Tampa Bay Buccaneers Must Improve vs. NFC South in 2013

By Devin O'Barr
Josh Freeman
Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaners are one of the most exciting teams in the NFL as they can beat you in a number of ways. With Josh Freeman maturing each and every game, the Bucs have high hopes for the 2013 season. However, one issue remains for this team as Tampa Bay has to find a way to win close games against teams in their division.

Last year the Buccaneers looked like a team to be reckoned with as they were 6-4 heading into a crucial game versus the division leading Atlanta Falcons. Unfortunately, the Bucs were unable to dethrone Matt Ryan and the Falcons as Tampa would lose five straight and finish the year with a lackluster 7-9 record. I have a lot of faith in this team, however if they don’t find ways to eek out divisional wins they can kiss the playoffs goodbye.

If Bucs head coach Greg Schiano was not a rookie last year, he would’ve gotten grilled for his teams inability to win games against NFC South foes. The team was absolutely embarrassed by the New Orleans Saints in Week 15 as Drew Brees’ crew stomped Tampa by a score of 41-0. Throwing that embarrassing performance out of the window and the Bucs two other divisional games came by a total of eight points.

The aforementioned game versus the Falcons was simply a heart-wrenching defeat that obviously swayed the ball club for the worst — Tampa was in control the entire game, but Atlanta won the road contest 23-24. These are the kind of home games that the Buccaneers are going to have to win if they hope to be playoff bound in 2013.

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