Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers live up to their preseason hype?

Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers live up to their preseason hype?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the team to watch heading into the 2020 NFL season and are sure to be popular with punters using sportsbooks to bet on matches for one reason:the arrival of Tom Brady. It has got everyone questioning whether this could finally be the Buc’s year. Can they live up to the preseason hype? Ahead of the big kick-off, fans can play some live dealer baccarat NJ to pass the time.

Brady joined the Buccaneers in March after a trophy-laden 20-year stint with the New England Patriots. Despite being 42-years-old, Brady said he was still “excited, humble and hungry,” and with his powers showing little sign of waning just yet, he could be the quarterback that propels Tampa Bay to glory during the next year or two. Will it be that easy?

Brady will replace Jameis Winston in the pivotal position this season. Winston can perhaps count himself unlucky to have been ushered out of the exit door after a prolific four year period with the Bucs. The 26-year-old threw 33 touchdowns and more than 5,100 yards last term, a league-high. However, his “adjusted interception” rate of 40 was by far the worst total in recent NFL history.

Tampa Bay can now call on a QB who has done everything on the biggest stage multiple times. It is the main reason why the Bucs quickly became favorites to win the Super Bowl after his arrival, though the excitement has eased a little after the NFL draft.

That’s because the Bucs traded up to bring in Tristian Wirfs after reportedly being concerned that Brady needed more tacklers to protect him from eager defensive units. General Manager Jason Licht revealed that he was “just thrilled to death” to secure the signing of Wirfs, suggesting that confidence in Brady may not be as high as previously thought.

The Buccaneers have now settled in as third favorites to win the Super Bowl behind the two teams that contested last year’s showcase match, a Patrick Mohames-inspired Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. That seems about right for a franchise that has yet to walk the walk.

For the time being, at least, the preseason hype surrounding Tampa Bay is justified. The signing of Brady added to the belief that a team with excellent players on both sides of the ball will finally be able to showcase their talents on the biggest stage. The return of Rob Gronkowski, Brady’s long-time partner in chief, upped the ante even more.

While those two grabbed the headlines in the spring, several Bucs players have been going quietly about their business for some time. Take Lavonte David, for example, who has registered the most solo tackles in the league since being drafted eight years ago. Wide receiver Mike Evans has been performing just as well. Only one other player in NFL history has matched Evans’ sixth straight season of 1,000+ receiving yards since his rookie year.

Fans will point to the talents of Chris Godwin and Shaq Barrett as evidence that they can also make a deep playoff run. Barrett crushed his debut season as an edge rusher with an incredible 19.5 sacks, a league-high, and an aggressive play style that made every quarterback’s life uncomfortable.

One point of contention is the Buccaneer’s recent record. They are coming off a very underwhelming 7-9 season that saw them languish in the NFC South. Can they turn it around so quickly after the addition of Brady and a few trades? The talent they already had was not enough for them in 2019, and it remains to be seen whether they can go toe to toe with the best.

Last year’s NFL analysts are quite bullish on the Buccaneers’ chances this term despite that poor record. ESPN’s Ryan Clark sees the Bucs improving to an 11-5 record but believes the Week One clash with Drew Brees’ New Orleans could be a sticking point before a later improvement. USA Today’s Nate Davis is not quite as optimistic after predicting a 10-6 record that would only be good enough for a Wild Card berth.

However, he believes the league’s unexpected darlings could be a surprise package. Davis stated: “But even in a highly competitive division, the Bucs appear to have ample firepower to end a 12-year playoff drought and make a serious push beyond that.”

It has been 17 years since Tampa Bay won their one and only Super Bowl, but they now have a better chance than ever before to kick on and become regular playoff contenders.

 

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