In the hopes of alleviating the East Coast advantage, the Raiders will be staying in Florida in the week leading up to this game after having been in Jacksonville. Knocking off some of that jetlag can only help their chances of beating ‘the other pirate’ NFL team. Those of the pewter variety.
Buccaneers 2015 numbers
Offense rank: 5
Defense rank: 10
It’s hard to imagine a team that was top five in yards on offense and top ten in fewest yards allowed on defense would finish with just six wins. That’s because despite all their yardage, they weren’t too good at finishing the job and putting it in the end zone.
Doug Martin was the star on offense, putting up 1402 yards rushing which was second in the league behind only Adrian Peterson (1485). Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston also had a surprising season, as the number one overall pick surpassed 4000 yards through the air. Having big Mike Evans plucking balls over corners certainly helped his numbers. Though 22 touchdown passes to 15 interceptions by Winston was far more like what one might expect from a rookie.
Gerald McCoy leads the way on defense for the Bucs with 8.5 sacks on the season. He and linebacker Lavonte David both made the Pro Bowl.
For the update from Tampa, we turn to a site that didn’t think covering another pirate team which has a metal in their color scheme was enough, they also had to go with the ‘Nation’ as well – Bucs Nation.
Notable free agent additions: Brent Grimes, J.R. Sweezy, Robert Ayers, Daryl Smith, Josh Robinson
Notable free agent departures: Danny Lansanah, Sterling Moore, Logan Mankins (retired)
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: Vernon Hargreaves, Noah Spence, Roberto Aguayo
Biggest offseason addition: Mike Smith (defensive coordinator), Brent Grimes
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: Can Vernon Hargreaves earn a starting spot?
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Who will win the third receiver job?
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Louis Murphy, JR Sweezy