williams is not the dipspit who has been accused of raped..recorded with FHITHP in a huge gathering…somebody we could draft who perhaps would take the first off season to go out and get blind drunk and fondle an UBER driver.

    Yeah that’s the ticket.

    I know this will go into Joe’s respository to check out the link but like me Joe likes Van Halen and will let it through. At 75 I can tell you from experience this Van Halen tune is spot on when it comes to living well. F Caleb Williams and F all the idjits who have already written off next year!!! I’ve included the version with lyrics for those of you slow on the uptake!!!

  45. A Says:

    No head Coach
    No QB

    Oline will need a year
    Pass rush will need a year

    I feel like if we some how get 8 wins – we’ll keep Bowles and stay in mediocrity for years…here’s to improving but losing so we can start over at Coach and QB!

    Go Bucs!

  46. Roc Says:

    Do you think that has something to do with the fact Bowles is the Coach

  47. D-Rok Says:


  48. mark2001 Says:

    Yikes…but probably.

  49. Bucswin Says:

    I blame the goats ex for last seasons win total. She ain’t gonna be around this year.

  50. Mike Says:

    Things things are very difficult to predict. Teams you thought would do well do poorly and things you thought would do poorly end up doing well. Player health, rookies, coordinator and/or coaching changes are all factors. I have no idea how the Bucs are going to do next year. However, if they don’t do well, that can be viewed as successful as well since being near the top of the draft could have long term benefits for the franchise.

  51. chark Says:

    With bowles as coach it is in the 5 to 7 range. With a competent coach it is in the 7 to 9 range. Based on our schedule playn our division and the afc south a reg coach could carve out 8,9 wins.

  52. DingleBerry Says:

    “For some reason”

    I’ll tell you precisely the reason Joe. This was one of the worst offenses in the league last year, worst rushing and 25th scoring, and that was with Tom Brady at QB.

    Now we have no QB, we are missing a tackle, we didn’t make any legitimate additions to improve the offense, and our OC has never called plays at the professional level.

    I’ll be shocked if we win more than 5 games next year.

  53. Oxycondoms Says:

    Doing things the bowles way has never worked. Hes living in the past with his philosophies

  54. Tucker Says:

    I’d take the over I really think the bucs are going to be a lot better than what the media/some fans think.

  55. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of UniqueModernArt.com Says:

    If I was a betting man, I would bet the Under on that 6.5 number.

    Why? Mainly because of Todd Bowles and his lack of emotion/passion and his currently suspect defense, along with his conservative influence on the offense.

  56. Bucamania Says:

    8 wins? Lol. Todd Bowles is the HC. Baker Mayfield is the QB and Goedeke is the RT. I’ll take the under.

  57. K_bassuka Says:

    That’s what happens when you gift Barker Maybefield the QB1. Not everyone is as blind as Joe.

  58. BucsFan81 Says:

    I am going to go with the over but barely with 7 wins. I don’t think the QB situation will be the problem. I actually think the offense will be improved. I actually think it will be the defense that holds this team back. Diva white will be a distraction and the rookies in the trenches will be trying to learn too much to make a big impact.

  59. Fred McNeil Says:

    A lot is gonna depend on TraskField.

  60. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Can always want to rebuild. Always.

    To me, there are too many unknowns. I think Carr will possibly have his best year, barring injury.

    If that is the case, they’ll likely have 10 wins at minimum.

    So can the Bucs out-do 10 wins?

    On the surface, I really doubt it. I think there are too many questions. And it isn’t just about the QBs. We have a rookie OC. We have Bowles. We have a very questionable Offensive Line. We have a very questionable Defensive Line. (Injuries & youth)

    So far as the quarterback position, I still do not believe it is a true competition…not for the starting spot. I believe it will be handed to Mayfield…who, in my eyes, won less than 40% of his games in his best year.

    So it will depend on a few things. How much rope will Bowles give Baker?

