The Roundtable features the opinions of the PR staff as it tackles a topic each week that involves the Bucs. This week’s topic: What Makes 2021 A Successful Bucs Season?

Scott Reynolds: It’s Super Bowl Or Bust For The Buccaneers

The Bucs are the defending Super Bowl champions. Tampa Bay has the most talented roster in the NFL, led by the greatest quarterback in NFL history. If the Bucs don’t win the Super Bowl this year it just won’t be considered a successful season. That’s where this franchise is at right now. It’s built to win it all – again.

Arians Brady schedule

Bucs HC Bruce Arians and QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today

Last year I would have been satisfied with the Bucs making the playoffs and maybe getting a postseason win. It was Brady’s first year in Tampa Bay and the chips were stacked against the Bucs due to COVID-19 canceling the offseason, shortening training camp and eliminating the preseason. I thought Tampa Bay would make the playoffs and possibly make it to the divisional round or the NFC Championship Game. I predicted a 10-6 record. The Bucs were better than I thought they would be, got hot after the bye week and turned on the afterburners to win it all.

Because Tampa Bay is a year ahead of schedule in my mind, the bar has to be raised. They’ve already won a Super Bowl and they’re the favorites to win it again. The pressure to win it all again is on for the franchise, especially with Brady turning 44 this year. Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl window is closing and the Bucs need to act fast and make best use of this “win-now” roster. Anything less a Super Bowl in 2021 or 2022 can’t be considered successful.

Jon Ledyard: Bucs Must Return To The Super Bowl

Obviously winning a Super Bowl is the mark of a truly successful season within any NFL organization, but those of us on the outside can be more realistic. Repeating as Super Bowl champions is incredibly hard, something no team has done since the early 2000s. But a world title is a realistic goal for the Bucs in 2021, unlike 75 percent of the league (or more).

The return of all key contributors from their 2020 championship is a huge mark in favor of the Bucs repeating. Their leadership is another key selling point. With Bruce Arians, Tom Brady, Lavonte David, Ndamukong Suh, Mike Evans and other veterans leading the way, the Bucs aren’t likely to get complacent. Even the team’s younger players, such as Devin White, Antoine Winfield Jr., Carlton Davis and others consistently display a professional mindset. Focus and the desire to be great aren’t high on the list of concerns for the Bucs in 2021.

The Bucs are also the clear-cut favorites in the NFC, especially if Aaron Rodgers isn’t suiting up for Green Bay again. The NFC North can basically be ruled out as serious contenders this year, and the NFC East might not present an adequate challenger yet. The Saints are good, but have questions at the game’s most important position and a few more roster holes than last year. The NFC West offers the Bucs two biggest challengers in San Francisco and Los Angeles, while Seattle could remain a factor.

But none of those teams offer the depth and continuity of the Bucs current roster. Perhaps Tampa Bay loses to their AFC challenger in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs, Bills and others may be superior to the second-best team in the NFC, but it’ll be hard to be upset about a return to the big game, even if Tampa Bay falters.

Matt Matera: A Division Title And NFC Championship Appearance Will Do

Winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal and the best possible accomplishment you can have in football. The Bucs just enjoyed that in February. With that said, it’s extremely difficult to win two years in a row, which is why it hasn’t occurred since Tom Brady’s 2003 & 2004 Patriots. It’s only gone down on three occasions since the 1990’s. I’m not saying the Bucs won’t be able to “go for two” as the saying goes, I’m just pointing out that the degree of difficulty is high.

It’s been almost 20 years since the Bucs last won a division title in 2002. That should be one of their goals this season. Not only to say they’re the best in the division, but they can get that all-important home playoff game, which they didn’t have last season with the exception of the Super Bowl LV.

The Bucs have a lot of expectations on them to have another big year. Especially after the news that Aaron Rodgers won’t be playing for the Packers this season, the NFC is wide open after the Bucs. Because of that, I believe anything less than an NFC championship appearance would be a disappointment. The Bucs have all the talent in the world and now the continuity of playing together for over a year. I understand that anything is possible in the postseason and everyone will give the defending champs their best shot, and that’s why I’m not predicting right away that they’re heading to the Super Bowl again, although it’s likely. The Bucs are on the right track to go on another run.

J.C Allen: Back-to-Back Or It’s Gone Off Track

After the work Jason Licht and Co. did this offseason to bring back all 22 starters, there is little reason, to think this team shouldn’t repeat as champions. That is what the expectation should be, and anything less would be a disappointment. They are the odds on favorites to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVI, and have the greatest quarterback of all time.

Brady spoke this offseason about the high expectations he faced with the Patriots, and how they played a role in his departure. After winning a title in his first season in Tampa Bay, those high expectations remain. With a fully recovered knee and an entire offseason to get acclimated to the offense, Brady should have the Bucs firing on all cylinders come opening night.

