3 reasons the Buccaneers will go over their projected win total in 2023

No one is really giving the Buccaneers a shot to do much in 2023, but there is reason to believe they can
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Evans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Evans / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
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The Bucs' defense is better than we might think

For a second, just take a look at how health affected the Bucs' defense last year.

Games missed by key Buccaneer defenders in 2022:

  • Shaquil Barrett: 9
  • Carlton Davis: 4
  • Antoine Winfield Jr.: 4
  • Vita Vea: 3

The big one, here, is obviously Barrett, who was coming off a season where he posted 10.0 sacks in 2021. But, the defense as a whole was not as healthy as fans would have liked to see. Getting these guys back and all on the field, as much as possible, will be a big benefit to an already-good defense.

Last season, the Bucs finished as a top-10 passing defense, believe it or not. They also finished 15th against the run. With all of the focus on Tom Brady and the offense struggling at times, we forget just how formidable the other side of the ball was.

Speaking of Brady and the offense, it sure didn't help the defense that Tampa's offense was 28th in time of possession last year. That defense was on the field more often than not, and it's hard enough to play great football without some of your best players. But, you add in losing the time of possession battle, and it gets even tougher.

Not only was it a good unit in 2022, but the Bucs defense also added a monstrous piece up front in the draft, by selecting Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey in the first round. Some pre-draft scouting reports had called him a mini version of Aaron Donald, and even being mentioned in that same breath is an enormous compliment.

3 Bucs players who could get cut before playing a snap. dark. Next. 3 Bucs who could be cut before playing a snap