1-1, 1st NFC South
How Does Winston’s Suspension Affect The Season? - Jameis Winston is suspended the first four games of the season, and he will miss out on some tough games against the Steelers, Saints, and Eagles. It was unlikely they were going to win those games anyway, but the now tossup games are in jeopardy of swinging the other way. The Bucs organization has already come out and said Winston is not even a guarantee to start past Week 4, which puts the season in total disarray. The Bucs were looking for a core in the future, but right now they might be changing paths very soon. If that is the case, chalk up the last few years to being a huge waste.
Was Ronald Jones Worth The Pick? - Drafting running backs early has not been a successful move unless you have an offensive line intact and a strong defense. The Bucs had neither before the draft, and surely Jones’ pick could have gone elsewhere. Jones did not win the starting job, which is already a horrendous sign. Jones may end up being a decent running back at some point, but drafting early backs should land the starting job right off the bat. Peyton Barber will see time early on, and we will have to keep an eye on the Bucs situation if they decide to give Jones some run.
When Will Tampa Rebuild The Line? - The Bucs have been spending draft picks on their defense, and offensive skill positions. You could make a case for drafting a lineman over Jones this year, because the Tampa offensive line ranks inside the bottom ten heading into the year. The guard positions are in need of the most help, while the more recent draft picks have yet to really solidify themselves in any sort of lock on position. The Bucs are in some trouble with offensive players struggling despite the high draft picks, so hopefully they don’t go changing the core and continue to avoid the offensive line.
Could Tampa Go 0-16? - While it is a very bold call for anybody to go winless, but Tampa Bay stands a real chance. They open up the season without Jameis Winston, but not only that, they face New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Atlanta in the first five weeks. They are already in a bloodbath of a division, and then face Baltimore, San Francisco, and the rest of the AFC North which are all improved teams. There is not even a guarantee that Winston is going to start past his suspension. The locker room could be in turmoil quick, which leads to some very bad play.
Is The Chris Godwin Hype Real? - Chris Godwin is listed as the Tampa WR3 to start the season, but there are a lot of mouths to feed, and Ryan Fitzpatrick starting the first few games, and maybe more, does not give high expectations. We saw flashes of Godwin last season when DeSean Jackson was out with injury, and that is likely going to be the case again, but maybe with more volume when healthy. The problem in Tampa is the Mike Evans volume, but also them having two receiving tight ends that are used at a reasonable amount. Godwin is going to show some worth, but year three seems like a more realistic breakout year.