Helping to aid their cause is one of the league’s “easiest schedules.” While no game is truly an easy game, the combined wins and losses of their opponents in 2020 was 105-118. The Bucs continuity on defense, combined with the evolution of their offense, should be major factors in this team’s chances of repeating as champs. With a stacked roster full of talent on both sides of the ball, injuries are the only reason the Bucs shouldn’t be lifting back-to back Lombardi trophies in February.

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5 months ago

Anything less than another ring will be considered a failure and a huge disappointment for this Bucs team. Sorry, but the bar is that high. To keep the Bucs highly motivated, the goal for each game this season is not merely to win the game, but to dominate the opponent. I also guarantee that Tom Brady has set for himself a goal to go undefeated this season, and not merely win “just” another Super Bowl. He already has seven rings, but the one goal he’s never realized, though he got achingly close to it with a heartbreaking fourth quarter Super… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Naplesfan
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 months ago

That would cement this Bucs team into NFL history forever.

Reply to  Naplesfan
5 months ago

I agree that it’s on Brady’s mind. He knows better than to say it out loud to anyone with a camera or microphone, but I think he thinks this team could go undefeated and win a SB. And that it’s a mountain he’s never quite been able to climb. To cap his career off with that would take him from GOAT to god status from a legacy standpoint, and he knows that.

Last edited 5 months ago by toofamiliar17
5 months ago

Home play-off games and a Superbowl win.

5 months ago

Wow! Have things changed! It wasn’t that long ago I wanted nothing more than a winning season. Now, it’s back to back Super Bowls. As has been said many times before, it’s (finally) great to be a Bucs fan!

Reply to  SufferingSince76
5 months ago

Suffering: I too still remember the days when I just hoped our Bucs weren’t the absolute worst team in the league and were on the Draft clock before the season even ended. I think the entire Bucs organization and the vast majority of the population of Bucville are absolutely expecting the team to win the Super Bowl again. Heck, some are expecting the team to go undefeated and will no doubt leap off the bandwagon and start criticizing at the first loss. We might even see the return of Big Sombrero and Buc Ass Bob. The Bucs won’t cruise through… Read more »

5 months ago

When you crushed in the last SB, you bring every single starter back, and you make excellent additions in the draft and free agency, anything less than a second title is a let down. Of course, an injury or two at key spots could derail that and would provide a reasonable excuse/explanation as to how such a thing could occur. But it would still be a disappointment to every Bucs fan.

The view is great up here. Keep it this way.

Reply to  ScottC543
5 months ago

For me, there are three positions at which a major injury could be (I say “could” because there’s always the chance that unproven depth could unexpectedly step up and excel) crippling or at least very damaging to our title chances – QB, OT, and edge defender, in that order. But I think the team really believes it has a depth tackle currently on the roster who could manage well enough if forced into starting, and with the addition of first rounder Tryon, it’s at least possible that he could play well enough as a rookie starter that, when combined with… Read more »

5 months ago

I have to agree with Matt Matera. If the Bucs win the Division and reach the NFC championship game, it would have still been a great year with a lot of winning football. Obviously, winning the SB is the goal, but to see falling short of that as a failure is a bit ridiculous imo.
There is just no way I would be disappointed if they make it as far as the NFC title game, that is still a hell of an accomplishment and more than we could dream of a mere 2 years ago.

Reply to  BucLife
5 months ago

100% agree. Win the division. Get home field advantage, and make it to the championship game. It’s so hard to win back to back in this league. Every year, a great team for that specific season, emerges. As well as every year a SB contender gets ravaged by injuries. On paper we’re the best. But every year, there’s that one team that just puts it all together. Could be the Cardinals. Could be the Rams. Could be the Cowboys. Could be the 49ers. Could be the Seahawks. You never know. But I’d at least be happy with division title, HFA… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Dave
5 months ago

I guess NFC title game would be good, IF Brady wasn’t 43! It’s super bowl or bust he won’t play this well much longer. An injury or Father Time will happen.

5 months ago

It’s all dependent on injuries this year. An injury at QB is game changing. Everyone must keep their rabbit’s foot in their back pocket, cross ur fingers, get out ur prayer beads, whatever it takes. These r amazing times for the Defending World Champion Buccaneers and fans! A dream season indeed never to be be repeated with the Home game SuperBowl win! It’s amazing and defies logic that the consensus is that the Bucs will repeat with a 44 year old GOAT under center. In what world, right! Go Bucs! Back to Back on the River baby!

5 months ago

The Bucs were relatively free of the hamstring bugaboo last year. In prior years they seemed to lead the league in hamstring injuries every year. I predict that this year it’s back with a vengeance, as we once again lead the league in hammies. By mid-season we will have a record 31 hamstring pulls culminating in the long snapper being put on IR.