After winning the second Super Bowl in franchise history last season, many are predicting the Buccaneers will struggle to get back to the Super Bowl. I think the Bucs could be better than last season on both sides of the ball.
Here is my game by game predictions for the 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers :
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There are two ways to look at this game. This could be a trap game for the Buccaneers right out of the gate even though Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has not played in almost a year. He will be excited to get back out on the field and prove to everyone he is still a top-tier NFL quarterback. The Bucs were terrible in prime-time games last season, going 1-4. The Bucs will break that prime time curse Thursday night and beat the Cowboys in the opener. 1-0
Outside of adding TE Kyle Pitts, the Falcons did little to upgrade their roster. They traded wide receiver Julio Jones, to Tennessee. They are hoping that Calvin Ridley is ready to step in and fill those big shoes. Defensively the Falcons remain so-so. As a result, this will be another win for the Bucs as they go to 2-0.
Los Angeles Rams
This is always a tough trip for the Bucs, although they put 51 points on the Rams defense the last time they went to LA. The Rams have one of the best defenses in the league. The Rams offense will be much improved with Matt Stafford at quarterback. However, the Bucs will lose this one to fall to 2-1.
At New England Patriots
This is a game that both Brady and Belichick have circled on their calendars since it was announced. If the Bucs only win one game, this would indeed be the game that they would want to win. Rookie Mac Jones is the quarterback in New England, the first time the Patriots under Belichick have started the season with a rookie quarterback. Bucs will put this one in the win column in a game that could rival the Super Bowl for the millions that will watch this game. 3-1
Brian Flores has done an excellent job of rebuilding the Dolphins on both sides of the ball. The Dolphins should be in contention for a wildcard spot. However, the Dolphins are still a ways away from the Bucs talent level. Bucs win this one by ten. 4-1
At Philadelphia Eagles
The Bucs and Eagles have had some legendary matchups through the years. The Bucs will be facing another second-year highly touted quarterback in Jalen Hurts. The Eagles are still struggling defensively and along the offensive line. Bucs win this one on the road to go to 5-1 on the season.
This game will be a more compelling matchup if Justin Fields is the starter instead of Andy Dalton. Matt Nagy can’t seem to help himself when it comes to making poor decisions. This is a game regardless of quarterback that the Bucs should win easily. Buccaneers improve to 6-1 on the season.
At New Orleans Saints
I don’t know what team will want to this game will more. Jameis Winston wanting to beat his former team, or the Buccaneers wishing to beat their former quarterback on his home turf. This will be a close game. The Saints (which has proven to be the Buc’s biggest rivalry the last few seasons) will be sky high for this game. Saints win this one to give the Bucs their second loss of the season. 6-2
The Bucs return to DC for a rematch of last year’s wildcard playoff matchup. This game will be a lot closer than many people think. Washington returns an outstanding defense that could rival the Rams along the defensive line. Washington will have moved on from Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback, but it won’t matter. Bucs win a nail-biter to go to 7-2 on the season.
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New York Giants
The Giants improved this off-season offensively by adding Kenny Golladay to their wide receiver room. They also get running back Saquon Barkley back after missing most of last season with a torn ACL. However, It won’t matter. The Giants will be the dregs of the NFC East. Bucs will win this one fairly easily at home. 8-2.
At Indianapolis Colts
This was the 17th game added to the Buccaneer’s schedule. The Colts could be out of playoff contention at this point. Their schedule is brutal, and Carson Wentz can’t stay healthy. This game could be a close for a half, but the Bucs will pull away in the second half and win this game. 9-2
At Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons always play the Bucs tough in Atlanta. This year should be no different. It will be close, but the Bucs have too much talent and are the superior team—another road win for the Bucs to go to 10-2 on the season. 10-2
This game, according to some football experts, could be a Super Bowl preview. Josh Allen is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. He made significant strides from year one to year two and will continue to grow and learn in year three. Allen will have a tough day against the highly touted Buccaneer defense. Bucs get their 11th win of the season. 11-2
New Orleans Saints
The Bucs welcome Jameis Winston back to Raymond James Stadium in a prime-time Sunday night affair. However, it will not be a pleasant homecoming. The Bucs will however have revenge on their minds. The Saints will again be reminded why the Bucs let Jameis Winston walk. Meanwhile, the Bucs defense creates five turnovers, and the Bucs take care of business against the Saints. 12-2
At Carolina Panthers
It’s week 15, and the Bucs are getting their first look at the Panthers. Matt Ruhle has a great offensive mind, but Sam Darnold is not the answer at quarterback in Carolina. I would not be surprised to see PJ Walker under center at this point in the season. Bucs will win this win easily. 13-2.
At New York Jets
The Jets fans will be looking forward to the 2022 NFL draft and talking about who they can get with a top-five pick. The Jets will show some improvement but not enough to get out of the AFC East cellar. Zach Wilson will struggle his rookie season. Another easy win for the Bucs on the road. 14-2.
The Bucs wrap up at home against their NFC South opponents. With the NFC South division title in hand and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs wrapped up, this will seem more like an exhibition game. The Bucs will rest their starters as Blaine Gabbert will start at quarterback. The Panthers will win this one against the Buccaneer backups. 14-3.
The Buccaneers will finish the season 14-3, win the NFC South, and secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Buccaneers will beat two NFC West teams on their road to the Super Bowl. The Bucs will beat the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round before hosting the Rams in the NFC Championship game.
This will be a rematch of their week three matchup in Los Angeles. This time the results will be different. The Bucs defeat the Rams and will advance to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
The Bucs will play the Cleveland Browns in Super Bowl 56. The city of Cleveland will go crazy for the Browns to be in the Super Bowl for the first time in their history. However, it will not end well for the Browns. The Buccaneers will nevertheless win their second straight Super Bowl and will take their place in history as one of the best teams of all time.
Additionally, here are some Buccaneer milestones that will be reached in 2021:
- Tom Brady passes for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns.
- Ronald Jones rushes for 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
- Mike Evans will get his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season.
- Antonio Brown will have 1,000 yards receiving, giving the Bucs two 1,000 yard receivers.
- Rookie Jaelon Darden will be the top returner in the NFL.
- The Bucs offense and defense will lead the league and finish number one in their respective categories.
- Shaq Barrett will lead the league in sacks.
In February, I will see everyone at the boat parade celebrating a Super Bowl win and another successful Buccaneer season.