Last season, the Bucs came in with very high expectations and with hopes of an NFC South title. However, the exact opposite happened.
Head coach Dirk Koetter was beginning to take heat from fans, and many began wondering whether or not, he would be returning for the 2018 season. Fans were already screaming for Jon Gruden‘s return, as they do every time things don’t go Tampa’s way.
But Koetter was retained along with most of his staff. The Buccaneers newest Defensive line coach addition, Brenston Buckner, began working as soon as he arrived. He wasted no time pushing Licht And Koetter to make big moves in the free agency. The Buccaneers grabbed Vinny Curry, Beau Allen, and Mich Unrein. Shortly after, a beautiful trade was made for super star, and Florida native, Jason Pierre-Paul.
After an exciting, NFL 2018 NFL draft, the Buccaneers will soon begin their climb out of the hole they fell into, last season.
Ending the season at 5-11, Tampa looks to improve on that season plagued by mishaps and injuries and will hopefully better that record by a few wins or more.
Here are my predictions for the upcoming season.
@New Orleans– I’m going to go with home-field advantage in this one, due to the fact that the last time the Bucs even won in the Super Dome was in 2015 and it seems like the Saints are back. The Bucs will take a loss in New Orleans. 0-1
vs Philadelphia– I have to go with the defending Super Bowl Champions in this one, besides the last time the Bucs beat the Eagles at home was back in 2006, right now the Bucs do not have an identity and the Eagles have it all. The Bucs will take a loss in this one. 0-2
vs Pittsburgh– This is similar to the Philadelphia game, but this is on Monday Night Football and the last thing the Bucs want to do is get embarrassed on Monday Night Football. I could see the Bucs really being up for this one and playing very similar to the when the Bucs played Pittsburg on Monday Night Football in 2002, but I have to give the Bucs a loss in this one. 0-3
@ Chicago– I believe the Bucs will be ready to play in the Windy City and definitely ready to get that first win of the season. I’m going with the Bucs at Soldier Field. 1-3
@ Atlanta– The Bucs will come off of a bye week before they head to Atlanta, the Bucs should play well, but I’m giving them a loss in this one. 1-4
vs Cleveland– The Bucs will return to the Ray Jay to take on the Browns’ and Baker Mayfield, the Browns will be ready to play, but this in my mind will be a tight one with the Bucs winning. I think this game will come down to the team that doesn’t deserve to win it. 2-4
@ Cincinnati– The Bucs will travel to the State of Ohio to take on the Bengals in the Queen City. I have this game going to the Bucs in a close one. 3-4
@ Carolina– The Bucs continue the road trip, but I have a feeling this game will be the Cam Newton show so another loss– 3-5
vs Washington– The Bucs return to the Ray Jay to take on the Redskins, but this will be a tight one with the Bucs winning. 4-5
@ New York Giants– The Bucs will travel to Newark to take on the aging Eli Manning and rookie Saquon Barkley. I have the Bucs winning on the road in a very close one. 5-5
vs 49ers– The Bucs return the Ray Jay to take on the 49ers, but they are a different team since Jimmy Garoppolo became the starting QB. I just don’t see this one going to the Bucs. 5-6
vs Carolina– The silver lining with this go-around with the Panthers, is that this is in Tampa. However, many times that hasn’t made a difference, since Cam Newton was drafted in 2011. I’m giving this one to the Panthers. 5-7
vs Saints– This one is in Tampa, but like I said before the Saints are back with a vengeance. I still have this one going to the Bucs at home, because they know if they have playoff hopes this is a must win. 6-7
@Baltimore– The Bucs travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens and Joe Flacco, the Ravens will probably be favored at home, but I’m thinking the opposite. The Bucs will get an upset in Baltimore, due to big plays and typical immature Ravens. 7-7
@Dallas– The last time the Bucs played in Dallas was in 2016 on Sunday Night Football, with the Bucs definitely being the better team in that game, but the Cowboys had their way due to questionable officiating. I just know how things go when you play in Dallas, even if you have the game won and you won’t win. Loss 7-8
vs Atlanta- To close out the season the Bucs will take on their most hated rivals. I do think the Falcons will have a playoff spot clinched so not all their starters will play. I give the Bucs the win at home, but a very close victory to close out the season.
The Bucs will close out the season with an 8-8 finish, but will that be enough for head coach Dirk Koetter to return in 2019?