4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2022 Record: 8-9
2023 Projected Win Total: 6.5
Key Additions: Baker Mayfield, Matt Feiler, Ryan Neal, Greg Gaines, Calijah Kancey, and Cody Mauch
Key Losses: Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Donovan Smith, Shaq Mason, Akiem Hicks, and Sean Murphy-Bunting
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won eight games last year, which was somehow good enough to win the NFC South. After a brutal offseason in which they lost a ton of key pieces on offense, they are expected to win just six games and be one of the worst teams in the NFL.
When I say they had a brutal offseason, I’m not exaggerating. Tom Brady decided to hang up his cleats and retire, Donovan Smith signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, and they traded Shaq Mason to the Houston Texans. These are three huge losses for their offense.
They did sign Baker Mayfield in free agency, but that is a major downgrade from Tom Brady, and their offensive line is in rough shape outside of Tristan Wirfs. Even though they have a lot of talent in their receiving core with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on the roster, it’s going to be impossible for their offense to produce with a sub-par quarterback and offensive line.
Their defense could also take a step back after losing Akiem Hicks and Sean Murphy-Bunting, but they’re still pretty good on that side of the ball. Their defense is not good enough to carry the team, though.
If Baker Mayfield plays well, the Buccaneers could outperform their projected win total, which is extremely low. However, Mayfield hasn’t been an above-average quarterback since 2020, and his offensive line is probably going to struggle next season. Considering this, it’s hard to imagine the Buccaneers being anywhere near as good as they were last season, and they had a losing record.
Buccaneers fans, I regret to inform you that your Sundays are going to be painful this fall.