The PewterReport.com Roundtable features the opinions of the PR staff as it tackles a topic each week that involves the Bucs.

This week’s topic: The Bucs’ Record In 2019

Scott Reynolds: 8-8 Would Show Progress

Here’s what we know heading into Tampa Bay’s 2019 season. The NFL schedule makers did the Bucs no favors this year with eight weeks between home games at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs still play in the rough-and-tumble NFC South, which might be the most competitive division in the league. The team is implementing new schemes on offense and defense under new head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. The Bucs’ secondary is awfully young and the offensive line remains a big question mark.

Throw in the fact that quarterback Jameis Winston is entering his fifth season in the league in a big contract year, and all of those ingredients don’t necessarily add up to a recipe for the playoffs in 2019. That’s not to say that a long-awaited trip to the postseason can’t happen, but don’t expect it to.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston and OC Byron Leftwich – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Expectations are high within the walls at the AdventHealth Training Center, and why not? Every year there is a team that surprises the league and rises up out of nowhere to make the playoffs. That was supposed to be the Bucs over the last two years coming off a 9-7 season in 2016, but a pair of 5-11 records instead led to a much-needed coaching change.

On several occasions Arians has said talent isn’t the issue in Tampa Bay, and he even said in looking at the film that the Bucs should have been 8-8. Winning three more games this year and getting out of the NFC South cellar and not having a Top 10 draft pick for a change would be a huge step in the right direction for this organization in Arians’ first year. He wouldn’t look at an 8-8 season as a successful season, and rightly so, but it would be progress nonetheless.

Bucs’ Hardest Game: Week 4 at Rams
Forget the fact that the Bucs will have to face a Rams defense that has defensive linemen Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler, Jr., and cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib along with safety Eric Weddle. The Rams’ offense features playmakers galore with receivers Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Josh Reynolds, and tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett, in addition to running backs Todd Gurley and Darrell Henderson – not to mention quarterback Jared Goff, who led L.A. to the Super Bowl in his third year in the league and is fresh off a lucrative contract extension. Flying across the country to take on such a talented team is not ideal.

Bucs’ Easiest Game: Week 1 vs. 49ers
The key to success at any level of football is winning the winnable games. Week 1 against the 49ers, a team that finished 4-12 last year, including a 27-9 defeat at the hands of the Bucs in Tampa, is a winnable game – perhaps the most winnable game on the schedule as Arians and has staff have had all offseason to prepare for it. Jimmy Garoppolo returns from a knee injury that kept him out of nearly the entire 2018 season and wasn’t exactly sharp in training camp or the preseason. The same can be said about new middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, a former Buccaneer, as he didn’t look sharp in August and may not be back to 100 percent from his ACL tear last October. San Francisco has a tough defensive front that will present challenges for the Bucs offensive line on opening day, so Bowles’ blitzing defense may have to get to Garoppolo to win the day for Tampa Bay.

Bucs WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs’ 2019 MVP: WR Mike Evans
Evans is coming off a Pro Bowl season and is poised to make a return trip to Orlando with another big year in Arians’ vertical-based offense. With 36 more catches he surpasses James Wilder’s franchise record for career receptions, which is 423, and with six more touchdowns he moves past Wilder’s 46 career scores and into second place in Tampa Bay behind Mike Alstott’s 71. Whether or not Winston does enough to earn a new contract extension or not, Evans will get his and should have another 1,500-yard season with a yards-per-catch average similar to last year’s 17.7 avg. Chris Godwin will lead the Bucs in catches, but Evans will lead Tampa Bay in yards and touchdowns.

Mark Cook: 10-6 Bucs Will Shock The League

The schedule makers didn’t do the Buccaneers and new head coach Bruce Arians any favors. The amount of time away from Raymond James, a trip to another continent, combined with two trips to the West Coast, is just unfathomable. Yet here we are. But you know what? Bruce Arians will find a way to make it to the team’s advantage with an “us-versus-them” mentality. This will bond this team, make it a tighter knit bunch and a tougher team to beat down the stretch. Or Tampa Bay could implode. One of the other will happen, although I believe it turns out to be the former as opposed to the latter.

Bruce Arians – photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay won five games each of there last two seasons with fairly poor coaching and an outdated, ineffective defensive scheme. Those are things of the past. Todd Bowles’ new 3-4 aggressive defense will actually play to the strengths of some of the players Jason Licht and his staff have drafted. Imagine that – properly using the strengths of the players. This defense will be improved, and if it even gets to a middle-of-the-road league ranking, there is enough offensive firepower for this team to win 10 games. Will it be enough to make the playoffs? Most likely, but if by some slim chance they don’t, 2020 is setting up to be the year the Bucs can make a deep playoff run.

