Bucs fans come into every season with high hopes and dreams of another Super Bowl. Usually, those hopes and dreams are destroyed within the first few weeks of the season, and we’re left hoping for another top ten draft pick. However, this season feels different with Tom Brady on board and steering the ship. I mean, he has been to nine Super Bowls, winning six of them along with four SB MVP trophies.
With that being said, what should realistic expectations be for Bucs fans this year? Well, I’m here with my predictions for anything and everything having to do with the 2020 Buccaneers team. Wins, yards, touchdowns, sacks, interceptions; I’m giving my thoughts on all of it. So sit back and take a look at what this Bucs team could possibly have in store for this season.
- Will Tom Brady have more or less than 5,000 yards passing this season?
Despite only surpassing that mark one time during his 20-year career (2011- 5,235 yards), I do think that he will throw for more than 5,000 yards this season. Brady has NEVER had this many offensive weapons at his disposal. He’ll likely have close to 3,000 yards just from Evans and Godwin alone. Scotty Miller, who could possibly flirt with a 1,000-yard season, and Justin Watson and Tyler Johnson could add at least another 500 yards combined. That already puts him at almost 4,500 yards WITHOUT counting tight ends and running backs. You would think that Gronkowski, Howard, and Brate should be good for at least 1,000 yards between them. And the running backs Jones, McCoy, Fournette, and Vaughn should be good for at least another 500 yards combined. That’s 6,000 yards right there. Do I think he’ll hit THAT mark? Maybe not. But he won’t be far from it. The only thing that would stop this from happening is if the Bucs end up with large second-half leads and try to run out the clock every week, which would cut down on his pass attempts.
- Will Tom Brady have more than 40 passing touchdowns this season?
Once again, in 20 seasons, he’s only thrown for more than 40 touchdowns once in 2007 (50). That was with a Patriots team that had Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Troy Brown, Donte’ Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, Kyle Brady, and Ben Watson on it. This Bucs team has even more talent and more playmakers. Brady has NEVER been surrounded by this much talent on the offensive side of the ball. I don’t care how old he is he’s STILL Tom Brady. He’s still the GOAT. There’s not too many better in the red zone, and he has plenty of legitimate red-zone targets on this team. When Peyton Manning had his record-setting 2013 season, he wasn’t far from 40 years old and was just two years from retirement. It can be done.
- Will Ronald Jones II have more than 1,000 yards rushing?
Two weeks ago, I would’ve said absolutely. After the addition of Leonard Fournette to the mix, I don’t think he will. He’ll be close. I think he’ll have more than the 725 yards he had last season. But eventually, Fournette will take over that primary RB role and steal carries away from RoJo on first and second downs.
- Will Leonard Fournette eventually take the “starting RB” job away from Ronald Jones II?
As I said above, Fournette will eventually take over the primary RB role in place of RoJo. He’s just too good of a player not to. I like Ronald Jones and think that he’s definitely improving, but Fournette was the fourth pick of the draft three years ago. In the two seasons where he played at least 13 games, Fournette finished averaging 1,100 yards, 4.1 yards per carry, and 80 yards per game, with a bad o-line and no quarterback in Jacksonville. It’s not a knock against Jones. It’s just a testament to how good Fournette could be.
- Will Mike Evans have more than 1,500 receiving yards?
I don’t think he will. There are so many weapons on this offense that there may not be enough balls to go around. Evans could end up being more of a decoy rather than a weapon. With Godwin coming on, Miller, Watson, Johnson, Gronk, Howard, Brate, McCoy, and now Fournette too, it will cut into Mike’s opportunities. He’ll still get his 1,200 yards, but I don’t see him reaching that 1,500-yard mark.
- Will Chris Godwin have more receiving yards than Mike Evans again?
He might. As I said, Evans may serve as more of a decoy than anything else, so that could lead to more opportunities for Godwin. Some experts already have CG14 as a top ten receiver in the league, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all. Last season, he finished with 1,300 yards and 9 touchdowns. I expect him to be close to those same numbers again.
- Will Scotty Miller have a 1,000-yard season?
I think he might. Last year, he had 13 catches for 200 yards averaging over 15 yards per catch. With Brady at quarterback, his production can only go up, especially, if he ends up being one of his favorite targets like a Wes Welker or Julian Edelman type. The rumor is that Miller and Brady have already formed quite the chemistry during training camp. If he doesn’t reach that 1,000-yard mark, he should at least come pretty close. But don’t be surprised if the Bucs end up with three 1,000 yard receivers this season.
- Which tight end will catch more touchdowns?
Tom Brady has never had three legit tight ends in his arsenal. This season, he’ll have Rob Gronkowski, OJ Howard, and Cam Brate. All three should be productive in this offense, and I think they’ll have around 1,200 yards between them. I see Gronk finishing with more yards than the other two, simply because of the chemistry that he and Tom share. However, I think Cam will end up with more touchdowns.
