Bucs 16-Game Breakdown Analysis

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How many games will the Buccaneers win in 2019? Some of you might have a certain number in your head you’ve already set. Some of you are thinking of a number between “ __” and “__”. And some people like myself just simply are not sure. (Now I’ve been on record saying I could see 10 games, but man this offseason has been anything but stable). The internal back and forth over all the variables to take into account for games this year are exhausting, so the only way to practically resolve this is simple. Game by game analysis. See the stats. Match the guys up. Choose a carefully considered winner. Let’s begin:

Buccaneers Schedule 2019:

Week 1: San Francisco vs Tampa Bay

Analysis: The 49ers travel to Tampa for a Week 1 matchup that will rekindle some old spark as former Buc Kwon Alexander makes his debut game for his new team in Tampa. Jimmy Garoppolo will also be returning from big time injury. Unfortunately with Alexander and CB Richard Sherman as leaders on defense, even after additions like rookie Nick Bosa and OLB Dee Ford, there’s just not enough defensive talent to stop the offense of the Bucs.

Prediction: W (30-13)

 

Week 2: Tampa Bay @ Carolina

Analysis: Now the Panthers do still have a formidable defense especially after the addition of DT Dontari Poe to a stacked interior line. However, their offense looks less to be desired. Cam Newton is 30 years old now and his top targets on offense are an overused rookie running back and 34 year-old Greg Olson. Tampa see’s these guys twice a year, but I like the Panthers in the slight edge win, primarily due to home field advantage and defense.

Prediction: L (20-23)

 

Week 3: NYG vs Tampa Bay

Analysis: The G-men are a state of flux in the Big Apple. Organization just can’t seem to get it together. Landon Collins hightailed to a division rival. They chose a high upside/raw QB at #6 overall. Eli Manning is now a forgotten 2-time Super Bowl winner. I give the edge to the Bucs who will be playing the Giants at home.

Prediction: W (27- 14)

 

Week 4: Tampa Bay @ LA Rams

Analysis: This week becomes a little less certain for Tampa as the my travel to Los Angeles. The Rams are fresh off a Super Bowl defeat and with most of their keystone pieces in place, they look keen to repeat their run. Todd Gurley will be a tough task on its own, coupled with Goff, Brandon Cooks and Cooper Cupp. But the defense that may stall Tampa from scoring efficiently. 10 players on the current defense? Clay Matthews, Michael Brockers, Aqib Talib, Dante Fowler Jr, Nickell Roby, Eric Weddle, Marcus Peters, Aaron Donald. Guys you get the point. Tampa will definitely be a turn around team this year, but even playoff teams were being beaten by the Rams last year. Edge? LA.

Prediction L (35- 17)

Week 5: Tampa Bay @ New Orleans

Analysis: For some odd reason, every time the Saints play Tampa it turns into a Wild, Wild West shootout. Two talented offenses paired with two equally bad defenses. Now, New Orleans has sewn up their defense in recent years. However, a rivalry is a rivalry. We know what to expect in games like this. NOLA will be featuring many of the same pieces that got them to the playoffs last year and was also a team Tampa beat last year in Week 1. This game will be much like the ones in the past, but I will give Tampa the edge to come in and do again what we did on the road in New Orleans last year. Win.

Prediction: W (33-30)

Week 6: Carolina vs Tampa Bay (At London)

Analysis: Carolina will play Tampa for the second time in 4 weeks, this time playing on the road in England. Much like the deciding factor that gave the Panthers the upside in Week 2, the Buccaneers will snag a win here for redemptions sake. Northumberland Development Project Stadium will surely be packed and Carolina’s defense will have way too much on their plate to handle. Tampa reaches their 4th win with a victory over Carolina.

Prediction: W (27-20)

 

Week 7: Bye

 

Week 8: Tampa Bay @ Tennessee

Analysis: Tampa travels to Nashville to take on the Titans. Now, these two teams will be forever linked (former #1 and #2 overall picks). On defense, the Titans were a top half team last year. Cameron Wake and CB Malcolm Butler were  signed to bolster an already strong defensive unit. Tampa and Tennessee have traded wins going back to preseason and in years past. In 2019, however, Winston and Co. will walk out of Nissan Stadium with a hard fought W.

Prediction: W (20-14)

 

Week 9: Tampa Bay @ Seattle

Analysis: In the midst of their completely uncalled travel schedule, the Bucs fly out west to take on the Seattle Seahawks. No longer known for their “Legion of Boom”, the Hawks are still a top 10 team when healthy. With the loss of so many players in the Seahawks secondary, Winston will have opportunities to pick apart the defense at times. But any team led by Russell Wilson is always a dangerous one as he needs to be accounted for through the air and on the ground. Wilson and the “12th Man” finds a way to nudge out a win at home over Tampa.