Quarterback Jameis Winston will show drastic improvement in limiting the turnovers and the Buccaneers will run the football considerably more effectively than they did under Dirk Koetter. Mark it down. A Top 10 offense and a Top 15 defense can propel this team into double-digit wins, something Tampa Bay’s fans haven’t seen since 2010.

Bring on the naysayers, the skeptics and the cynics. This team can win 10 games, maybe more. Arians himself said this team should have won eight games last season if it didn’t beat itself. The Bucs won’t beat themselves nearly as often in 2019. Arians resumé says so.

Bucs’ Hardest Game: Week 5 vs. Saints
Hand the Saints the NFC South and NFC Conference Championship trophies now. Maybe even the Lombardi. They are good and are geared up for a serious Super Bowl run. This may be Drew Brees’ last stand and Sean Payton could be roaming the sidelines in Dallas in 2020. It is Super Bowl or bust for the Saints this year. The Saints won’t lose to the Bucs at home like they did last season when Tampa Bay caught them off guard in Week 1.

Bucs’ Easiest Game: Week 10 vs. Cardinals
There isn’t any animosity between Arians and his former Cardinals team, but it is human nature, especially for people with strong competitive natures, to want to show their former employer they are doing just fine without them. It is a pride thing and Arians has plenty of that. Add in the fact, the Cardinals are just a bad football team with an unproven coach and a first-year quarterback. Don’t forget a number of these Bucs assistants are former Cardinals’ coaches as well, and if they have to take the field themselves, they won’t lose to Arizona.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs’ 2019 MVP: QB Jameis Winston
The “Quarterback Whisperer” will be in full effect on Jameis Winston in 2019 and the former FSU stat will live up to his 2015 first overall pick billing. Having a head coach who actually wants and believes in you will be huge for Winston. Add in the fact the coaching and the scheme meshes perfectly with Winston’s strengths and you will have the perfect recipe for success. Look for Winston to throw for 4,200-plus yards with 29-32 touchdowns but more importantly, limit his interceptions and fumbles combined to less than 16.

Trevor Sikkema: 7-9 Tough Schedule, Unfortunate Injuries

From a distance, here’s how I see it. The Bucs had one of the best offenses in the NFL over the last two seasons, and the core of players who produced that offense are still in place. Coaching blunders were big factors in their inability to close out contests over the last two seasons, and with Bruce Arians and his experienced staff coming to town, one would think that has to make up for at least a game or two from the back-to-back 5-11 records under Dirk Koetter.

But on the other hand, there are factors that work against them, too – ones that might prevail.

The first is the schedule. I’ve said this before, but the NFL should honestly be ashamed at how they screwed the Bucs over this year. I get that some teams have to draw the short end of the stick some years, but this? Playing two games in four days to start the season, 49 days between home games in the middle of the year, losing a home game to an overseas game (and it’s a divisional game!) combined with more than 20,000 miles of travel.

It’s ridiculous. That alone will hurt their cause for progress in the win/loss column.

Bucs OLB Jason Pierre Paul
Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

But the bigger factor here is the players. Tampa Bay has some good starters, but it has yet to be seen if it can all bring it together and play both sides of the ball the way it needs to. The preseason has me worried about the Bucs’ offensive line. Beyond their starters, this is not a deep team by any means. Even the backup wide receivers have looked spotty. With early injuries to guys like Vita Vea and Lavonte David (even if they can start Week 1) and with summer injuries to guys like Justin Evans and Jason Pierre-Paul, this journey is about to be tough.

Can they show the progress needed to keep building off this core not blow the roster up? That’s the big question, because I don’t think they’ll be much better than at or below .500.

Bucs’ Hardest Game: Week 5 at Saints 
After the whole Mike Evans-Marshon Lattimore debacle two years ago in New Orleans, then having the Bucs come in with their backup quarterback and beat them at their own game to start the season in 2018, you think the Saints can’t wait for this one? Not only will playing the Saints itself be tough, as they are one of the best teams in the NFL, the game in New Orleans comes at a bad time. The Bucs head to NOLA the week after they head all the way out to L.A. to play the Rams. And not only that, it’s the week before their trip to London. Possible distractions all over for this Bucs team going into a divisional rival’s turf that is not only one of the toughest places to play, but even more so against a team that will likely be looking for revenge.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs’ Easiest Game: Week 3 vs. Giants 
Whether it’s Eli manning or Daniel Jones starting at quarterback for the Giants in Week 3, if the Bucs can’t beat them, they might be in real trouble. Tampa Bay faced the Giants last year in New York, and probably would have won the game had Winston started and played the whole game instead of coming in for relief for Ryan Fitzpatrick. This year they get them in their house against a Giants roster that is worse than it was last year.

