Many people in the football world consider the NFC South to be the toughest division in the NFL. Playing the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and the Carolina Panthers twice every season is not the easiest job in the world; however, 2017 is the Bucs’ year.
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By adding veteran receiver DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard (Alabama), Jameis Winston is determined to lead his team to the division title. Last season, Winston and Co. finished 2nd in the NFC South with a winning record of 9-7. The Falcons were at the top with an 11-5 record then came the Saints in 3rd at 7-9, and the Carolina Panthers in 4th at 6-10. The Buccaneers started last season against the Atlanta Falcons. The Buccaneers won that game 31-24. The Bucs next division game was against the Panthers Week 5. Bucs won 17-14. Later in the season they took on the Saints Week 14 and won by 5.
Throughout all of last season the Buccaneers proved they can compete, even beating the Super Bowl runner-up Atlanta Falcons. The only struggle last season was the defense ranking 22nd in both run and pass defense. That will most likely change this year with Kwon Alexander coming off a monster year and the re-signing of safety Chris Conte to a 2 year, $5 million deal.
The Buccaneers open the 2017 regular season in Miami against Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. The Bucs hope to have a similar Week 1 as last years coming out with a win.