The Bucs have Tweeted out that Tampa Bay fans should be ready for a much tougher and meaner team on the field in 2018. According to Jason Licht, the toughness increase is especially apparent in the trenches, “which is where you win games.”

So we already know some of the seasons biggest moves, like the drafting of Vita Vea (which augments those trenches Licht spoke of) and the trade for defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. But let’s focus on August’s transactions and possibilities for 2018 with a look at Tampa Bay’s updated odds in the NFC South. Feel free to check this review of Bovada to see why these odds are valuable to you.

Bucs’ Latest Moves

Matt Weiser joins the squad after waiving Colin Jeter. At 6-5 and 232 pounds, Weiser is an athletic tight end, who should have plenty of opportunities to show off his stuff in preseason against the Lions and Jags.

Adam Reth and Jerel Worthy were claimed and signed on August 19 and 20, respectively. Worthy may have a decent shot of making the roster if he can prove himself in the next couple of weeks. Reth will have his work cut out for him to get consideration over Worthy, who has more NFL experience. The Bucs are stacked on this side of the line with Beau Allen, Mitch Unrein and Vea aside from Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy.

Bucs’ Updated Season Outlook

There are a lot of questions surrounding how well the team will play without quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games as Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the interim starter. Winston looked sharp against the Titans, going 13-of-18 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Had he played the whole game it would have easily been a 300+ yard showing.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by Getty Images

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by Getty Images

Winston’s crisp performance so far doesn’t help the Buccaneers’ cause for the first three games of the season due to his suspension. But it does bode well for the rest of the season. Right now, the Bucs are dead last on the odds boards at Bovada to win the NFC South.

Odds to win the South

1. New Orleans Saints +155
2. Atlanta Falcons +185
3. Carolina Panthers +275
4. Tampa Bay Bucs +950

But these odds are clearly based off of last season’s performance. Winston’s shoulder is now healthy, and his poise seems better this August. It won’t be an easy start for Tampa Bay, as Fitzpatrick will be facing the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first three weeks.

But when Winston steps back in, the Bucs will see the Chicago Bears, the Atlanta Falcons, the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Carolina Panthers when he returns. The Bears and the Browns are games that Tampa Bay can’t afford to drop, and if Winston keeps looking sharp and the defense is as markedly as improved as it seems, the Bucs could win three out of four on this stretch.

Tampa Bay is projected to win 6.5 games, but could easily get eight in 2018 and make the NFC South much more interesting than people are currently thinking. The Bucs seem poised to improve upon last year’s five-win season in dramatic fashion.

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Tighe Fighter
Tighe Fighter
3 years ago

In the second paragraph its stated “updated odds in the AFC South.”

Did we switch conferences?

3 years ago

I certainly hope so

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
3 years ago

Go Bucs!!

3 years ago

That’s why they play the games! We’ll soon see.