You want some good news? These next 5 things aren’t super unreasonable; they’re not some crazy things that have never happened before. The Bucs are in the most winnable division in football.
Every year there seems to be a division so putrid that it proves more and more the point that the NFL might want to consider going to a NBA playoff format where the best 6 teams make it into the tournament, and this season the NFC South is that division. But, even so, there still needs to be a few things that likely have to happen for the Bucs to win their third straight division title for the first time in franchise history.
Baker throws less than 15 interceptions
This doesn’t sound too bad, right? I mean 15 interceptions is only a little under one a game. Baker Mayfield and this Bucs offense have enough fire power and this defense is good enough where if they do the bare minimum and take care of the football and not lose games for the Bucs, that could be just enough to win this sorry ass division.
Someone hits the 10 sack mark
Notice I didn’t specify a edge rusher; because the Bucs have Vita Vea and first round pick Kalijah Cancey. Either one of those interior lineman could have an elite season and rack up double digit sacks, it just so happens that edge rushers like JTS and Shaq Barrett are more likely to do so, and the really good news is that Shaq has done it before in a Bucs uniform. Is it going to be him, or will JTS finally break out of his shell and play like the first round pick billing he’s been given?
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have 1k yard seasons
With this offense not looking like it’s going to have a multitude of playmakers outside of these 2 guys, Evans and Godwin are going to have to really ramp things up production wise. These are numbers that both have hit in the past 2 seasons, so it’s well within reach, especially with the 17 game season format, it’s mostly an indication of health. If either gets injured this season could get a bit rough for the offense, but if they stay healthy the offense could be an underrated group in the NFL.
The Bucs don’t finish last in rushing offense
I’m not even saying Rachaad White has to run for 1k yards or anything crazy like that. Please, please just let them not be as unproductive and boring as they were last year when it comes to running the ball. There was some uncreative playcalling, some offensive line injuries, and some putrid results due to all of this commotion. Hopefully the new OC Dave Canales can bring some sort of innovation to the running game and the offensive line can stay a bit more healthy, as well as a bounce back sophomore year for Luke Goedeke at his college position, right tackle.
Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis combine for 28 games played
The Bucs secondary, as currently constructed, could not withstand any extended missed time by either of their starting corners. Hell, they might need them to stay healthy the whole year, but that seems a bit gaudy and unrealistic, and with this division maybe not even entirely necessary. Luckily, Dean is the more dependable of the 2, as he’s played 15 games the past 2 seasons, but Davis only has 23 games played over the past couple seasons. But if both just replicate last season’s health, the defense should be in decent shape.