At 44-years-old, Tom Brady is still doing the unthinkable. Playing professional football at an extremely high level in his mid-40s.
A few years ago, Brady was winning Super Bowls in New England, Bruce Arians was retired, and the Bucs stacked losing season after losing season. Tampa Bay is now the epicenter of the football world. They start their title defense tonight when the Dallas Cowboys come into town to kick off the 2021 NFL season.
The Bucs bring back all 22 starters from last year's championship team. The first time that has ever happened in the NFL. Are the stars aligning up for another Super Bowl run? Or is father time finally going to catch up with Tom Brady? Our season preview of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Todd Bowles brings back a dominant unit that chased Patrick Mahomes out of the stadium last year in the Super Bowl.
Upfront, they have one of the fiercest defensive lines in all of football. Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh will be the anchors inside with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett coming off the edge. The Bucs also added Joe Tryon in the first round, who has looked very good in training camp according to reports.
Devin White and Lavonte David are two of the best linebackers in the NFL. They are the heart and soul of this defense. When you watch the Bucs play, 45 and 54 jump off the screen. Their ability to defend both the pass and run at a high level is incredibly impressive. Probably the most fun linebacker duo you will see in the league.
The secondary returns a strong group as well. Carlton Davis enjoyed a nice breakout season last year. He will be lined up with Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean as the other cornerbacks. Antoine Winfield had a strong rookie season and probably had the most memorable photo of the 2020 season.
Can't do that anymore Antoine. 15 yard penalty for having fun.
Every offseason for the past five years, people ask if father time is finally going to catch up to Tom Brady. What Brady has done seems impossible. Many thought the end was here when he did this.
How is this guy still winning Super Bowls in his mid-40s? It doesn't make sense.
The Bucs offense is absolutely loaded. From skill players to the offensive line, they have it all. Let's start with the offensive line. It seems like they have studs at all five positions. Donovan Smith, Tristan Wirfs, Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa, and Ali Marpet are responsible for keeping their middle-aged QB upright. Expect this unit to be one of the best in the league this season.
We all know how good this receiving corps is. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Scotty Miller are back terrorizing opposing secondaries. They all compliment each other's skillsets so well. Out of all the receivers in this group, who do I expect to make the biggest impact? I think it's Antonio Brown. Brown was signed midseason last year after dealing with a series of off-the-field incidents. He also said he played hurt for most of last season. With a full offseason and being healthy, I expect Brown to have a big bounce-back season.
The backfield should be a running back by committee. The Bucs brought back Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones. They also brought in pass-catching back Giovani Bernard. When I see players that switched to single digits, I automatically assume they're going to be better.
Looks like a standard bald running back in the NFL.
Now this guy looks like he was a first-round pick. Fournette had a strong playoffs last season and I expect him to be the lead back on early downs.
BEST VALUE FANTASY PLAYER
There are a ridiculous amount of mouths to feed in this offense. I mentioned AB earlier and I'll stick with that pick. He is easily the third receiver on the Bucs coming off draft boards. He might not look like the days in Pittsburgh, but I think he going to have a very solid season.
TOTAL WIN PREDICTION
I'm taking the over 11.5 wins. Something tragic has to happen to this team for them not to win 12 games. They're the best team in the NFC South by a mile. Don't overthink this.
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