Listen to NFL Vegas sharps RJ Bell and Steve Fezzik join co-host Jonas Knox on ‘Straight Outta Vegas’ to preview the 9th ranked team on their 2020 win/total prediction rankings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After signing perhaps the most famous free agent in sports history, the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers could certainly be one of the most fascinating NFL teams of all time with a 43-year-old Tom Brady playing with a chip on his shoulder with arguably the league’s most talented offense.
The Jameis Winston era went up in smoke in the final two weeks of the season after it was actually being reported that the team was going to re-sign Winston while the fifth-year starter had been playing the best football of his career.
Then down went Mike Evans in Week 14, and down went Chris Godwin in Week 15, and UP went Winston’s interceptions with a M.A.S.H. unit of wide receivers that ultimately doomed his fate in Tampa Bay.
That and his league-leading 30 interceptions, and NFL record-breaking seven pick-sixes.
When you also take into account Tampa’s multi-decade long struggles selling tickets and selling jerseys, Brady may have been the only life preserver in sight for a Bucs GM in Jason Licht who was going down with the Winston ship.
Winson led the NFL in passing yards and was second in touchdown passes behind Lamar Jackson, but Tampa Bay was way too infatuated with Brady as a multi-year window of Super Bowl contention looked to be glimmering right before them with pass catching weapons galore, a peaking young defense, and QB hoss Bruce Arians as his handler.
Tampa ranked in the top 5 in scoring (3rd), total offense (3rd), and red zone offense (4th), but obviously ranked 1st in turnovers (41) because of Winston's historic gunslinger's mentality. The most interceptions Brady has ever thrown in a season was 14 in 2002, 2004, and 2005.
Brady will look to revitalize a Bucs franchise who has finished under .500 in 7 of the last 8 seasons, and one who hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007.
Key acquisitions for Tampa was the aforementioned Brady, getting tight end Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement, running back LeSean McCoy from the Chiefs, right tackle Joe Haeg from the Colts, and Tampa Bay drafted offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa in the first round (13th).
Notable losses included Winston (NO), Peyton Barber (WAS), Breshad Perriman (NYJ), Demar Dotson (DEN), and Carl Nassib (LV).
Tampa’s Over/Under for wins is 9.5, their odds to win the Super Bowl are 14/1, their odds to win the NFC are 15/2, their odds to win the NFC South are 3-2, and they’re -230 to make the playoffs.
Check out the entire segment above.