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ESPN reporters think the Buccaneers will go 0-16

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN reporters apparently think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to be absolutely terrible this year. Not just bad, which is probably reasonable to expect out of a team that holds the number one overall pick and did very little in free agency. No, terrible. As in, 0-16.

That's what you get when you take every Bucs opponent's ESPN reporter and look at their predictions for the team they cover, which is what ESPN's Pat Yasinskas did. No one has 'their' team losing to Tampa Bay, apparently.

My personal prediction of 9-7 may have been a tad optimistic, but 0-16 still seems fairly obscene. The Bucs weren't that bad last year -- yeah, they lost 14 games. But most of those losses came in close games, and the biggest culprit was the offense -- specifically the offensive line, and Josh McCown. Granted, the Bucs haven't done anything to fix the line so far, but McCown is gone and a rookie will take his place - likely Jameis Winston, who should represent an immediate improvement over McCown.

More than that, a large part of the problem was that the defense took a long time to understand the new scheme. And when they did understand it they played much better -- something we should continue to see this year, as the Bucs brought in several players already familiar with the scheme.

But the biggest issue isn't that these reporters are wrong. Really, they may not be: they're just making individual up/down predictions with no room for odds, and it's quite possible that the Bucs will realistically be underdogs in every single one of those matchups. But it does say something about the current perception of Tampa Bay, which is getting dangerously close to that of the Oakland Raiders.

Then again, perhaps I'm just overanalyzing the opinions of a few ESPN reporters.