Bucs’ 2019 MVP: OLB Shaq Barrett
Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans are the obvious ones on offense. Ultimately, Tampa Bay will go as far as those two can take it. But we’ve seen before that even when those two are on, they have to have a defense behind them. That’s why I’m going a little outside the box with my pick of linebacker Shaq Barrett. Someone has to step up in Pierre-Paul’s absence. This Bucs team has to have another true edge-rushing presence who can consistently give them something when defending passing situations. Barrett showed that he could do that during the preseason, but it was in a limited snap count role. He’ll likely start the season as a pass rush specialist, and they need him to produce. If he can, he could be that x-factor that pushes the Bucs to an extra win or two in a tough early season slate of games while Pierre-Paul recovers.

Taylor Jenkins: 7-9 Is An Improvement, But Not Quite There

It’s going to be a tough season for the Bucs.

A plethora of new offensive minds surround an offense that’s produced at stellar levels over the past few seasons and they’re tasked with cleaning up the play of Jameis Winston. With the core of their offense still in tact despite losing weapons in DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, if Winston can continue to decrease his turnovers and the offense as a whole can improve their efficiency in the red zone their proficiency should remain.

The nagging issue that looks to be the team’s biggest struggle however, across the roster as a whole and not just the offense, will be the the offensive line. The unit struggled mightily against Cleveland in the preseason, surrendering five sacks in just one half.

Bucs DC Todd Bowles
Bucs DC Todd Bowles – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

On the other side of the ball, Todd Bowles and his defensive staff initially seem to be utilizing the players at their disposal in a fashion Tampa Bay hasn’t seen in years. With new weapons like Shaq Barrett, Devin White and Ndamukong Suh there to fill holes lost to free agency, the departure of Gerald McCoy and an injury to 2018’s sack-leader Jason Pierre-Paul, in addition to three rookie defensive backs that were hand-picked to step into this defense, it’s hard to imagine that the Bucs’ defensive production doesn’t at least see a minor uptick.

With that said, the odds are stacked against Tampa Bay from the beginning. As previously mentioned, Pierre-Paul and his critical pass rush will not see the field for a minimum of six weeks. Tampa Bay has one of the youngest rosters in the NFL with only three players over the age of 30 and up to five starters on defense being first- or second-year players – four of those coming in the secondary. They were dealt a horrendous schedule that includes seven weeks between home games and two games over a four-day span to open the season, too. Add all that up and 7-9 looks likely.

Bucs’ Hardest Game: Week 4 at Rams
In Week 4, the Bucs will fly all the way across the country to Los Angeles where they’ll have their hands full with Sean McVay and the NFC’s Super Bowl representative from the 2018 season in the Rams. The defense will be tasked with containing McVay’s offense, led by Todd Gurley, Jared Goff and the receiving trio of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. It will be an early test against one of the leagues most prolific passing offenses for the Bucs’ young secondary. On offense, facing an All-Pro tandem Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters manning the outside, Tampa Bay’s offensive line will have to keep Winston upright while lined up across from Michael Brockers, Dante Fowler Jr. and Aaron Donald, as he comes off of an All-Pro 2018 season where he racked up 20.5 sacks.

Bucs WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Bucs’ Easiest Game: Week 3 vs. Giants
The Giants weren’t good in 2018, and while they’ve improved in some areas and made moves to alleviate the losses, they also watched they’re superstar wide receiver, play-making safety and Pro Bowl defensive end walk out the door. On top of hosting a New York roster that just quite frankly isn’t supported by exceptional talent outside of running back Saquon Barkley, the Bucs will have 10 days to prepare and recover for the Giants following their Thursday night match up against the Panthers in Week 2.

Bucs’ 2019 MVP: WR Mike Evans
When trying to predict the Bucs’ MVP for 2019, the thought process has to start with superstar receiver Mike Evans. The two-time Pro Bowl receiver has already written himself into the Bucs’ record books throughout his first five seasons in Tampa Bay and only seems to be getting better. Evans’ 1,524 receiving yards in 2018 ranked him third in the league, trailing only Houston’s Deandre Hopkins and Atlanta’s Julio Jones. To top it off, Evans joined Randy Moss and A.J. Green as the only receivers to begin their career with five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Evans isn’t just the best playing on the Bucs, he’s one of the premier offensive talents in the NFL today. Barring injury, that trend should only continue with Bruce Arians, Clyde Christensen and Byron Leftwich at the helm.

