Not Crazy To Think Bucs Can Win NFC South (Again)

July 3rd, 2024

How to four-peat.

Finally, someone gets it.

The #NFLMedia slurpfest with new Dixie Chicks quarterback Kirk Cousins includes many folks who must think the Bucs are a fluke.

Matt Verderame doesn’t. The NFL columnist decided to go against the grain of his brothers-in-arms. Bad teams don’t throttle the Eagles in the playoffs and then push the Lions to the brink in the divisional round, Verderame believes.

With the Bucs largely bringing back the same team, Verderame doesn’t think it is nuts to suggest the Bucs could still be rulers of the NFC South.

The Buccaneers are bringing back a very similar team that challenged the Lions in last season’s NFC divisional round.

Tampa Bay has a case as the NFC South’s best team, even after watching the Falcons acquire Kirk Cousins. The Buccaneers also have an excellent defense at all three levels, although the pass rush is a question.

If the roster performs as it did in 2023, with Mayfield going from good to borderline top 10, Tampa Bay can not only win the South again but contend in a conference long on uncertainty and short on definite contenders.

For this to happen, as Verderame points out, Baker Mayfield will have to play good ball again. Joe agrees. But that could be said about any club’s quarterback. Rotten QB dooms a team.

Joe believes the Bucs could be better. Some examples:

* Jordan Whitehead is a major upgrade over Ryan Neal.

* Tristan Wirfs, who was dominant toward the end of the season, now has a full season at left tackle under his belt.

* Calijah Kancey, who flashed as a rookie, is now entering his second year. If he stays healthy, look out.

* YaYa Diaby has a new body reimagined to withstand the rigors of an NFL season.

* K.J. Britt now has a few games under his belt as an inside linebacker starter.

If the Bucs get the same play from starters as they did last year, and last year’s rookies take the proverbial next step, no way the Bucs shouldn’t contend for a four-peat division title.

17 Responses to “ Not Crazy To Think Bucs Can Win NFC South (Again)”

  1. unbelievable Says:

    OLB and corner are the big ?s right now in terms of starters and depth.

    ILB also doesn’t have any depth behind our starters.

  2. BoricuaBucFan Says:

    This guy actually gets it. Not to mention Goedeke and Mauch will be better in year 2 as well. The can see us winning the division at 10-7 maybe even , 11-6. Falcons may have ah dope offense but their defense doesn’t scare me. Not sure it ever really has.

  3. Dave Pear Says:

    Lots to be excited about.


  4. teacherman1983 Says:

    OLB is NOT a weakness.

    Yaya is a 1st round physical talent we grabbed in the 3rd. Like Godwin and McMillan.

    JTS is a speed demon for an OLB. He looks rocked up this year too.

    Braswell is a 1st round talen at OLB.

    Nelson is a SOLID player. Again, a freak at 6-7.

    Watts and Ramriez both look quick and scrappy with low-centers of gravity.

    Offensive tackles are usually 6-5. Shorter OLB’s who can cut well, like Shaq Barret, are a nightmare for 6-5 OT’s.

    I actually think OLB is a STRENGTH.

    Why? technically speaking, we have a strong 4 man rotataion,with 2 youngters in Ramirez with a 2nd redshirt season to get better.

    Bowles and Licht are awesome!

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    teacherman1983 … Agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of our OLB position group. Diaby & Braswell are gonna be beasts for years to come, and like you said, ‘Nelson is a solid player’.

    Personally think that folks are premature in writing off JTS (mostly because he was a 1st Rnd pick who hasn’t lived up to expectations). In my estimation, he shouldn’t have been a 1st Rnd pick, but that’s on us, not on him. He’s only 25, with 3 full years under his belt now. He’s actually been very consistent (albeit unspectacular), playing 17 games each season, generating 4-4-5 sacks, 5-6-7 TFLs, and 29-40-45 tackles over 560-843-579 def snaps. He’s got the makings of a quality key rotational player, and as players like Will Gholston have shown, guys like that can be very valuable. He does need to step up this year though to remain a Buc. I think he’ll have a decent year (although he may very well choose to follow the money elsewhere in 2025).

  6. Beeej Says:

    “largely bringing back the same team” with upgrades at three very key positions

  7. Bucs And Them Says:

    Couldn’t agree more Joe. Same with Teacherman1983 & Defense Rules. If Kancy and YaYa progress in their 2nd seasons as they should, it would really open up Bowles’s scheming options. I think we’ll also see a lighter/quicker Vita Vea being used all over the d-line more this year creating problems for o-lines. All with Lavonte directing it all. Combine that with the depth guys getting better and contributing meaningful snaps, this could really be a fun defense to watch. Not to mention what rookies Braswell & Tykee Smith could bring to the table. I wouldn’t sleep on these two. They’re not from Weber State & Toledo. Reuniting Jordan Whitehead with Winfield is going to be nice. Izien might be another interesting chess piece. My only real concern defensively is cornerback depth.

  8. Joe Says:

    I actually think OLB is a STRENGTH.

    Not until they prove it. Right now it is a major weakness, easily worst on the team.

  9. Joe Says:

    To be fair to Teacherman, despite the Bucs not having good OLBs (yet), the Bucs have zero depth at ILB. At least the Bucs have some depth at OLB.

  10. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I’m going to quibble and say that Wirfs was pretty dominant from the opening game.

  11. Booger Says:

    And, let’s not forget that Vea’s transformation… He could be dominate and able to stay on the field for much longer. He could be a huge difference maker for the entire defense.

  12. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Agree 100% Joe. Kirk Cousins is an upgrade at quarterback for Atlanta no doubt but the Bucs are still a better team. The Bucs have the best roster in the division. Falcons will finish with 6-9 Wins , at best the Ain’ts and Panthers could win 9 games combined. Barring key injuries, Bucs win this garbage division again and it won’t come down to the last week of the season this year.

  13. SlyPirate Says:


    Saying our pass rush was horrible kind of funny. The Bucs finished 10th in Sacks. Is Top 10 horrible or is it just not up to Bucs standards?

    CK, Yaya, Vea, and Braswell are gonna eat this year.

  14. Bucs And Them Says:

    I’m a little concerned about cornerback depth but, you’re right Joe about ILB depth for sure. Definitely thin there as well. Have no idea what we have in SirVocea Dennis yet. If Lavonte or Britt go down, it could get ugly quick. Hopefully we could get a decent veteran ILB in the mix before training camp breaks. I’d think we would be addressing that position in next years’ draft within the 1st three rounds.

  15. unbelievable Says:

    That’s why I listed ILB after OLB and CB.

    But you guys are crazy calling it a strength. JTS is just a guy who happens to be fast. Nothing more until he proves otherwise. Braswell is a rookie who has never played a snap. Watts and Nelson are solid depth, that I do agree with. But YaYa is the ONLY guy out there that coordinators have to plan for. That is not a strength.

    Hope is not a strength.

  16. Joe Says:

    Hope is not a strength.

    Nor should it be a strategy.

  17. garro Says:

    Sounds like Whats his name at least did some of his homework on our beloved Bucs.

    He may be worth paying some attention to in the future. However he states that a Pro Bowl MVP albeit Not the Pro Bowl of old is “good” not “top ten”?

    Sounds like he secretly has us down for 6 wins to me.

    And you were looking so good up to that point Mr Vaderman!

    Go Bucs!