Prediction: L (14-24)

 

Week 10: Arizona vs Tampa Bay

Analysis: Unfortunately by this time of the year, CB Patrick Peterson will have already served his 6 game suspension and will be ready to go for this one. Fortunately, outside of Peterson, no one compares in terms of star power. The ageless wonder Larry Fitzgerald will give it another year while uncertain, but promising RB David Johnson is coming back off season ending surgery. Tampa holds all the cards in this one as they look to expose rookie QB Kyler Murray. Edge goes to Tampa Bay.

Prediction: W ( 30- 14)

 

Week 11: New Orleans vs Tampa Bay

Analysis: By Week 11 NOLA and Tampa Bay have established themselves as the two threats in the NFC South. New Orleans will be traveling to Tampa this time after a defeat at home in NOLA during Week 5. This rematch will be an absolute dog fight. Two teams pushing for a top spot in the NFC South battle it out here. Unfortunately, the Saints gain a redemption of their own and steal a victory in Tampa.

Prediction: L ( 33-35)

 

Week 12: Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Analysis: Crazy as it sounds, Atlanta actually takes the biggest step back in the division. By Week 12 this matchup should look more or less like David vs Goliath. The Falcons have really shriveled as a team who, just a few years ago, were dunking it out in the Super Bowl with the great Tom Brady. Those days seem light years ago. While the offense may see a revitalization with former OC Dirk Koetter back in his position, the defense still leaves much to be desired. Tampa and their well disciplined team under coach Arians should have no issue with the W here.

Prediction: W (28-10)

 

Week 13: Tampa Bay @ Jacksonville

Analysis: Another playoff team on the schedule, however, I think this year’s Jaguars will digress just a bit. Losing Bortles and gaining Foles is honestly a good thing. What’s worrisome is their lack of ANY talent or depth at the receiver or the tight end position. Their top 5 defense will definitely give Tampa fits and for all accounts this will be a low scoring game. Jacksonville somehow nudges out a home victory week 17 against their in state rivals.

Prediction: L (10-13)

 

Week 14: Indianapolis vs Tampa

Analysis: Don’t sleep in the Indianapolis Colts this year. They will be sneaky good and no one will guess it. They fielded a Top 10 offense and defense last year, but just could not get the running game together. Nyhiem Hines and USF product Marlon Mack look to remedy that this year for the Colts. With DROY Darrius Leonard and star S Malik Hooker patrolling the secondary, don’t expect anything less than a tooth and nail type ball game. Indy slips a win past a tiring Bucs teams with playoff aspirations.

Prediction: L ( 27-28)

 

Week 15: Tampa Bay @ Detroit

Analysis: Detroit played (and proved) like they were a bottom half team last year. Despite having a top 15 defense under new head coach Matt Patricia, the Lions offense couldn’t seem to move the chains. Stafford, free agent Danny Amendola and RB Kerryon Johnson will look to carry the offensive load coming into this game. However it won’t be enough to knock off Tampa in Detroit. Tampa gets the win in Michigan.

Prediction: W ( 20-13)

Week 16: Houston vs Tampa Bay

Analysis: With a healthy Deshaun Watson and Lamar Miller back into the fold, this Texas team could be pretty dangerous in the AFC South. Already boasting the #8 rushing attack last year and a stout offensive line, look for Watson to give the Texans a balanced offense with some trick plays and run speckled throughout the playbook. This matchup will actually be a lot closer than many people think. Still, Tampa wins with the slight edge for playing at home.

Prediction: W (28-20)

 

Week 17: Atlanta vs Tampa Bay

Analysis: The Dirty Birds travel south to Tampa to finish the season. If the Buccaneers are in the wild card spot, games like this become a points thing. Expect Tampa to go out guns blazing in this season finale to bolster playoff position. If the Bucs sit atop the NFC South at this point, starters may be rested and do this might give Atlanta the heads up. Predictions for late games are a bit tougher. Still, a rival is a rival. The Bucs would rather give Chris Baker a new contract before the lose their sanity and play soft against the Dirty Birds. Look for Tampa to finish off the season with a statement win as they cement their 10th victory.

Prediction: W (24-10)

 

Overview: At 10-6 the Buccaneers could very well be playoff bound. A testament to a complete turnaround season and a likely 3rd AP Coach of the Year Award to come for the big man himself, Bruce Arians.

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