Matt Matera: 7-9 Is Taking A Step In The Right Direction

There has been a lot of hype in Tampa Bay since the Bucs hired Bruce Arians to be the head coach along with the coaching staff he brought with him from his time in Arizona. But the Bucs don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt that they can produce a winning team until they actually prove it on the field. We all remember how much optimism there was around the 2017 Hard Knocks Buccaneers, and that team fell flat on its face.

With that said, if there is a coach that can turn around a franchise, the Bucs have it with Arians. Tampa Bay has an upgrade in coaching, and it will get the best out of its players by putting them in the right position. Overall, the defense looks head and shoulders better than it did a year ago thanks to Todd Bowles’ blitzing scheme, and the offense was already one of the best passing teams in the league, and it will implement some new wrinkles that should only help its production.

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett
Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs do have some obstacles, both with things they can control and can’t control. Their flaws on the roster start with a sub-par offensive line, as we saw Jameis Winston get drilled in the Bucs’ third preseason game against a Cleveland team that had five sacks and numerous pressures in just one half. Last year, Winston had a career-high 281 yards rushing as a part-time starter because he had to run for his life and scramble away from pressure. The team can’ t have that again in 2019. The Bucs defense will also be without its best pass rusher in outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, so it will have to rely on a group effort led by Carl Nassib and Shaq Barrett.

The biggest obstacle that the Bucs have to deal with is out of their hands, and that’s the schedule. The fact that Bucs have a long stretch between home games and the amount of miles they have to travel this year has been discussed, but the quality of the opponents Tampa Bay will face is the real issue this year. For starters, the NFC South is one of the toughest divisions in football, so that’s six tough games right there. But then Tampa Bay still has to play teams tough West Coast teams like the Rams and Seahawks – both on the road, along with teams with good defenses like the Texans and the Jaguars. There’s no let up in this schedule, let alone all the other travel factors.

Having Arians and his coaching staff can turn some of the Bucs’ close losses from last year into victories in 2019, but the schedule mixed in with some weaknesses on the roster puts the Bucs at 7-9. It’s a stepping stone in the right direction in Arians’ first year, but not exactly where Tampa Bay wants to be just yet.

Bucs DE Carl Nassib - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs DE Carl Nassib – Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs’ Hardest Game: Week 5 at Saints
The first time the Bucs face the NFC’s top Super Bowl contender, it comes sandwiched in between a game on the road against the Rams the previous week, and a trip to London coming ahead for the following week. The Bucs will already be battle-tested facing defending NFC champions, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier against the Saints the next week. Will the Bucs have the right mindset with so much going on? Or will Drew Brees be able to pick apart the Bucs’ young defense at home while the fans at the Superdome go wild?

Bucs’ Easiest Game: Week 3 vs. Giants
Sure, the Giants have Saquon Barkley, who is one of the best running backs in the game, but other than that, what do they really have? They traded away Odell Beckham Jr. along with some of their best defensive players. Outside of tight end Evan Engram, the Giants won’t have much of a passing game either, and Eli Manning will probably still be quarterback at that time. This is a game that the Bucs can take advantage of before their schedule really kicks into high gear.

Bucs’ 2019 Season MVP: QB Jameis Winston
In order for the Bucs to be successful, Winston has to be their best player. He’s got the “quarterback whisperer” in Arians as his head coach, and playing in the final year of his contract is all the motivation he should need. Backed by a better defense and improved running game, Winston has all the tools around him to have his best season as a professional. In 2016, Winston threw a career-high 28 touchdowns, but even playing in just 11 games last year, he still managed to throw 19 TDs and have career highs in touchdowns per pass attempts. He also had career highs in yards per game with 272, and in completion percentage at 65.6. Winston will need to exceed those numbers this year, and with a new offense that requires him to make quicker, intermediate throws, Winston has the opportunity to have a career year, especially with Chris Godwin playing the Larry Fitzgerald role in the slot, attacking the middle of the field. The question for Winston will always be if he can eliminate his high rate of turnovers. That’s been a huge emphasis by Arians, and Winston responded well to that in the preseason.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

49 COMMENTS

  1. This team is right around 8-8. If HC Arians can squeeze more wins out of this unit he deserves to be the coach of the year.

