USA Today says the Buccaneers will go 3-13


There's pessimism, and then there's this.

Over at USA Today, Nate Davis tried to predict every NFL game of the 2014 season, and got some...interesting results out of that exercise. The most interesting projection of all: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go 3-13 in 2014, because Josh McCown is a journeyman.

Not being convinced that Josh McCown is the Real Deal(tm) is entirely understandable. For the Bucs to go 3-13, though, a lot more has to go wrong than just Josh McCown not being great. I mean, even Blaine Gabbert has a career record of 5-22. And that's Gabbert. Surrounded by the Jacksonville Jaguars of years past, also known as some of the most talent-less teams to ever step onto an NFL field.

For any NFL team to go 3-13, that team has to experience total collapse. It means a team doesn't just have a bad quarterback, it has a horrendous defense and incompetent special teams. Everything's gone wrong for a team like that. Even Greg Schiano's Bucs last year managed to win four games. Even the 2011 Buccaneers won four games.

And, hey, about that. If you project the Bucs to go 3-13, you're effectively saying that despite adding talent at nearly every position and a group of competent coaches, they somehow got worse.

The last Bucs team to go 3-13 was Raheem Morris' 2009 squad. That team was a disaster across the board. They had a four-way(!) battle at quarterback. They fired their offensive coordinator during the preseason. They replaced their defensive coordinator late in the year. They started three different quarterbacks throughout the regular season. Their only offensive weapons were a hobbled Antonio Bryant and Kellen Winslow Jr. Sabby Piscitelli started fifteen games that year.

I don't care how bad Josh McCown is. The Bucs are going to win more than three games this year.

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