Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the Super Bowl 52 Champions. You heard it here first. Some of you might ask “Why?” or “How?”. Others are saying “No Way”. I have provided you with five very good reasons why this is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers year.
5. Patriots, Saints, Falcons, Oh my!
The Tampa Bay Bucs have the 14th easiest schedule in 2017, according to cbssports.com. The Buccaneers toughest games are against the Patriots, Saints, and Falcons. No Super Bowl champion has won back-to-back Super Bowl’s since the 2004-2005 New England Patriots. New England has very high expectations this year, and they have several weapons to win again.
However, the Bucs’ defense will light up the dominant Patriots’ offense this year. With Kwon Alexander coming off a monster year and Brent Grimes taking control of the secondary, the Bucs can beat the Patriots this year.
Next, the New Orleans Saints. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is growing old, but nothing is stopping him from putting up big time numbers every Sunday. The key to beating the Saints this year is to not turn the ball over. Last year, the Bucs had two turnovers in the loss against the Saints and lost by one touchdown. When the Buccaneers won last season, Drew Brees threw three interceptions. The Buccaneers will outlast the Saints this year as long as Jameis Winston makes the right decisions.
Finally, we have the Super-Bowl runner-up Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons lost the Super Bowl and, although they are mad and determined to get back, the numbers are not on their side. Two years ago, the 15-1 Carolina Panthers went to the Super Bowl and lost. One year ago, the Carolina Panthers finished an atrocious season at 6-10. The Atlanta Falcons are also going downhill. The Falcons had an amazing defense last year, and that’s what set up all those great red zone touchdowns. However, cornerback Jalen Collins just got suspended 10 games for his second PED violation. His backup will not be able to stay with DeSean Jackson or Mike Evans. The Buccaneers can grab two more wins this season against the Falcons.
4. The Defense
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wanted to build a dominant defense, and this year they got what they asked for. The three interior defensive linemen – Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, and newly acquired Chris Baker – might be the scariest front-three an offensive line has ever seen. Gerald McCoy led the team in sacks with seven, and he also went to his fifth straight Pro Bowl.
The opposing offensive lines are going to have their hands full with these three guys, but it doesn’t stop here. Robert Ayers and Noah Spence are on the outside along with Will Gholston.
The Buccaneers were ninth in the NFL last year with 38 sacks and this year they’re shooting for way more. Kwon Alexander, Vernon Hargreaves, and Lavonte David are going to be the players to watch this season, as they are the leaders of the defense. Watch out for these guys, opposing teams: they are going to be everywhere.
3. Coach Dirk Koetter
Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston are finally on the same page. Coach Koetter says that “he is working closely with Jameis and having him take more control of the offense.”
By doing this, Jameis Winston gets to run his plays that he’s comfortable with. Some other NFL quarterbacks and coaches who have done this are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, Drew Brees and Sean Payton, Peyton Manning and Gary Kubiak. That’s also a list of players and coaches who will go to the Hall of Fame.
This process that Coach Koetter is installing is one of the reasons Jameis will join this elite group of quarterbacks hopefully with a Super Bowl ring.
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2. The Veterans
There are veterans on every NFL team and those veterans turned to legends when they win a championship. These three veterans will become legends after this season: DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans, and Brent Grimes.
DeSean Jackson is not human. At 30 years old, he continues to get better. Last year, he almost doubled his amount of receptions going from 30 in 2015 to 56 in 2016. Did I mention that he had 528 yards last year? He is a machine and likely to be Jameis Winston’s number two receiver behind Mike Evans.
Evans was 11th in the NFL with 1,206 receiving yards last year. He was 10th in the NFL in yards per game with 80. Defensive backs are going to have a very, very tough time keeping these two out of the end zone.
Finally, we have Brent Grimes. Brent Grimes and Keith Tandy both intercepted 4 passes last year. Brent and Keith are going to have a lot of contests this year going against Pro Bowl receivers like Julio Jones and Jordy Nelson.
1. Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston is the captain now. Look for him to dominate these next couple years just as he did in college at Florida State. Jameis is more of a passing quarterback, and by giving him more dangerous weapons (such as O.J. Howard and DeSean Jackson) alongside Cameron Brate and Mike Evans, this team is determined to get to the Super Bowl.