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Injuries Weren't A Major Factor For the 2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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TAMPA, FL - MAY 01:  Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with another player during the Buccaneers Rookie Minicamp at One Buccaneer Place on May 1, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - MAY 01: Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with another player during the Buccaneers Rookie Minicamp at One Buccaneer Place on May 1, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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Arguably, the downfall of the 2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers started with Gerald McCoy's injury, which caused him to miss almost all of the Bucs' ten-game losing streak. Yet that injury caused the Bucs to lose a lot of defensive ability, and it massively impacted the team. That one injury has made it seem like Tampa Bay was hit with the injury bug - that somehow, they were so injured they never really stood a chance. Yet, that's not the case.

Football Outsiders has come out with this year's AGL measure: Adjusted Games Lost. Essentially, they try to measure how every team is affected by injuries, by looking at not just the number of injuries, but the players that befell them, as well as their status on the injury report. The conclusion: the Bucs suffered an average amount of injuries, as they lost 51.4 'adjusted games' from players to injury, which ranked 12th in the league. This was up from 2010's 23rd ranking, when the Bucs were hit harder by injuries.

Health is one of the major factors in year-to-year fluctuations in performance in the NFL, and a big part of keeping players healthy is, quite simply, luck. I know fans were unhappy with the team's previous strength and conditioning coach because the Bucs have lost a few key players to injury in some consecutive years. But the team hasn't lost especially many players to injury over that time: they were just a little unlucky in which players were hit by injury.