What record will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finish 2020 with? We’re not the most qualified to render that judgement, given that we’re a bunch of Falcons fans biased against the Bucs and Tom Brady in particular, but we’re still gonna give it a go.
Our predictions are below. Share yours in the comments!
There’s no denying that the Buccaneers have the talent necessary to be one of the better teams in the NFC. Mike Evans is a stellar wide receiver and so is Chris Godwin, the defense is dotted with legitimate playmakers like Shaquil Barrett, and there’s some old guys named Brady and Gronk who might contribute. The pieces are there.
The problem is that the pieces don’t always produce the puzzle you think they will. The Bucs are going to be heavily reliant on a very old Tom Brady and a still-suspect defense and offensive line, and while they’re better now than they have been in years past when they were popular sleeper picks, I’m not sure I trust that they’re the kind of juggernaut team that will sweep aside a very good Saints squad and a possibly good Falcons team. They’ll be good, but I think ultimately they’ll disappoint, however mildly. — Dave Choate
It feels like every year since the Buccaneers last made the playoffs, analysts have expected the Buccaneers to be surprisingly good. They last made the playoffs back in 2007 so the prediction may be the most consistently wrong in all of football. I want to believe the Bucs will predictably fall apart, but this has been quite the offseason. It will all fall apart in the near future but I think they finally have all the pieces to actually compete. — Matt Chambers
Here’s the thing: start with the QB. Is Tom Brady an upgrade over Jameis Winston? Absolutely, yes. Even at his elevated age. Is he enough to get them over the hump? That remains to be seen, but there’s every reason to believe that with a good coach and a great supporting cast that Brady will be able to make this a better team than it was. Whether that goes past this season remains to be seen, but the Bucs have made sensible moves in the off-season and deserve the benefit of the doubt, even if they get it seemingly every single year. - David Walker
The Buccaneers “win the offseason” just about every year, and this year’s no different. That hasn’t translated into actual success, but to be fair, this is the first time they’ve added talent like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and continuity should be a factor working in their favor in Bruce Arians’ second year at the helm. I don’t think the Bucs will be good enough to win the division, not if the Saints perform at a similar level and the Falcons actually play up to their potential, but they should be competitive enough to be annoying. - Jeanna Thomas
Going to go with the flow here and guess a 9-7 finish for the Tompa Bay Buccaneers. Adding Brady, maybe not the guy he’s always been anymore but still an very intelligent tactician with nearly two decades of experience, to Bruce Arians’ offense could be a handful, and that Bucs defense is no joke with Todd Bowles running the show. I don’t think they’ll necessarily be a juggernaut, but they’ll be competitive in a way we haven’t seen in a while. That’s the Brady effect. Though, I think Atlanta and New Orleans will be better, for what it’s worth. - Cory Woodroof
Year after annoying year the Bucs are crowned offseason champions due to their often aggressive and splashy free agent signings, and like clockwork, they fail to generate the record to reflect the hype. 2020 will be different. Adding Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to a Bruce Arians offense that already features Mike Evans and Chris Godwin almost seems unfair. This legitimately feels like a well-built, competitive football team, and not the perennial pushover we’ve gotten used to. The NFC South is going to be one of the toughest divisions in football. - Carter Breazeale
Do I think the Buccaneers will be better in 2020 with Tom Brady at the helm? Yes. Do I think Tampa Bay’s offense will be an unstoppable juggernaut? No. The weapons are there, although the OL remains fairly shaky, but Brady isn’t the type of QB who is going to sling it at this stage of his career. Instead, Tampa is likely to run a fairly conservative, dink-and-dunk style of offense compared to the one we saw with Jameis Winston at the helm. However, the Bucs are building a very dangerous young defense, and that defense paired with a less mistake-prone QB should be enough to improve on their 2019 season. With Tampa, however, I need to see it to believe it. They’ve “won the offseason” each of the last three years and have nothing to show for it—so until they prove they can actually put it together, I have them improving but not being a serious contender in 2020. - Kevin Knight