Sep
06
2020

The Fuel Tank: The Buccaneers’ “Super Team” Will Plunder This Season

Hello, football fans and welcome to the Fuel Tank! In this exciting column, we will be breaking down one of the hottest NFL news topics and then I will be giving my viewpoint on the topic while breaking down why the opposition is false. Please don’t bash anyone or post any hateful comments as everyone has a right to their own opinion! With that said, let’s jump right into today’s story.

Over-hyped teams are a commonality in the NFL as they are supposed to make their mark in the given season, yet they undoubtedly fail miserably and have terrible seasons. Victims of the trend last season were the always over-hyped Dallas Cowboys who haven’t done anything since the ’90s and the Rams who have had a long list of issues that would take too long to describe. This trend happens every year and I believe it will fall upon the newly dubbed “super team”: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This falls upon three key fallacies:

1. Rob Gronkowski

Gronk is known as one of the best tight ends to ever play in the NFL as he came out of retirement to play with Brady in Tampa. While his greatness holds true, I could see this acquisition flopping and this is largely due to injury concerns. Gronk hasn’t played a full-length season since his 2011 campaign and he has missed a grand total of 13 games between his last three seasons with most of the time being near the most critical instances (playoffs, Super Bowl, and near the end of the season). We have a high possibility of seeing him injured again and who knows how many games he’ll be out if he is. It could be a repeat of 2016 when he was out nearly half the season.

Another point is that he just came from a year off and that usually doesn’t sit well in the NFL. A prime example is when Randy Moss came back into the league in 2012 and joined the San Francisco 49ers. He had one of the worst years in his career while only gaining 434 receiving yards and three touchdowns, which is pretty horrid for a player of his caliber. Another example would be Ricky Williams who joined the Dolphins in 2005 after he retired from the league in 2004. He had an atrocious season with only having 743 rushing yards and six touchdowns and we must not forget that this was a running back who had come off an impressive four-year 1,000-yard season stretch. So, a year-off doesn’t bold well in this grueling league.

2. Tom Brady

You knew this was coming. It is said every year that Brady will plunder due to age and he then proves us wrong, but I believe that THIS is the year that claim comes to fruition.

Tom Terrific is 43 years old and this past season showed us that age might be approaching him. He was among the lower end of the stick in pass completion percentage with 60.8% and he had 6.6 yards per pass attempt, which is the lowest he has seen since 2002. This shows opposing defensive coordinators that as long as they keep every short route heavily guarded, then their chances of winning would blow through the roof. Yes, he may have his weapons in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Leonard Fournette, yet it feels as though some of those pawns may fall too early. Just my two cents.

3. Offensive Line

An offensive line that allowed 47 sacks last season is a bit worrisome for Brady who is the exact opposite of a mobile quarterback. While he does have the durability still within him, the offensive line must perform beautifully this season or the plunder will begin with them. The Buccaneers have added first-round pick Tristan Wirfs and center Ryan Jensen to help bolster the o-line, but I feel as though the sack numbers won’t diminish as much as people would expect.

I would say this is one of the major points to this. If the offensive line falls, the entire offense falls and I feel as though not many people understand their importance as much as other positions.

Addressing the other side

They’ll scorch the NFC South!

You must be forgetting about two adrenaline-fueled teams that’ll give the Buccaneers a run for their money: the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. The Saints, led by future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, are just as stacked as the Buccaneers in terms of their offense and defense as this is largely due to WR Micheal Thomas, CB Marshon Lattimore, SS Malcolm Jenkins, and multiple others that I haven’t mentioned. On the other side of the coin, the Panthers have a new quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater that could bring them glory along with one of the best RB’s in the league in Christian McCaffrey. Also, due to multiple additions to their defense (especially in the draft), their defense may be a concern for their offense.

The Atlanta Falcons shouldn’t be forgotten about either. While they did go 7-9 last season, they had a 4-2 record against the division, which shows that they’ll be a tough opponent once they step onto the field again.

But Tom Brady has always proved us wrong

He has done it multiple times and that should never be denied. Even though that holds true, with what I saw from him last season showed me that time is indeed catching up to him as he wasn’t his usual G.O.A.T status. We can look back at the last few games of last season and his playoff game against the Titans for evidence of that.

Did you forget our defense?

I didn’t as your defense pretty solid all around and they’re ranked in the top-10 defenses going into 2020 which was made by PFF. I have absolutely no quarrels with it whatsoever.

What are your thoughts on this topic? I understand that is a piping hot take, but I don’t believe they’ll make the Super Bowl as they are predicted to do so. They are an amazing team, yet everyone is hyping it more than it actually should. Be sure to leave a comment down below to join the discussion and thanks for reading.