- Will Shaq Barrett have more than 20 sacks?
Yes, he will. Shaq finished with 19 1/2 sacks last season. This year, he says he’s even faster, AND he’s added a few more moves to his arsenal, including one that he learned from JPP. He is determined not to be a one year wonder. Plus, he should get more opportunities with the Bucs playing with a lead more often than last year.
- Will Jason Pierre-Paul have more than 12.5 sacks?
He had that many during his first season with the Bucs two years ago and again with the Giants in the 2014 season. However, he hasn’t had more than that since 2011 when he finished with 16.5 sacks. He had 8.5 last season after missing the first 6 games with an injury. I do think he’ll have more than the 12.5 but maybe falls just shy of his career-high 16.5 mark.
- Will the Bucs set a new franchise record for sacks?
The Buccaneers franchise record for most team sacks is 55, set back in the 2000 season. Last year, the Bucs defense finished with 47 sacks, and that was without JPP for six games. Like I said with Shaq, the Bucs will be playing with a lead more often this year, which means more dropbacks for opposing quarterbacks and more opportunities for the defense to pin their ears back and get after the QB. If they can stay healthy, I think this defense could flirt with that 55 number or maybe even surpass it.
- Who will have more tackles, Lavonte David or Devin White?
Last year, Devin White had 91 tackles and missed 3 games. He’s not a rookie anymore, and he’s entering his second season in Todd Bowles system. I expect a big, big year from White, so yes, I do think he’ll end up with more tackles than David but not by much.
- Which corner will have more interceptions, Carlton Davis or Sean Bunting?
Davis may be the best cover corner on the team, but he hasn’t been much of a ballhawk. In two seasons, he’s only come up with one interception despite having 19 passes defended last year. Bunting had three interceptions as a rookie last season and showed that he has a nose for the football. I think the trend continues with Bunting having the most picks this year.
- Will the Bucs set a new franchise record for interceptions?
I doubt it. During the 2002 Super Bowl run, that historic defense finished with an insane 31 interceptions. I don’t think these guys will even come close to that. Not yet. However, this is a young, talented secondary. If they can stay healthy and the Bucs can keep them together for a couple more years, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them make a push for that record eventually.
- Will any Bucs players be in the mix for NFL MVP?
It’s not going to surprise me one bit if Tom Brady is in the running for MVP this season. Especially if he puts up the kind of numbers that I think he could put up with all these offensive weapons. If he finishes with more than 5,500 yards and 45 touchdowns AND the Bucs make the playoffs, how could he not be under consideration for it?
- Will any Bucs player be in the mix for Defensive Player of the Year?
As I said before, I think Devin White is in for a big year. Peter Schrager from NFL Networks Good Morning Football thinks that White could end up being in the race for Defensive Player of the Year, and I agree. With all the prime time games this year, more people are going to get to know all about that young man and realize that he’s already one of the top linebackers in football. Shaq Barrett could be in the mix as well, but my money is on White.
- Will the Bucs win more or less than 10 games?
Yep. They weren’t far from it last season, DESPITE all the turnovers. The Bucs won seven games last season. Two losses came due to missed field goals that should’ve been made (hence the new kicker), and at least three games were lost due to turnovers (hence the new quarterback). That’s five more games that they could’ve won, bringing them to 12 wins. I’m adding one more in there just because and will say that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go 13-3 this season. Yeah, I said it.
- Could this Bucs offense set a new NFL record for most points in a season?
Possibly. This Buccaneers offense is one of the most talented that I’ve ever seen on paper. They still have to go out there and execute. However, they have the weapons to be one of the best offenses ever assembled. Back in 2013, the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos set the current NFL record with 606 points. That’s 38 points per game. That’s a bunch. That broke the record set by the New England Patriots in 2007 with 589 points averaging 37 points per game. That team was led by one Tom Brady. So if there’s any team that could challenge that record, it’s this one.
- Will the Bucs be the first team in NFL history to host a Super Bowl in their home stadium?
Yes, they will. It’s going to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for Super Bowl LV.
- Will the Bucs win that Super Bowl?
Yes, they will. The Buccaneers will win their second Super Bowl in franchise history.
This is going to be a fun season to watch. The offense is going to be explosive. The defense is going to be relentless, and the wins are going to be plentiful. The Bucs haven’t had more than 10 wins since the 2005 season. They haven’t been in the playoffs since the 2007 season, and they haven’t won a playoff game since the 2002 Super Bowl run. Well, that’s all going to change this year. And it all starts on Sunday against the Saints.
Until then, as always…GO BUCS!!!