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Buccaneers predicted to go 4-12

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Actual football will start tonight. Or, well, preseason football will. Actual football is just around the corner, so outlets are trying to predict every team's record. Including Nate Davis of USA Today, who apparently thinks the Bucs are going to go 4-12 this year.

Jameis Winston could begin 1-0 by beating fellow Heisman winner Marcus Mariota in opener. But Bucs play four of next six on road before hitting teeth of their schedule.

The "teeth" of their schedule? Did you even glance at it? They have one of the easiest schedules in the league this year. Seriously. Look at it. They're only facing a playoff team four times all season, and two of those times the "playoff team" is the Carolina Panthers. If the Bucs are going to go 4-12 this season, the schedule won't be why.

Here's the other thing, though: I don't buy this team going 4-12. They've improved in nearly every facet, and even just regression to the mean should get them to 5-11. The Bucs were terrible last year, but they were better than 2-14 -- and they'll be significantly better than that this year.

Because if they aren't, Lovie Smith is going to be out of a job. Again.