Tampa Bay Buccaneers Will Be 2013 NFC South Champions

By John Beauchamp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2013 NFL offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the teams that had a huge impact in the league.

They completed a trade with the New York Jets to get Darrelle Revis, who has been arguably the best cornerback in the league over the past few years. However, Revis did suffer an ACL injury in October, which could potentially be a major risk in the 2013 season, but in my opinion there are more positives than negatives.

Revis wasn’t the only move Tampa made this offseason, as the Bucs also acquired safety Dashon Goldson from the San Francisco 49ers. Goldson is a monster in the secondary with hard-hitting skills who also led the 49ers in interceptions last season.

Tampa had statistically the worst pass defense in the league in 2012. With the acquisitions of Revis and Goldson during the offseason, Tampa may have one of the best pass defenses in the league now. This will be a huge addition to statistically the best rush defense in the 2012 season. I actually think this could be a replica of the 2002 Tampa squad that won the Super Bowl.

Defense has been said to win championships, but offense sure does help out a lot and this could be a breakout year for quarterback Josh Freeman.

Freeman is in the last year of his contract and should know that his job is definitely on the hot seat. If he doesn’t perform up to expectations, you may see third-round draft pick Mike Glennon under center next season. Freeman must respond positively under pressure if he wants to remain in a Tampa jersey, and I believe he will.

Two other concerns for the team are the health of All-Pro guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph. These two both suffered from season-ending injuries in the 2012 season. Nicks says that he hopes to return by training camp, and Joseph says he is 99 percent healthy. Blocking was certainly a struggle for Tampa last season but with the return of Nicks and Joseph, I think that it won’t be as much a problem in 2013.

I truly believe that Tampa will be a mighty force in the NFC South this season. Lead by coach Greg Schiano, Tampa will have a destructive offense with second-year running back Doug Martin and veteran receiver Vincent Jackson getting the ball.

Tampa’s defense will also be like a brick wall with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and second-year safety Mark Barron, as well as second-year linebacker Lavonte David. Great things will happen for Tampa this season and I bet you will be hearing the cannons firing all the way to the playoffs.

John Beauchamp is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers writer for RantSports.com Follow him on Twitter @John_Beauchamp or add him to your network on Google

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