Whereas a number of NFL energy rankings and NFL oddsmakers have the Bucs at or close to the highest as Tremendous Bowl LVII contenders, that’s not the case with NBC Sports activities’ Peter King.
In 2020, King accurately predicted the Bucs successful the Tremendous Bowl. This yr, he has the Bucs because the No. 6 group within the NFL, and because the third-best group within the NFC.
King has three AFC groups on the high of his listing – Buffalo at No. 1 adopted by the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas Metropolis. The following three groups are NFC groups within the Los Angeles Rams at No. 4, then Inexperienced Bay and Tampa Bay.
That is what King has to say concerning the 2022 Bucs in Monday’s Soccer Morning In America column.
I may have put the Bucs forward of Inexperienced Bay. Possibly I ought to have. I simply don’t take without any consideration that 45-year-old Brady will simply decide up the place he left off. Even with bottom-feeders Carolina and Atlanta to get fats off, the Bucs can be severely challenged by the Saints (4-0 versus Brady and Tampa within the common season within the final two years) for division supremacy, even post-Payton. It worries me, too, that each beginning guards, Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa, left within the offseason. Brady’s a statue, and something that impacts his safety is a matter. Profession backup Aaron Stinnie and ex-Pat Shaq Mason have huge jobs to do at left and proper guard.
Have you ever observed a pattern within the NFC? Each high contender is in some way diminished. The Rams with out Von Miller and perhaps Beckham. The Packers with out Davante Adams. Dallas with out Amari Cooper and Randy Gregory. The Saints with out long-time coach Sean Payton. Arizona with out Chandler Jones, Christian Kirk and, for a six-game suspension, DeAndre Hopkins. The Bucs are a part of that pattern. They’ve obtained two new guards defending Brady, Rob Gronkowski’s future is unsure, they usually is perhaps with out Chris Godwin — recovering from Jan. 3 ACL surgical procedure — at the beginning of the season.
King Is Involved About Godwin And Gronkowski
King continues about Godwin’s knee surgical procedure, and is rightfully involved about his availability in early September. He’s additionally apprehensive about Gronkowski presumably not returning to play in 2022.
The Bucs scored 30 factors a recreation final yr, thanks largely to the chemistry between Brady and Chris Godwin. In his final two full video games final season, Godwin was focused 32 occasions by Brady and caught 25 passes. We’re all used to Brady figuring it out with whoever he has to catch the ball, and he’ll nonetheless have Mr. Dependable, Mike Evans. But when Gronk and Godwin are lacking in September … yikes. The Bucs open at Dallas, at New Orleans, Inexperienced Bay residence and Kansas Metropolis residence. Not too pleasant.
It’s unimaginable to not like Tampa Bay. The Bucs are 30-9 since Brady walked on campus, and he’s nonetheless right here, coming off main the NFL in passing yards. I doubt the teaching change to Todd Bowles can be a lot of an element. The schedule is perhaps the largest issue of all. Apart from 4 in opposition to the Panthers and Playing cards and one in opposition to Seattle, I don’t see any fluff.