NFC South Preview
August 29th, 2016
Out with Lovie Smith and in with Dirk Koetter, a strained move no doubt, that supposedly looks after the best interest of the of the team by protecting the development of top draft pick Jameis Winston. You can’t fault anyone for having big expectations on how this team is going to perform, when such a bold move is made. Winston has a plethora of receivers to throw the ball to, as well a top three RB, and a top ten pass catching RB. He showed just enough last season for fans to lobby for even more, but actually getting more is whole different story.
Much like the Falcons, this defense has turned over almost 50% of its starters with trades and FA acquisitions. All sound players with high ceilings, but can they gel with enough time for the Bucs to make a run. DC Mike Smith has his hands full, but he has some personnel to work with, so things are looking up.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins has one heck of a TE body, and if the kid can figure things out, the Bucs may be sitting on an offensive goldmine. He’s already flashed glimpses of brilliance and unstoppability, (yes that’s not a word, but totally applicable here) so the ceiling is rightfully high. Keep an eye on ASF and don’t forget about the Bucs secret weapon.
Offensively Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin will steal the show and Winston just has to protect the football. But if Martin goes down, and even if he doesn’t Charles Sims is just as an important part of this offense as anyone. He’s a great change of pace back already, with exceptional hands and pass catching ability, but he’ll also be an effective garbage time back, who could handle 20 carries per game if necessary. This offense needs him.
If you think Doug Martin has another year in him, than you shouldn’t pass him up at the end of the first round or early second round. His injury history makes him a risky pick, but that offense should free him up… don’t be scared.
This team has a punchers chance at a wild card, and is built similarly to the Falcons. A lot of their tougher matchups are also at home, which should make for some interesting outcomes as the get visits from Seattle, Denver and St. Louis, but still have to travel to Kansas City and Arizona. This is a 9-7 team, but look for the growing pains of a new HC and all new defense to result in an 8-8 record.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a +3.0 point Road Underdog vs. the Atlanta Falcons in NFL Week 1. Get all of your NFL regular season odds from the PST odds section.