3 Reasons That Prove The Buccaneers Are Being Underrated

Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL Analysis Network

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers deserve a round of applause for how well they pivoted away from Tom Brady.

While the Patriots slowly eroded without their quarterback, the Buccaneers managed to get better. Just one year after losing the most accomplished quarterback of all time, the team was back in the playoffs with an even better record.

The Buccaneers are not stopping there, either.

Here are three reasons why Tampa Bay is flying too far under the radar heading into 2024.

1. Baker Mayfield continues to prove doubters wrong

Baker Mayfield was kicked to the curb for Deshaun Watson. Then, he was kicked to the curb in Carolina. The Los Angeles Rams decided he wasn’t a fit. However, the Buccaneers took a chance on the quarterback and he managed to pull out a playoff appearance and a positive record in his first season with the team.

At many points, fans and analysts moved on from the quarterback mentally, but Mayfield managed to bring his career back from the brink in a way few have. As such, he should not be doubted this season.

2. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are back

Heading into the offseason, doubts swirled about whether the Mike Evans-Chris Godwin duo would survive the spring. Well, the Buccaneers managed to keep both around for the 2024 season. While some teams are starting over at wide receiver, the Buccaneers are gearing up for one more go of it with two massive pieces.

Evans has never had a sub-1000-yard season in ten years in the league. Ergo, one can sign him up for another. In addition, Godwin also hasn’t missed the 1000-yard mark since 2020 and has only failed to achieve it once since the start of the 2019 season.

Mayfield has plenty of ammunition at his disposal.

3. NFC South remains unproven

Of course, it isn’t just about the strength of the Buccaneers. It’s also about the weakness of the NFC South.

There is a realistic chance that the Buccaneers could already have a de facto 5-1 record they can count on thanks to their six divisional games. This would make the path to an above .500 record much easier.

After a decade in the league, fans know to set a mid-level bar for Derek Carr-led teams, so we probably shouldn’t expect anything special from the New Orleans Saints.

New Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming off an Achilles injury that ended his 2023 season early. Now, sharing a room with Michael Penix Jr. might be too much pressure for him to perform well.

Meanwhile, Bryce Young has shown little reason to believe he can be counted on this year with the Carolina Panthers.

Put simply, the Buccaneers might be the team with the best chance in the division of breaking through this season.

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