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Sign of the Times –

How quickly things change.

Joe doesn’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan has decided to cook up a list of his 10 bold predictions for the second half of the NFL season. And his bold No. 6 prediction hits home. This involves the Bucs.

6. Tom Brady leads the Bucs to the playoffs

While still the betting favorites 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 convincing that it will make the playoffs. Going into Week 9, the Bucs have two games under .500, rank 25th in the NFL in points per game, and are last in rushing yards per game and yards per rush. It hasn’t been pretty.

That said, we’ve learned that counting out Tom Brady is never wise. Throughout the first half of the year, Brady had to balance football with marital issues. As the former couple announced the finalization of their divorce last week, one would think a heavy weight has been lifted for all parties involved. Does that mean Brady will immediately start playing better? Who knows? But it can’t hurt, right?

It’s also worth pointing out that the Buccaneers’ wide reception hall was damaged in the first half and is now in good shape. If Brady and the offense can get back to where they were a year ago and pair him with a defense that’s still one of the top five units in the NFL, Tampa Bay will continue a run that gets them into the playoffs. when the dust settles. on the regular season.

Joe was unaware that the Bucs are still the favorites to win the division. Joe pointed out yesterday that soccer strangersusing their local formula, are a coin toss (52% in winning the division) on whether the Bucs will win the split or not.

Of course, no one considered Shaq Barrett’s injury. Joe thinks it’s going to hurt a lot. He was truly the Bucs’ only leading forward. Without him, expect fuller passes. This will put additional pressure on the failure of Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to get his offense started, and quickly.

So far, Leftwich has not demonstrated that he possesses the magic elixir.

But boldly asserting that the Bucs will make the playoffs? I guess this franchise has really slipped so much in the eyes of the nation.