We’re talking Buccaneers playoffs around here. And for Tampa Bay’s first challenge in their first trip back to the postseason since 2007, they face the Washington Football Team and their stingy defense.
Which Bucs Nation staffer will hit on their bold predictions for Wild Card Saturday?
David: The Buccaneers offensive line has been better lately than we’ve seen at times earlier in the year. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen a social media rash of anti-Donovan Smith propaganda, and that’s a big deal around these parts. That being said, it’s also been a minute since the offensive line has seen a pass rush to the level they’ll see one in Maryland this Saturday. When I look at this game I see a pass rush which will make some Bucs fans worry about pass protection moving into the divisional round, and it’s going to force Byron Leftwich to use Leonard Fournette more than any of us want him too. This means, Fournette out-snaps Ronald Jones II in the Wild Card round.
Jason: I really like David’s prediction, so I’m going to take his lead. The Bucs offensive line has definitely improved, especially on the blind side. I think I’m the one he’s talking about when he’s mentioning the anti-Donovan Smith propaganda. He has certainly turned things around for me.
Assuming Chase Young is on Smith this weekend and Montez Sweat opposite of him against Tristan Wirfs, the Bucs will find a way to get them the added protection they need. Tampa will hold Washington to ZERO sacks, and will keep Tom Brady upright and out of the hospital unlike some quarterbacks in the league Washington has faced.
James: So, I'm not sure how bold some of you may believe this to be, but we're going to give it a shot. The WFT has a good pass defense. Like, impressively good. They're allowing 304.6 total yards per game and allowing only 191.8 passing yards per game - both second fewest in the NFC. On top of that, they're allowing just 20.6 points per game. So, having laid all that out there, my bold prediction is that Tom Brady will continue to etch his name in the Bucs record books by throwing for the most yards and most touchdowns in a postseason game in franchise history. The yards record is 259 while the touchdowns sit at two, both records held by Brad Johnson. Look for Brady to go for 300 and three this weekend.
Evan: The Bucs possess a (-5) turnover margin in the postseason since winning the Super Bowl. That changes this weekend. Tampa Bay evens things out by forcing at least five turnovers on the day.
Bailey: Since Jason stole my bold prediction in the same way that a team with a losing record stole a playoff spot, I’ll pivot. There’s been a lot made of Devin White’s unavailability for this weekend’s game, and there’s no doubt that missing him is going to be tough for a variety of reasons. However, I’m more than confident that Kevin Minter will continue to be a capable replacement in White’s absence. My bold prediction is that Minter picks up a sack, totals 2.5 tackles for loss and contributes to a turnover.
Editor’s Pick by Gil Arcia: It’s the playoffs. Teams play differently. Coaches coach differently. Players play differently. I’ve said plenty of times, even during the Jameis Winston-era, that the offensive line is not the biggest problem on the team. In 2020, we see why. Tom Brady makes players around him better. And that includes every name along the offensive line because of the line calls and checks he makes.
So with that said, I’m rolling with Jason’s bold prediction this week. There’s a lot of talk about Washington’s defensive front for all the right reasons, but the Buccaneers offensive line could very well get the best of WFT’s pass rush on Saturday.
Which bold prediction do you like most for the Bucs on Wild Card Saturday?
This poll is closed
More snaps for Fournette.
Zero sacks on Brady.
Brady hits more records.
Bucs force five TO.
Minter steps up.