The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know that they’re running on borrowed time. After a heartbreaking defeat in the NFC Divisional round, quarterback Tom Brady announced, and then unannounced his retirement. Brady’s return means that the Buccaneers have at least one more year of serious Super Bowl contention. The front office certainly knows that. General manager Jason Licht did a fantastic job loading up his team with talent throughout the offseason. He did so both through free agency and the NFL Draft. There’s plenty of expectations surrounding this squad, so let’s get straight into a couple of predictions for the Buccaneers in 2022.
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Buccaneers Early Predictions for 2022 NFL Season
1. Tampa Bay won’t lose a single divisional game this year
Normally, the NFC South is a fairly competitive division. The New Orleans Saints are typically one of the better teams in the league, and the Carolina Panthers are competitive from time to time. However, that is just not going to be the case this season. The Saints will start Jameis Winston at quarterback in their first year without Sean Payton as their head coach. The New Orleans offense looks like a complete mess, and that won’t change before the regular season. The Panthers are still starting Sam Darnold at quarterback, a recipe to lose double-digit games. The Atlanta Falcons have a legitimate argument for being the team with the least talent in the entire NFL.
The Buccaneers will sweep the Panthers and the Falcons easily, and they shouldn’t have too much trouble against the Saints. Expect Tampa Bay to go 6-0 in their division.
2. The Buccaneers will start their season with a 1-3 record
Unfortunately for Tampa, they open the year with an incredibly difficult slate of games. The Bucs have to travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in Week 1 on Sunday Night Football. Those teams faced off to open the 2021 season, and it took a nearly perfect performance from Tom Brady to scratch out a victory. It’s entirely possible that the Cowboys get revenge and defend their home field to start the season.
Tampa Bay will win in Week 2 against the Saints, but then they go on to face the Green Bay Packers. This should be one of Tampa Bay’s toughest tests all season, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them drop a close one. Things don’t get any easier when the Kansas City Chiefs come to town in Week 4.
That’s three incredibly difficult matchups within the first month of the season. The Buccaneers won’t have any opportunity to knock off any rust, as they’ll play three of the league’s best teams right away. Tampa Bay will lose those games and get off to a slow start.
— TB12 (@TomBradyEgo) May 13, 2022
3. The Buccaneers will make the NFC Championship
The pool of teams in the NFC this season just are not very strong. There’s three legitimate contenders in the Buccaneers, the Los Angeles Rams, and the Green Bay Packers. Dallas isn’t far behind, but they aren’t on the same level. Beyond those four teams, there isn’t really anyone to be afraid of.
The Buccaneers should have the one or two seed in the NFC, making the path to a deep playoff run much easier. They’ll likely avoid the best contenders until at least the Divisional Round, and that will allow them to make an appearance in the NFC Championship.