Multiple NFL analysts, and fans alike, are predicting the Buccaneers to start the season with three losses. That is not only because our starting quarterback Jameis Winston will not play due to a suspension (which does play a major role, as well, though), but also because of the unbelievably difficult schedule that Tampa Bay is faced with. According to ESPN, the Bucs have the fourth toughest schedule in the NFL in 2018 (See article here).
Former NFL Wide Receiver and long-time Carolina Panther Steve Smith recently appeared on the show “Good Morning, Football” which was broadcast by NFL Network. Like so many other analysts, Smith is concerned about the Bucs‘ chances for the upcoming season. According to him, Tampa Bay might easily start the season 0-5. Smith added, jokingly,
“… They may lose the bye week…” – via Steve Smith, NFL Network
If Steve Smith is right about his prediction, and all the other who are saying the Bucs can already kiss the season goodbye, for that matter, there will be a major house-cleaning in Tampa sooner rather than later. On the other hand, however, it is only July. Lots of predictions made that early end up looking ridiculous in November. Needless to say, lots of things can happen until the games begin and there are teams who are predicted to do bad and end up making the post season every year. This also works the other way around. A few teams who are predicted to make the playoffs end the season with 5 wins. Why should New Orleans, Carolina or Atlanta not be one or two of such teams this year? Furthermore, why would a highly experienced Ryan Fitzpatrick, with the assistance of a much-improved defense, not be able to win one or two out of those first three games?
Does Smith have a point? Of course, he does. As of now, things do not look very bright for the Bucs. Yet, the season has not even started yet and abandoning all hope for this year already would simply be foolish, ignorant and somewhat disloyal, because, as we all know, on any given sunday, ANYTHING can happen.