Last season was a disaster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the conclusion many people have drawn from that problematic development was that the Bucs have no chance to make the playoffs this season. But nothing could be further from the truth: the playoffs are in reach, and entirely feasible for the Bucs. It's hard to not to cringe at the team's performance down the stretch, but we have to keep one simple fact in mind: a lot of that was a team that had completely collapsed mentally - no one was playing up to his talent. Meanwhile, the Bucs do have a lot of that talent: they have a number of extremely talented pass rushers, a quarterback who has all the tools and looked like a star in 2010, the best interior offensive line in the NFL, two talented running backs and a quality receiving corps. The only part of the team lacking in talent is the back seven, and even there the presence of Mark Barron and Aqib Talib is impressive.
And to that effect, SB Nation went through every team in the NFL to see why they'd have a chance to get to the playoffs. Here's what they had to say about the Buccaneers:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made some big changes this year, bringing in the no-nonsense Greg Schiano to get a talented roster more focused on the task at hand. Just as important, the team made moves designed to help quarterback Josh Freeman, signing wide receiver Vincent Jackson, bolstering the offensive line with Carl Nicks and drafting running back Doug Martin. One place on the stat sheet where the difference might be most evident is on turnovers. The Bucs had a league-worst -16 turnover ratio last year, thanks to LeGarrette Blount's five fumbles and Josh Freeman's 22 interceptions. The year before, Freeman threw only six picks.
So, what do you think? Do the Bucs have a chance to make the playoffs?