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    Rating: +16. From 22 votes.
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  2. I’ll go with much improved on defense, improved run game and less turnovers by Winston and that will yield no playoffs and a close to post season 9-7. The schedule is idiotic for sure.

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    Rating: +7. From 9 votes.
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  3. I’m leaning to 7-9 more than 8-8. Offensive line will be exposed in it’s weaknesses for the most part, offense as a whole will struggle, defense will keep us in closer games than last year and improved kicking might get us a few more wins.

    I see a few gritty injury plagued games with wins being squeaked out, but the traveling schedule is brutal. Some guys last year thought they were on vacation when they traveled and hopefully Arians accountability chart will be in full effect.

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    Rating: +7. From 13 votes.
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  4. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing analysts using the schedule as one of the reasons that the Bucs are going to be at .500 or below. Yes, it’s a lot of miles and we spend a lot of days on the road, but you know, other teams play on the road and have success even in years when they have to travel a lot too. This is an excuse for fans to just admit that their team still isn’t very good (JMO). When you step on the field the only thing that matters is whether you play better than the other team, everything else is just a distraction.

    I’m going to side with Mark on this because I believe that the defense will be improved, the kicking will be better, there will be less injuries and the overall coaching has improved. We are not a perfect team, but together I think it’s enough. I’ll admit, it does require that all of the players on the team play up to their best abilities to get there, but if I read BA and his staff right, that’s what they are going to require for players to stay on this team.

    Might as well be an optimist, go Bucs!

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    Rating: +15. From 19 votes.
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    • When you look at how many games the horrible defense and special teams (kicker) cost us last year, the Bucs had 5 games they should have won if we had a decent defense and kicker. There were only 2 games we had no chance of winning; the Chicago Bears and the first Carolina game. That leaves 4 games you can argue one way or the other.

      10-6 is not a stretch of the imagination at all. That’s winning all our home games and picking up a couple road games. The defense will turn around and keep us close enough in most games to continue running the ball instead of making Jameis feel the need to put it all on his shoulders like he did last year and the year before, thus minimizing the turnovers.

      I think our MVP will be kicker Matt Gay. I think he wins us 3 games in the closing moments of those games. Considerably better coaching wins us at least 3 more games than last year.

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      Rating: +10. From 12 votes.
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  5. So far we have proven that we can’t stay healthy and that will be a big factor.
    Stay healthy, we go 8-8.
    Injuries based on the last few years, 6-10.
    I haven’t seen the proof yet we have a offensive line and defensive line to warrant a successful season.

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    Rating: +5. From 7 votes.
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  6. No more excuses like the schedule. Anything less then a winning record 9-7 is a complete, and utter failure. I’m giving them a break at 9-7, not making the playoffs is really a failure. Licht has been drafting in the top of the draft for many years, including the number one overall pick. Licht also had plenty of money to spend on free agents until this year. Top draft choices, wads of cash spent, and PR wants me to believe 7-9, or 8-8 is a step in the right direction? Bullshit, better win now baby. I won’t make a prediction, Vegas has us winning 6.5 games, and they’re rarely wrong.

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    Rating: +10. From 12 votes.
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    • Not true. About 20-25 per cent of the teams in the NFL exceed or fail to meet the Vegas predictions by 2.5 to 3 games each and every year.

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    • They were wrong last year at 5.5. Trust me, I found out the hard way!!

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    • I agree with you to some degree @surferdudes. I think this team is a better team and they’ll be more prepared than we’ve seen in many years.

      I have the Bucs winning 12. NFC West and AFC South are the 2nd and 3rd easiest divisions to defeat.

      The defense will stop the run and fly around in the secondary. This offense will be a top 5 offense again.

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  7. Pitcher of KoolAide by my side, saying we go 8-8 with shot at 10-6. Jamies is the MVP, with Todd Bowles our coaching MVP. Can’t wait for Sunday! Go Bucs!

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    Rating: +5. From 13 votes.
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  8. Have to win Sunday period. If we lose Sunday then we slide Thursday and we’re 0-2 and its over. Sunday is a must win. Unfortunately there is no room for error. This kicker better not miss inside 40 yards or any extra points. This team cannot handle another kicking debacle

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    Rating: +7. From 13 votes.
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    • Gee I guess New Orleans should have quit when they were 0-2.

