With the release of the 2013 NFL future odds, it’s always fun to see where the ‘experts’ have teams ranked, months before the start of the season. The NFC South, like most divisions in the NFC, figures to be highly contested this upcoming season. From top to bottom, you can make a case that all teams in the NFC South have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs. Vegas has the Atlanta Falcons (EVEN) favored to win the division, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are projected to finish third, and are 5/1 to win the South.
So it does beg the question – do the Bucs have any chance at the NFC South crown?
I think the Vegas projection is about right, but at the same time, I could easily see the Bucs finishing second in the division. However, I just don’t see a scenario where the Falcons don’t take the division. The Falcons and Bucs are two franchises in much different places. Tampa is only in its second season under Greg Schiano, and the team is slowly coming together. Atlanta on the other hand, is basically in a Super Bowl or bust situation. They’re just starting the season, in a much different class than Tampa.
You could easily make a case the Bucs should be worse than 5/1 to win the South, because it’s really tough to see them coming out on top. I think the team’s main objective should simply be to make the playoffs, and see what happens. Setting the bar at the division crown, is a bit much for this squad, at this juncture in time.
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