clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buccaneers season projection: Football Outsiders goes for 6-10

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the worst team in the NFC South this year, if Football Outsiders' early projection can be believed. Aaron Schatz's early analysis has the Bucs finishing with a 6-10 record, despite the fifth-easiest projected schedule in the NFL. Note that this is a statistical model, albeit an imperfect one and not their final model. It's not based on anyone's personal analysis.

Now, this is just a rough, early projection and their final analysis will be more detailed. But I wouldn't expect it to change much, especially given the fact that Football Outsiders' statistical models are very much down on Jameis Winston. In fact, it looks like that's a major driving factor in this ranking.

Tampa Bay was terrible a year ago, and there's no reason to expect dramatic improvement, especially given how negative our QBASE projection system is about Jameis Winston's NFL future.

talked about the issues with both taking a system like that as gospel and dismissing it before. It's a worrying indicator, but it's not much more than that. Still, these statistical projections have consistently been more on point about the Bucs than most qualitative analysis, largely because statistical models are not prone to narrative biases: it's easy to think of a story as to how any team is likely to improve next year.

That said, I'd imagine that most of this model's pessimism on the Bucs is rooted in their poor offensive performance last year, and the model's negativity regarding Winston. It's easy to explain these issues away: they did draft two offensive linemen, and the pessimism seems unwarranted given the draftnik consensus that Winston was the best quarterback in the draft -- and certainly one of the better quarterback prospects of the past decade.

So take this projection for what it is: an early, imperfect projection that is not prone to the biases we all share, but may still be too pessimistic about the Bucs' chances. Those chances largely hinge on how quickly Winston can adapt to the NFL level.

Here's my question, though: if 6-10 is the result, do the Bucs fire Lovie Smith?