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  9. 6-10 at best

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  10. I like Mark Cook’s 10-6. Man see’s the glass more than half full. It’s a new season so why not hope for the best. I believe BA has established a winning attitude and when everyone is projecting another loser what better time to fire the cannons. I’ve suffered through the losing but I have never anticipated or projected a losing season before the first game. I’m a little long in the tooth and my new seasons are much fewer than they once were. This has always been entertainment for me and there is no use crying out of the gate. To many experts doing that. Gooooooooo Buc’ssssssssss

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    Rating: +12. From 16 votes.
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  11. Hell yea Mark!!! You can list all the reasons why we won’t have a winning record. Tough schedule, too much traveling, bad Oline, young secondary, Jameis makes too many mistakes, no JJP, injuries, the division is tough, can’t kick and the list goes on. But you could do that for every team in the league. Let me tell you why I think this year is different. BRUCE ARIANS!!! All I have heard about and read about for the last decade is this team needs a culture change. I think it’s happening right now, all that’s left is the wins. We have a team full of players on one year deals and young players trying to prove their worth. That’s not by accident, that’s part of the plan. Get rid of the loser mind set this team had. That’s why Suh is here and wearing #93, he has won before. McCoy was ok with losing, BA is not. My cup isn’t half full, it’s running over with optimism. So “fire those cannons” or “raise the flags” I’m ready for a winning season. Go Bucs!!

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    Rating: +15. From 17 votes.
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    • Raise the flags and fire those cannons BUCS FANS!

      GO BUCS!!!

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      Rating: +8. From 8 votes.
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  12. Well, if you are a Bucs homer and believe deep down in your heart that the only thing the Bucs have been lacking for the last 11 seasons is Bruce Arians, and he is truly the secret sauce that will magically turn our franchise into the Arizona Cardinals of 2013 and 2014 .. and not into the Arizona Cardinals of 2016 and 2017 .. and not merely a continuation of the SOBs – the Same Ole Bucs – then yeah, a 10-6 season and a trip to the playoffs and a Super Bowl ring and an MVP trophy for Winston and a Coach of the Year trophy for Arians is in the “cards” – sorry for the pun.

    But if you are not a Bucs homer, then like the rest of the league you are projecting 6-10 or 5-11 again, and SOBs reign yet again.

    The former is possible, but not a very good bet, if it was your money on the line. The latter is the safest bet for 2019.

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    Rating: -3. From 17 votes.
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  13. Well Naples that’s that loser mentality I was talking about. Maybe a winning season would do you some good. And yes I am a “homer” not a fair weather fan. Unlike you I’m rooting for Jameis to succeed not fail.

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    Rating: +16. From 18 votes.
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    • The mentality of fans of the NFL game has zero effect on anything, never did, never will.

      Only brainless “fans” think that the outcome of football seasons depends upon the earnestness of their fantasies of football success. All that buys is more SOBs.

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  14. I’d say anything more than 5 wins (our total each of the last two years) would be something. This team has the same problems it has had for several years, unaddressed by Jason Licht:

    1) a high-paid, vastly poor-performing OLine. Cappa is sort of new this year, but is Cappa really the difference for this unit? Dotson is older than he was last year when he was showing his age. Jensen showed nothing to suggest he should be the highest paid Center in the league. Smith just got paid – and never showed he was baller before getting paid, regularly turning the worst LT in the league stats over his career. I would expect much the same this year…Winston among the highest hit-rate QBs in the league, with a running game struggling to find holes.

    2) no pass rush. Barrett is new I suppose – is Barrett supposed to perform better than JPP did last year? Why is our pass rush better?

    3) one of the weakest secondaries in the league. Sure we have some young guys with potential, but who is the rock back there that is going to take away Julio and Thomas twice per year each.

    All of that leads to a defense that gives up points like dark clouds give up rain, and an offense that will put up huge numbers (again) because they are forced to pass like a vegetarian at a steak house….a re-run of the last two years.

    So, I say until we actually fix what’s wrong, coaching can help but if we’re (Mark) expecting coaching to account for 5 extra wins (i.e., 10 overall wins), that’s a pipe dream.

    I think the 7-win mark would be a real accomplishment. But since it’s day zero, I’ll give my prediction as 16-0, because there’s no point in thinking anything else at day zero.

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  15. Who cares about predictions? Only those companies that sponsor sports blogs and know that gives them a lot of hits. If predictions mattered, Tampa Bay might be underwater right now and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale would be history from hurricane Dorian. I want to see a team that competes and doesn’t beat itself. I want to see a quarterback who has poise and consistency. I want to see an offensive line that feels a deep moral responsibility to protect their quarterback. I want to see a team that improves over the course of the season. The first-half schedule is murderous, no doubt. But the second half of the schedule is not.

