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NFL Media projects a 12-win season for the Bucs

Top record in the NFC and the NFL?

Divisional Round - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Some say the Buccaneers can run the tables in 2021. Some are even saying they’ll struggle to get back into the playoffs (yes, it’s true). Reality may lie somewhere in between.

NFL.com is projecting a 2021 season for the Bucs that may see them rack up around 12 wins — one more than last season. And better yet, it’s projecting it to be the highest win total not only in the NFC but in the entire league of 12.2 wins using a simulation run over 50,000 times.

The scheduling gods smiled on the Buccaneers. With only one trip west (at Rams in Week 3) and a centrally situated Week 9 bye, the reigning Super Bowl champs have the highest projected win total for any team, not just in the NFC but in the whole NFL. Side note: Tampa’s defense — which, like the offense, returned every key member from a top-10 unit and also added rookie edge rusher Joe Tryon — has a lot to do with this; I don’t want that to be overshadowed.

It would certainly be interesting seeing Tampa bay as the team with the highest win total in the league. But that is a tough thing to do in the NFL.

If you are curious about how the NFC South division projections look, below are NFL.com’s projections for the Buccaneers divisional foes.

Saints - 8.5 wins
Panthers - 8.3 wins
Falcons - 7.4 wins