Tampa Bay Buccaneers still the team to beat in the NFC

Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers are still the team to beat. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, they have won free agency so far, and they also have a chance to win in the draft too. Winning the draft would be hard for the Bucs given their pick, but as the undisputed champs of the past few months, it’s hard to rule anything out in Tampa.

While Tampa Bay still hasn’t signed any outside free agents as of yet, the return of every key free agent except for Antonio Brown is enough to crown the Bucs champs of the free agency period so far, especially in the NFC.

The rest of the NFC has been scrambling to catch up to Tampa after they shot up the relevance totem pole. For a team that failed to make the playoffs just a few years ago, a Super Bowl win now felt all but impossible. But the Buccaneers have laid down the framework for a quick turnaround, and now, the other teams are trying to recreate that success.

The Buccaneers own the NFC

Fortunately for the Bucs, no one else is close. The NFC is clearly the weaker conference, at least for now, and the news from each conference rival inspires little confidence in their ability to post a quick turnaround.

After years of playing fast and loose with the cap space, the Saints had to gut most of their roster. Several big-name stars are on their way out, and without a clear starting quarterback on the roster, New Orleans is in for a rough couple of years.

Moving north, the Seahawks and the Packers are still smoothing things out with their starting quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are clearly somewhat upset with their current situations, and both teams have questionably done very little to support their MVP-caliber quarterbacks this offseason.

Outside of these main contenders, the Buccaneers are clearly head and shoulders above everyone else. The NFC East is still irrelevant until Dak Prescott returns from injury, Matt Nagy is slowly running the Bears into the ground, Kirk Cousins scares no one, and the NFC West, while dominant, should devour itself during intense regular season play.

In the second-easiest division outside of the NFC East, the Bucs should be able to cruise to a division title against Sam Darnold, an aging Matt Ryan, and whoever the Saints limp out with.

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With a division title and potential home-field advantage, the Buccaneers should be in a great position to repeat in the NFC Championship, but still, they’ve also proven they can do all of that without the benefits and advantages too.

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