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  16. Regarding Vegas Predictions:
    Last year: Bears total set at 7 Won 12
    Kansas City 8 12
    New Orleans 9.5 13
    Rams 9.5 13
    Chargers 9 12
    Jacksonville 9 5
    Raiders 8 4
    49ers 9 4

    Vegas cares mostly about what the public thinks. They have no special insight into what actually is going to happen. It is interesting to note that Vegas has set Bruce Arians as the coach most likely to win Coach of the year and Jameis Winston to throw for more than 4200 yards.

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  17. As for the schedule, and all the travel. I don’t believe the players will be sailing over to England in a wooden ship, or riding horseback with covered wagons fighting Indians when they head out west. Vegas cares about making money, not losing it, that’s why they have us winning 6.5 games.

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    • They will be if Alexandria Occasional-Cortex gets her Green New Deal passed into law.

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      • EricNV …. LMAO. I am generally irritated with political remarks being made on a sports thread. They generally just get thrown in as an asinine jab. This one, well, it’s great. Actually contributed to the comment preceding. Well done, sir

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        • Sorry – Surferdude set me up perfectly. I don’t like talking politics on Pewter Report either, but I made a last-second executive decision.

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      • I’m not a fan of green deals, but man can that young lady do a rooftop dance. Conjures up memories of a girl long ago …never mind:(

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  18. This spring I said 9-7 or 10-6. I’m solidly at 8-8 now. I really thought the Bucs were gonna try to shore up our Defensive line to develop a fierce Kick-A** Defense. I don’t see it despite the Blitzes everybody has faith in. That Clev preseason Game? That’s how a pass rush is suppose to look like. Them Browns were bringin it!! 8-8 is an improvement for this team though. I think we will get there. But I’m not seeing this miraculous playoff march. Could happen. But lets keep it real here.

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  19. I know people find it fun to predict Wins/Losses but I think it’s silly. More than anything I just want them to clean up their play, find some consistency, improve in their play, have fun and be fun to watch. I wanna see the Culture shift this year back to being a team that never gives up, one that teams have to prepare for to play, and has fun doing it with attitude. I would Love to see us with a 9-7, 10-6, 11-5 Record but the Truth is that you never know what record it’s gonna take each year to make the playoffs, so I just wanna see them get better and kick off a new Era in Tampa Bay and bring the Passion back to this team.

    Go Bucs!!!

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  20. I see a better team this year than in the past ten years. I say they make the playoffs. That’s it!

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  21. I believe we’ll be 6-10, with wins against the 49ers, Giants, Cardinals, Lions, Saints and Falcons.

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    • Have you noticed that the teams in the NFC South always split wins?

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      • For the most part yes they do. That’s why I say the Bucs will beat the Saints even though the Saints are the better team. But with the 4 day turnaround for a Thursday night game in Charlotte and the other game being played in England where we haven’t faired well I don’t see us beating the Panthers this year.

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        • Cam Newton will be out for avenge after last year’s second game against them in Carolina. We’ll see what happens. If Carolina wins, it won’t be the blow out the first game against them last year was.

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  22. This team is primed for a fast start and the Bucs can beat anyone.
    1. Healthy players
    2. Tackling at practice
    3. No music blaring at practice while learning equals better preparation
    4. New scheme on defense will surprise teams
    5. Better players at DT, LB, CB, S
    6. A coaching staff that knows what the hell they’re doing!!!

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  23. I really don’t see them losing more than 8 games tough schedule or not unless they have ton of key injuries. I think 9 or 10 is possible with some luck. That said If I’m being honest at this point I expect a ton of injuries just because it’s what we have seen for last 10 years or more. We have consistently been one of teams with most players on IR last 4-5 years for sure. Hoping for some good luck for once but again until it happens…..

    Go Bucs!

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  24. I’ve got the Bucs winning 12. They are a better team than SF, NYG, CAR(sweep!), AZ, DET, SEA, TEN, INDY, and JAX. They will split with ATL and NO. LAR and HOU are close losses.

    12-4

    Good teams win. This is a good team.

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    • Love your optimism!

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  25. Overcome, Bucs, overcome! That will be the theme for the Bucs this year.

    I see the following this year from the franchise.

    > Better decision making and game management by Jameis
    > An improved running game
    > Same or better OL play
    > The kicking game is stabilized
    > A very much improved defense
    > Better special teams play
    Summation: A much, much better coaching staff from top to bottom! Bruce Arians provides leadership, a vision and a road map to a turnaround. The competition will be fierce.

