Where do Buccaneers rank among division winners likely to repeat in 2024?

Now that the NFL schedule is out, where do the Bucs rank as far as their chances to repeat as division winners in 2024?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages
4 of 8

No. 5: Houston Texans

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

With all due respect to Detroit, Houston was the true breakout team last season. After a 3-13-1 season in 2022, the Texans finished 2023 with a 10-7 mark and won the AFC South for the first time since 2019, in large part to the stout play of Offensive Rookie of the Year CJ Stroud.

Last season, Houston's defense was a weaker point than their offense, giving up averages of 20.2 points and 351.6 yards per game. Improving the unit in free agency was a clear goal for general manager Nick Caserio, who signed defensive ends Danielle Hunter and Denico Autry, defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, middle linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, and cornerbacks Desmond King and Jeff Okudah.

That said, Caserio still improved the Texans' offense considerably, with the trades for four-time Pro Bowler Stefon Diggs and Bengals running back Joe Mixon, along with a three-year, $36 million re-signing of tight end Dalton Schultz. With dual-threat standout receivers Tank Dell and Nico Collins, and former second-round pick John Metchie III, and power running back Dameon Pierce all still on the roster, Stroud has a plethora of weapons to throw to in 2024.

While Houston is the favorite to repeat, they were just one game better than Jacksonville and Indianapolis in the standings, with the former suffering a major collapse that gave the Texans the division crown. With strong draft classes by the Jaguars and the Colts, along with the Titans with second-year quarterback Will Levis, the Texans aren't as secure as the 49ers, Chiefs, or Lions in repeating as division champs.