Yes, that means football is back. Actual, real football. Not preseason surrogacy. Finally!
The Bucs are embarking on a break-out campaign. Their first winning season since 2010, and their first playoff berth since 2007. That, at least, is what they hope they're doing -- a lot of Bucs fans are a little skeptical that they'll actually manage to do so, given recent history.
Their week one opponent should provide a good litmus test. The Falcons were about on par with the Bucs last year, with Tampa Bay winning two very close games. The Bucs have overhauled their defense, though, while the Falcons have mostly made a few incremental improvements. Dirk Koetter's team should be much better now -- and we'll see whether that's true later today.
There's also one more storyline here: Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith going against their former team. It's not often we see a head coach and offensive coordinator of one team become the defensive coordinator and head coach of a division rival. Revenge is on the books!
So: predictions. I'm saying the Bucs win in a shootout, 31-28. What about you? Will the Bucs win, and by what score?