Joe isn’t sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports decided to cobble together a list of his 10 Bold Predictions for the second half of the NFL season. And his No. 6 bold prediction hits home. It involves the Bucs.
6. Tom Brady leads Bucs to playoffs
Despite still sitting as the betting favorite to win the NFC South, the Buccaneers have already been buried by some, which makes this prediction worthy of being bold in my eyes. So far, Tampa Bay hasn’t given you much belief that it’ll reach the postseason. Entering Week 9, the Bucs are two games under .500, rank 25th in the NFL in points per game and sit dead-last in rushing yards per game and yards per carry. It hasn’t been pretty.
All that said, we’ve come to learn that it’s never wise to count out Tom Brady. Throughout the first half of the year, Brady had to balance football with marital issues. With the former couple announcing the finalization of their divorce last week, you would think that a heavy weight has been lifted for all parties involved. Does that mean Brady is immediately going to start playing better? Who knows? But it can’t hurt, right?
It’s also worth pointing out that the Buccaneers’ wide receiver room was banged up through the first half and are now healthy. If Brady and the offense can get back to where they were a year ago and couple it with a defense that is still a top-five unit in the NFL, Tampa Bay will go on a run that has them in the playoffs when the dust settles on the regular season.
Joe wasn’t aware the Bucs are still the betting favorite to win the division. Joe pointed out yesterday that Football Outsiders, using their homegrown formula, are a coin flip (52 percent on winning the division) on whether the Bucs will win the division or not.
Of course, no one has factored in Shaq Barrett’s injury. Joe thinks that is going to hurt a lot. He was really the Bucs’ only edge rusher. Without him expect more completed passes. This is going to put additional pressure on failing Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to kick-start his offense, and quickly.
Thus far, Leftwich hasn’t demonstrated he has the magic elixir.
But boldly saying the Bucs will make the playoffs? Guess this franchise really has slipped that much in the eyes of the nation.
This content was originally published here.