The Bucs are just challengers for the Rams
April 16, 2022
A guy who lives the NFL for a living only sees two NFC teams with realistic chances of advancing to the next Super Bowl.
NFL.com’s Marc Sessler attempted to come up with a pre-draft NFL hierarchy after studying each list.
It was tough, Sessler tapped, and he found only the Rams and Bucs to be real contenders. Sessler thinks the Rams are kings of the NFC hill and the Bucs claw at the top.
It appeared the Tampa ship had sailed into darkness with the retirement of Tom Brady, but the greatest quarterback on dry land grew tired of playing Connect Four with his brood and returned to the role for which he was born. Bruce Arians’ surprising retirement would be a bigger concern if Todd Bowles wasn’t such a solid replacement. Although there was no rift between Brady and Bruce, Tommy Boy and Byron Leftwich are no doubt happy to lead the attack on their own. Losing center Ali Marpet to retirement and keeping Alex Cappa at the Bengals isn’t fun, but Brady using the Force to take Shaq Mason away from the Patriots for a sack of spoons was masterclass territory. TB12 also lured Russell Gage in with a phone call – another example of his dark magic. Even if Rob Gronkowski stays home, this loaded roster has the juice to knock down anyone in the conference.
Today, Joe really only has two worries.
The first is can the Bucs get enough of the hobby without Jason Pierre-Paul? Joe doesn’t expect JPP to come back unless he works hard. And if he returns, will he be healthy after shoulder surgery? His story says yes, but that story wasn’t when JPP was 33, which he is now.
The second problem is can the Bucs generate enough offense until Chris Godwin is 100%? Guys like the immortals Cyril Grayson and Breshad Perriman, in addition to Russell Gage, will have to step in. Maybe Scotty Miller too.