In Cynthia Frelund’s (NFL Network) preseason calculations, she predicted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have 12.5 wins in the 2021 NFL Season.
Midway through the year, the Bucs are halfway to that total - minus the half-game, because you can’t do that.
How many more will they get after Frelund’s midseason recalculations?
“In the Bucs’ past three outings, the defensive backs have allowed two fewer yards after the catch on average than they did in Tampa’s first five games of 2021,” Frelund wrote. “Improving in an area where they’ve experienced injuries. This team is really only limited by the health of its roster.”
Not a massive movement in the analytical projections for the Buccaneers, but there is a significant change in the midseason adjustments.
In the preseason, Tampa Bay’s number was similar, but it was the highest win total projected in the NFC.
Now, nine weeks through 2021, the team projected to have the most wins in the conference is the Arizona Cardinals who come in with 13.3 according to Frelund’s model.
“Week 9’s incredible victory, which came without either Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins, shifted the Cardinals to the top of the NFL,” writes Frelund. “Leap-frogging them ahead of the Bucs (who were idle on a bye week) and the Cowboys in terms of chances to earn the solo playoff bye available in the NFC.”
She goes on to write the Cardinals now hold a 34 percent chance of winning the top seed in the conference, and the coveted Wild Card Round bye week, while the next closest team has just a ten percent chance, as of now.
Of course, there’s plenty of season left to play, and the games aren’t played on computers. In fact, next up for the Buccaneers is a road trip to the capital for a rematch of last year’s Wild Card win against the Washington Football Team.
A WFT the analytics said would win nine games and the NFC East in 2021. Currently sitting at 2-6, and in last place in their division.