The 2022 version of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will again be a talented one, maybe not as talented as the 2020 Super Bowl team and maybe not as good as last year’s team. This is a team that has some question marks. If those question marks get answered with favorable outcomes, this team could be better than last season’s playoff team. The problem with this equation is that it only looks at one variable — meaning that it concentrates primarily on how good or bad the Bucs might be this year. The obvious next variable is the rest of the NFL, or more so, our schedule.
There is no doubt that the rest of the league is better, especially the AFC. The Chiefs, Patriots, Browns, Ravens, Colts, Bengals, Chargers, and Bills will all be better. Now throw in the Broncos, who have vaulted into contention thanks to the Seahawks dealing Russel Wilson, then there are still the Titans, Raiders, Steelers, and even the Dolphins, who should be better, or at least no worse. The Bucs face five of those teams. Now consider the NFC: The Cowboys, Packers, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams, Eagles, and Saints will all be as good or better than last season. The Lions, Vikings, Falcons, and Commanders should have better records than last season. The Bucs play six of those teams. The Bucs could easily be better than last season but find themselves with fewer wins.
So it’s easy to predict that this coming season is going to be hugely entertaining, with more knockdown drag-outs than last season. It’s also easier to predict more L’s behind our W’s. With this season probably Brady’s last — as an NFL player — it would be an understatement for me to say how much Bucs fans want to see him go out with an eighth ring. I just don’t reasonably see the Bucs able to climb that mountain to the top this season. The wonderful thing about it all is that no one can for sure say yes, they will, or no, they won’t definitively. That’s why they line’em up because anything can and will sometimes: Happen. One thing this writer can say is that it’s going to be a tougher journey than any of Brady’s prior two seasons here. If nothing else, we get one more season with the Goat, and I see nothing negative about that. Go Bucs!!