ESPN has an absolutely brutal prediction for the Buccaneers in 2024

Once again the Bucs are getting utterly disrespected.
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacksonville Jaguars v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

As we reach a lull in the NFL offseason, eyes are starting to turn toward the future and what next season might hold. Once again, much like last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are being picked to do absolutely nothing notable.

Last year the Bucs were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league following the retirement of Tom Brady. There was no way, in the eyes of analysts and experts, that a team that was lifted up so much by Brady would stand on its own without him.

As it turns out, that was a massive miscalculation and a complete misunderstanding of how the Bucs are run. Jason Licht responded to the negativity by crafting a team that won a third straight division title and punched a ticket to the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year.

Despite all of this, the Bucs are once again being forced to grow the chip that's already on their shoulder.

ESPN predicts Buccaneers will take a massive step back in 2024

In their annual Football Power Index ratings, which breaks down everything from win projections to playoff and Super Bowl chances, ESPN absolutely buried the Buccaneers.

ESPN has the Bucs finishing in the bottom ten in the league and third place in the NFC South. Keep in mind that this comes a year after the Bucs were within reach of the NFC Championship Game and nobody in the division got significantly better.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, brought back every single piece that made last season work as well as some new additions like Jordan Whitehead and Randy Gregory, but none of that seems to matter.

Not only did the Buccaneers take a huge step back according to ESPN's rankings, but the FPI projection for Tampa Bay has the team with just a 33 percent chance of making the playoffs.

The Bears, Colts, and Jaguars all have better odds of making the Super Bowl than the Bucs, so let that sink in for a moment.

It's not entirely surprising to see the Bucs get disrespected like this, as it's seemingly come with the territory ever since Tom Brady retired. Everyone seems to think that team is automatically going to regress to the afterthought it was for most of the decade prior to Brady's arrival, but these predictions simply tell that nobody is actually paying attention to the Bucs.

Tampa Bay won't have an easy road, but their path toward being as good if not better than last year isn't the mountain climbing expedition it's being made out to be. The Falcons got better but created a mess at quarterback, the Saints haven't done much to significantly improve, and the Panthers are still widely expected to be among the worst teams in the league.

Last year the Bucs were fueled by a chip on their shoulder after getting counted down and out before the season even started. That ended with the team reaching the NFC Divison Round and it seems the disrespect is something else being run back in Tampa Bay this season.

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