    Will Track eventually get to start, and will be thrive as a result?

    Who will be the veteran? Will the veteran and up the backup or starter?

    If…If the veteran is Joe Flacco, then cool. That gives a sliver of hope in the backup role…especially if neither Mayfield not Trask are good. Tobacco isn’t great, but if we have any hope of stringing together some wins, it will be in the second half of the season.

    If it is the veteran, especially if it is Flacco, his age is a big factor going into next year.

    If Track comes in after giving up on Mayfield, then he will have an ideal situation to thrive…The defensive and offensive lines should be helping around that time. That could help get wins.

    But I think it will be too little, too late to salvage this year.

    If all our QBs do horrible, then we’ll have to draft someone in 2024…and will need to sign someone.

  61. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I hate autocorrect…

    “Can always want to rebuild. Always.”

    should have been

    “Fans always want to rebuild. Always.”

  62. Coburn Says:

    Honestly doesn’t seem that unreasonable. Bowles isrn a great coach and it’s essentially a rebuilding year. Be hard pressed to reach .500. defense will keep us in a few ganss is my guess, but offense will be inconsistent and have a mix of a coupoe good games followed by multiple turnovers

  63. Izod Says:

    Mayfield would be a downgrade not just from Brady, but also from Winston. He makes almost as many boneheaded plays and doesn’t bring as much of the big-play potential. Without a great QB, your win totals are limited right out of the blocks.

    The other major piece is coaching, and we are even worse there than at QB. There a bunch of other question marks on this team. Unless there are some major surprises, I would say an 8-9 season would be VERY optimistic.

  64. Rod Munch Says:

    No quarterback, bad coaching = predictable outcome.

    Bowles was handed a team that Vegas had as the favorite to go the SB from the NFC last year and went 8-10. Thinking he’ll only lose one or two games more is pretty silly. 5-12 sounds about right, so I’m taking the under.

    BTW, I’ve correctly predicted the Bucs record every year since 2015, until last year, when I thought they’d go 10-7, way lower than most, but even then still too optimistic.

  65. Rod Munch Says:

    Mayfield has literally been the worst quarterback in the NFL over the last two season according to QBR, which is the new gold standard of stat tracking. If you don’t believe the numbers, go watch his highlights from the last two years – and then you’ll know the QBR isn’t lying. People think Zack Wilson with the Jets was bad, well, Mayfield was worse. Mayfield has only had one good year in his career, and that was because he had an amazing offensive line, the NFL’s best rushing game and a great defense – and wasn’t asked to do much of anything.

    I’d much rather take my chances with Trask since at least you got a chance that maybe he won’t be awful. With Mayfield, he might have a good game or two, but he’s going to remind everyone why even the Rams told him to hit the bricks and didn’t attempt to bring him back.

  66. FortMyersDave Says:

    Dennis Allen is coach of the Saints (this dude is as bad as Bowels according to some Raider and Saint fans) I say Saints under but better than the Bucs, Carolina has a new QB that might be decent or could be a bust and the ATL will be pound on the ground but will have nada as far as QB goes.
    That being said, optimistically with Bowels weighing the Bucs down: 3-3 in division. 8-9 or 9-8 could win it next season.

    Against the AFC South: they play what are likely the 2 worst teams in that division on the road (Houston/Indy) probably a split but I can see the Bucs being slightly favored at Houston and losing as Bowels is good at losing on the road to inferior talent (Cleveland, Pitt, Carolina last year). They will lose to the Jags and the Titan game at RJS will be a toss up. So lets say 1-3, maybe 2-2 at best. The rest of the schedule: they might beat the Bears and could upset the Pack or someone else so 2-5 or 1-6 there and adding it up: 5-12 or 6-11 min all likelihood. IMHO with Bowels as lame duck coach, take the under.

