Already discounted by punters, fans, and the media, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot to prove this season. The Bucs are not expected to rack up more than five wins. But given the questionable state of the NFC South Division and the team’s immense talent, it would be a mistake to discount them. Here are some predictions for the Bucs’ 2023-24 season.
Bucs Projected Wins
The NFC South Division is not in the best state this year. This and the condition of the Bears assures the Bucs at least five wins. Currently, all Super Bowl 58 odds and predictions on the sports geek fall in favor of the Bills, 49ers, and Eagles. But there is still reason to believe in the Bucs.
Week 1: Vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Bucs will have a nice start to the season by pitting their veteran-rich defense against the Vikings' younger, less experienced defense lineup. The Vikings have a strong offense, but their new defense lineup will cost them the first game against the Bucs.
Week 2: Vs. Chicago Bears
The Bears recently made nice improvements to their roster on both sides. However, it will be a while before they can compete at the same level as the Bucs.
Week 4: Vs. New Orleans Saints
The Bucs and Saints are pretty much evenly matched this year. Both teams have a weak offense. But while Derek Carr might improve things for the Saints, it won’t be enough to beat the Bucs.
Week 7: Vs. Atlanta Falcons
Like the Bears, the Falcons recently made changes to both sides of the roster. This should make them a more difficult team to beat, but their defense is still weaker than the Bucs'.
Week 9: Vs. Houston Texans
The Texans took full advantage of the transfer window to add some young talent to their roster. Unfortunately, the Bucs are still a better team. They should win easily.
Week 10: Vs. Tennessee Titans
While they have a formidable rushing attack, the Titans' offensive line is in shambles. By week 10, the Bucs will be running at full strength and should be able to keep Tannehill out of breath.
Week 12: Vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Colt currently comprises a healthy mix of young talent and veterans. With rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson at the helm, they should be able to put up a strong albeit futile fight.
Week 13: Vs. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers will be riding high on the talents of new player Bryce Young, but this is not the year they establish themselves in the NFC South.
Week 14: Vs. Atlanta Falcons
In their second meet with the Falcons, the Bucs will replicate their previous results and secure a win. This game is right in the thick of the race for the division title, so it will be more heated.
Week 17: Vs. New Orleans Saints
The Bucs must win this game to secure a playoff spot. They will struggle a little, but they should be able to narrowly beat the Saints for a second time this season.
Week 18: Vs. Carolina Panthers
A win against the Panthers will put the Bucs at the top of the NFC Division for the third year and help them secure a ticket to Wild Card Weekend.
Bucs Predicted Losses
Of course, the Bucs will not win all their games. Considering the condition of some of the teams in the South Division, the team will likely lose their week three game against the Eagles. The reigning champions have enough talent on their side to flatten the Bucs. The Bucs will also not fare well against the Detroit Lions in week 6, the Bills in week 8, the 49ers in week 11, the Green Bay Packers in week 15, and the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 16.
The Bucs' offense line is nothing to write home about, but the team has a new coordinator and a solid defense. If the roster can remain healthy, they should have a better season than people are expecting.