Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Preview

2021 Record: 13-4 1st NFC South

2022 Win Total: 11.5 Wins

Over 11.5 -115

Under 11.5 -115

Notable Stats:

Yards Per play: 3rd 5.9

Yards per pass attempt: 13th 7.3

Offensive QB Sack percentage:  1st 3.52%

Yards per run:  18th 4.3

3rd down conversion rate: 5th 44.8%

Turnover Margin: 2nd +0.8

Yards Per Play allowed: 9th 5.2

Yards per pass attempt allowed: 3rd 6.1

Yards allowed per rush: 11th 4.2

Defensive QB sack rate: 14th 6.28%

Notable losses:  Ronald Jones II RB, Rob Gronkowski TE, Antonio Brown WR, OJ Howard TE, Ndamukong Suh DT, Jason Pierre-paul LB

Notable additions: Russell Gage WR, Keanu Neal S, Shaq Mason G, Akeim Hicks DT, Logan Ryan CB, 

1st Round Draft Pick(s): N/A

Strength of schedule: 7th (1 Easiest, 32 Hardest)

2021 Review:

The Bucs had a fantastic season that ended in a loss at home to the Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs. What’s impressive about their regular season performance is that of the 4 games they lost, none were by more than 10 points. Even though he retired at the end of the season, Brady led the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Had Cooper Kupp not gotten wide open in the game against the Rams, the Bucs may have won their 2nd consecutive Super Bowl. 

Offensive Outlook: 

The Bucs will be without a few auxiliary pieces for 2022. Ronald Jones departs, leaving Leonard Fournette as the primary running back. That’s somewhat concerning given there are reports that he weighs as much as 260 pounds (He is listed as 228lbs). Antonio Brown left the team in perhaps the most dramatic fashion in NFL history. While he caused a lot of off the field drama, he still was an elite receiver at times and was vital once Chris Godwin went down. The Bucs elected to sign Russell Gage to replace him. While Gage never excelled with the Falcons, perhaps he could play better once he catches passes from the greatest quarterback in NFL history. If Gage is unable to step up, the Bucs can also turn to a number of receivers who have played well in spurts such as Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, and Cyril Grayson. The biggest player the Bucs will miss is tight end Rob Gronkowski who retired in the offseason. While most people expect Gronk to return at some point for the postseason, it still is a concern for the regular season. The Bucs lost OJ Howard leaving Cameron Brate as the main tight end. Brate has shown flashed but will be a far drop off from Gronk. I’m confident Brady can make anyone look good, and would not bet against this offense in 2022.

Defensive Outlook:

The Bucs return all the major pieces for a successful 2022 season. Devin White and Lavonte David make up one of the best linebacker corps in the league. Combine that with Vita Vea and the Bucs already have a unit that can be top 10 in run defense. The Bucs problem will instead be at pass rush. While Shaquil Barret recorded 10 sacks last year, the Bucs lost both Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul who combined for 8.5 sacks last season. The addition of Akeim Hicks may help, but they will likely need help somewhere else if they hope to improve. In the secondary the Bucs will have multiple multi year veterans and brought in safety Logan Ryan for some extra depth. My biggest concern is how Todd Bowles handles head coaching duties. This defense will need some attention if they hope to win the Super Bowl, and Bowles will need to keep a close eye on it. Given that the offense is going to be run by 3rd year offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Tom Brady, I’m confident Bowles won’t have to worry about that side of the ball. 

Season Prediction:

The Bucs have a rough start to the season as they play the Cowboys-away, Saints-away, Packers, and the Chiefs in the first four weeks. So long as the Bucs are able to start at least 2-2 in that stretch, I think they will have a clear shot at hitting 12 wins. I like over 11.5 wins and think this team makes it to at least the Conference Championship in 2022. 

Post navigation

Author: Calvin Stewart