November 25, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) scores a touchdown as Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Mike Peterson (53) defends in the first quarter of the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Three Bold Predictions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013: Record Setting Doug Martin and More

You heard me!

That’s the fairly famous catch phrase used by Matthew Berry of ESPN on his yearly bold predictions column for fantasy football. In the article, he states his more outlandish expectations for players, the ones that are “less likely” to be reached, the ones that involve a but of a gut feeling. It’s the calls he won’t make officially, for fear of misleading his audience, but he’ll predict these numbers and outcomes in this annual column to show just how strongly he feels about certain players in the NFL.

That’s what I am going to do for the Buccaneers in this article. I am going to present three bold predictions that I will not be brave or foolish enough to include in any “official” predictions before the season begins, but that I feel can happen, and that show how strongly I feel about the players involved. Remember, these are things that I believe can happen, and that my instincts tell me will happen, but they are not logical to predict with any level of certainty.

Here they are:

  • Doug Martin is going to set every Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running back record, and do so by a good margin in some cases. He needs to clear 1544 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground to break James Wilder‘s records, and I am calling for Martin to have over 1650 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground in 2013. He’s developing into an incredible running back right before our eyes in camps and practices, and is set to improve upon his incredible rookie campaign. Add in Martin’s receiving ability, and I am calling for Martin to top 2000 total yards from scrimmage, meaning he’s going to have one of the best seasons for a running back in recent memory.
  • The Buccaneers’ defensive ends, Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn, will combine for 20 sacks and a continued healthy run-stopping amount of tackles for loss. Bowers and Clayborn both have immense talent, and with the incredible Gerald McCoy in the middle causing defenses to adjust to defend him, the Bucs’ ends will have their chances to get after the quarterback. The Buccaneers will get additional pass-rush contributions from Lavonte David and even Mark Barron, and will see their sack totals rise versus last season.
  • The Buccaneers’ defense will finish in the top 10 in the NFL in 2013. With an immensely improved stable of defensive backs, and a reliable group in the front seven with consistently improving players like Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy, the Bucs’ defense is set to have an incredible year. Greg Schiano brought a new mentality to the defense last season, and it needed aggressive players in the box, and talented players in the defensive backfield. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers only had half of the equation last season, and that led to an incredible run defense, with a porous pass defense. That will change in 2013.

What are your bold predictions for the Bucs in 2013? Leave them in the comment section below!

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