    So a new coach for 2024 but will 5-12 or 6-11 get a new QB? Depends on who is worse than the Bucs, someone will make a run at 3-14 or so (Washington, Carolina if their Bama QB implodes, Arizona, Indy, Houston, New England)?

    I bet they end up picking 5th or 6th and miss out on Caleb and Mayo unless Bowels gets launched at the bye and the Bucs go full blown tank job under interim head coach Dave Canales like they did with Lovie when they went from 2-7 to 2-14 to outduel the Titans for Jameis (see how that worked out). Bad Buc teams are known to win just enough to miss the best players on the board: 1988 5-11 got the Broderick Thomas (4 win Detroit, KC and ATL got HOFers Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Neon Deion). A few years back Winston upset the Saints on a hail Mary to end up 5-11 in 2017 and just miss on Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson. They did trade the number 7 down to 12 and got Vita Vea and then Carlton Davis later but still Quenton Nelson was the guy in 2017 and the Bucs missed him by one pick, one insignificant win by Winston….. Its a Buc’s life……..

  67. WVBuc Says:

    I’ve been a fan for life. Growing up on Avocado Circle, attending Seffner elementary and Williams before my family moved. I’ve gone past the doctorate level of preseason optimism. I’m ready to embrace Baker as a franchise caliber QB. This is definitely our year!

    If it’s not, then there’s the year after and potentially another new QB. Caleb!?!

    Optimism always.

  68. ABucAway Says:

    Last season I was very optimistic at this stage of the season. That optimism only grew with a few FA signings. It’s still a kick to the nuts on how misplaced my optimism was. Wth happened still echoes in my mind…
    If I had to place a wager right now, id go under. Blindspots and unknowns hang over this group on both sides of the ball. As ol lefty would say, “it’s multi”.
    Canales is a big unknown. How quickly and effectively he gets the offense veterans on board and up to speed in his system will have a huge bearing on this year’s outcome. What is his system? We don’t really know but we do know what system he has been under for more than a decade so that is what we and everyone else has to go on. What will be his methodologies to translate his vision? This is a big deal.
    Traskfield. Another biggie unknown. If I’m being honest, I want Trask to be our guy. Yeah I know I’ve talked crap in the past but that was really to piss off trask to the future and bucboy whom I found annoying with their incessant need to put trask in every post here on jbf. Anyway, I’d like trask to be our guy. But I’m still not optimistic. His motor, man. Processing. What might help is if he can make reads as the play is developing and he is shifting outside the pocket. That’ll give him some extra time. Can he make reads as he roll?
    Otherwise I still think baker will get it because he can do just that.
    Offensively offensive line…..
    It just goes on and on….

  69. ABucAway Says:

    Back to being moderated? Look at my comment if it gets posted and tell me why, Joes.

  70. ABucAway Says:

    You know I’ve been pretty respectful to you guys and what you’ve got going on here and I’m not seeing a reason to be returned to be moderated. I wish y’all the best.

  71. Jeff Says:

    Bucs will begin the season 2-2 and will finish 4-13. Bowles is fired and the Bucs go QB in the 2024 draft. Bowles is a low quality coach and leader. He’s best in an assistant role. Like maybe LB coach. That’s his ceiling.

  72. Mike Johnson Says:

    This Buc team is easily a 6 to 7 win Team. Not much more.

  73. BUCman Says:

    We are handicapped by our Head coach for sure!!

  74. MadMax Says:

    Wish I could gamble on it….I would def take the over….7-8 wins at worst.

  75. Statguy Says:

    We will be better than people think. A lot of low key improvements, guys gone that don’t have a team or won’t see the field much. Better play calling. We need to grab one of these vet rbs for insurance though

  76. Statguy Says:

    Also pass rush will be vastly better, white played poker and bucs called his bluff, if he really wants to get paid he has to put out his A game this year regardless if he stays with us or goes after that

  77. Goatfarmer Says:

    The only won 8 last year with Ton Brady and a better roster.

    4 is the number. Headcoich.