The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know 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 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 both through free agency and the NFL Draft. There are plenty of expectations around 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 the 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’s 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 running at Sam Darnold at quarterback, missing a double-digit game. The Atlanta Falcons have a strong 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 be 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 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 near perfect performance from Tom Brady to scratch out a victory. It’s completely 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 to 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 off 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 in 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 are just not very strong. There are three decent contenders in the Buccaneers, the Los Angeles Rams, and the Green Bay Packers. Dallas is not far behind, but they are not at the same level. Beyond those four teams, there isn’t really anyone to be afraid of.
The Buccaneers should have one or two seeds in the NFC, making the path to a deep playoff run much easier. They’ll avoid the best contenders until at least the Divisional Round, and that will allow them to make an appearance in the NFC Championship.