TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
2021 record: 13-4; defeated Philadelphia, 31-15, in the wild-card round; lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 30-27, in the divisional round.
2022 bye week: 11
Most impactful additions: S Logan Ryan, S Keanu Neal, WR Russell Gage
Most impactful departures: TE Rob Gronkowski, RB Ronald Jones, S Jordan Whitehead
Easiest part(s) of schedule: After a brutal four-week stretch to start the season, Tampa Bay should have an easy run through Atlanta in Week 5 then at Pittsburgh and at Carolina.
For this team to have any shot at going over the Caesars win total, they’ll likely also have to win their final three games at Arizona, vs. Carolina and at Atlanta.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: Let me count the ways. The opening four weeks, though, have to be considered the toughest.
Not only do the Bucs open at Dallas on a Sunday night and then at the Saints, but then they open their home schedule against Green Bay in Week 3 and Kansas City in Week 4.
There are other patches that could present problems, including Weeks 8 and 9 against Baltimore and the Rams and then Weeks 14 and 15 vs. at San Frncisco and vs. Cincinnati.
Caesars over/under win total: 11.5 – Over +120 / Under -140; Odds to win Super Bowl LVII at +750 (second-lowest in all of football and lowest in the NFC)
Book it: UNDER. Already there are problems in Tampa Bay, especially with injured wide receivers in Chris Godwin and Russell Gage (both of whom could play in Week 1), and oft banged-up Mike Evans, who has made a career out of being banged up.
And seriously? I know we ask this question every year, but how much longer before Tom “Father Time” Brady actually begins to regress and show that he is 45 years old? Does him missing nearly two weeks of training camp have anything to do with his age? Will Rob Gronkowski being gone be an issue?
And lastly, what about Todd Bowles as a head coach? The man obviously is a phenomenal defensive coordinator, but will he be able to better transition into running a team this go around than he did with the Jets? (I guess we can ask a similar question Friday with the Saints.)
Last year about this time, we thought this would be the beginning of the demise of this team, and to some degree we were right – it just happened a little later than expected. This year, this schedule is just incredibly brutal.
There is absolutely no way to play the over 11.5 wins, unless you think they will sweep their six division games, which is tough to see happening. The fact the offensive line likely won’t be as good as it was last year and with the issues at wideout, it’s tough to see any value anywhere to play on the Bucs.
No matter how much you like them, you simply can’t bet any of these numbers. If you don’t think much of them, there is way more to play on them not winning the division or even missing the playoffs. Personally, I am not touching any of those. Just stay away.
Projected finish: 11-6
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