    Therefore, here are my predictions for 2019.

    The Buccaneers will have a 9 and 7 season with no playoff appearance.

    The Bucs will lose both games to New Orleans, split with Atlanta and sweep Carolina. We will be third in the NFC South but not at the bottom.

    New Orleans will win the Super Bowl this year.
    ______________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  26. I think the Bucs have a 50/50 chance to beat 49ers , Giants,
    Az cardinals is a win for Bucs
    Rest of the games most likely losses

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    • Thanks Suck-Ass! I knew you were lurking somewhere.

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    • Buc ass Bob, unfortunately, you were right. You are completely negative but Winston has not learned. He forced the ball where it should not go, and rarely looked at his relief valve receiver. Under pressure he did not throw it at the feet of the running back, he either forced it or did intentional grounding. Three INTs and two were directly his fault. It is a replay of last year. Except now they don’t have a backup QB to play. So it is Winston or bust… and unfortunately, unless he plays better, it is bust.

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  27. Ok, in all honesty, I would break the games into 4 buckets:

    1) ones we should be heavily favored: 49ers (too many key players working back from IR), Cards (rebuild year one), Colts (in disarray without Luck), and Texans (apparently rebuilding).
    2) games against teams that pass really well (i.e., we’re in trouble): Saints x2, Failcons x2, Rams, DET (on the road), JAX (on the road).
    3) on the road toss-ups (not a good way to play a toss-up game): CAR, Seattle (few teams win in Seattle, and now they have Mr Clowney), TENN (they keep adding to their team, making it better every year)
    4) at home toss-ups: NYG (I am very worried about what Saquan might do to our defense), and CAR (in London, so not even at home)

    Hence, I’m realistically in the 7-ish win area. Until we fix our passing defense, it’s going to be hard to win a lot of games in the 2019 version of the NFL.

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  28. Anything less than a 9 and 7 will be disappointment. The realist in me best low so 7 and 9, the optimist say’s 10 and 6 and a wildcard spot with 1 win in the play offs.

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  29. None of the top 4 teams from last year went undefeated, which means any team can lose on any given Sunday. The toughest to beat last year? Kansas City. The worst team they lost to last year was Seattle at 10-6. 2nd toughest? LA Rams. Philly was their worst at 9-7. But they still lost to inferior teams. Even the Saints lost to sub .500 teams (spoiler alert: one of them was us).

    So to say that the Bucs will only win 5, 6, or even 10 games this year means you’re saying they don’t have a shot at beating the top teams, just the worst teams and also maybe squeaking out one or two close ones against mediocre teams. Why?. All it takes is for the secondary to come up with a few more interceptions this year, the DLine to force a few more stops or fumbles, the offense to score a few more touchdowns in the red zone, or the opposing defense to whiff on a few more tackles. Arians said this team should have been 8-8 last year, but they beat themselves, which is a nice way of saying they lost because of poor coaching. Let’s say they didn’t beat themselves last year. Arians would be taking over an 8-8 team pushing for the playoffs with a new coaching staff, upgraded roster and a new attitude.

    Stop seeing this team as a 5-11 squad. Don’t compare last year’s roster to this year’s roster and say we’ve improved just a little here but not there. The Bucs are a different team this year. The combined record of the teams that beat the Patriots last year was 36-43, with 3 of their 5 losses coming at the hands of sub .500 teams.

    Stop looking for excuses why we won’t win, and start looking at the reasons why we will. Ain’t nobody ready for these Bucs!

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  30. I really like what Sombrero and Senile said. I think they were spot on. Let me add the following:
    1. Last year we could have won 2 more games with a decent field goal kicker.
    2. We could have won many more games with a decent DC.
    3. The HC lost at least 3 games with bad in game decisions.
    Remember, we had the worst pass defense since the Shang dynasty; our starting QB was out 5 games (I think). This year we have a vastly improved and proven coaching staff, a better defense, and don’t forget the Bucs are a road team. They suck at home so I’m not worried about road games. We also have Gay, the kicker not the Caballero. If he is what he seems to be we have 2 or 3 wins right there. I don’t see how this team doesn’t get at least 9 wins. However, Bucs bugaboo has always been KEY injuries. We have to have some luck there.

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  31. Improved kicking game, much better D and slightly better O…I have to predict 9-7.

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  32. 10 to one odds that BAB’s prediction makes him look like a bitter old DA.

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