Buccaneers’ Final Record: A Pewter Plank Roundtable

Feb 24, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 14, 2016; Tampa Bay, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith (right) talks with cornerback Alterraun Verner (21) works out during mini camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Tampa Bay, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith (right) talks with cornerback Alterraun Verner (21) works out during mini camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

James Yarcho

My prediction – albeit optimistic – is 10-6.  The schedule isn’t nearly as scary as we all thought when it was released, and it appears the Bucs may catch some teams at opportune times.

As I said in my NFC South predictions piece, the big measuring sticks for the Bucs will be games at home against Seattle and Denver, as well as on the road against Arizona and Carolina.  I don’t think the Bucs are quite at the level of the Seahawks or Cardinals yet, but I do believe they can beat Denver at home as well as the Panthers.

Facing the Falcons twice, a Dallas team that will likely be without Romo, the Chargers, 49ers, and Rams all present favorable matchups for the Bucs as they take their next step towards contention.

It all starts at Atlanta, where a fast start is crucial.  The Falcons have won eight straight home openers, but the Bucs are going to try and take it to another level for the return of defensive coordinator Mike Smith.

Next: Alan Schechter