Will Revis put The Bucs in the playoff mix?
While the price was steep, the addition of Darelle Revis gives the Buccaneers a legitimate chance to make the playoffs this season in the hypercompetitive NFC.
It’s pretty much safe to say that the Packers, Falcons, 49ers and Seahawks will all make the playoffs again, meaning that the only question marks are the NFC East winner and the second wild card spot. The list of possibilities runs deep, with whoever doesn’t win the division out of the Redskins, Giants and Cowboys competing against the Vikings, Bears, and Bucs, not to mention teams like the Saints and Eagles, who were in disarray last year, but have the talent to mount a turnaround.
So unless the Bucs made a major upgrade, the odds would have been stacked against them to rise above the crowd. Last year, the Bucs ranked dead last in passing yards allowed, so clearly adding Revis addresses a weak spot. Plus, Tampa added Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson from the 49ers, who will add some serious punch to their defense.
With Revis on his own island, Goldson and fellow safety Mark Barron will have more flexibility to ballhawk and deliver tone-setting hits. Revis might even make Josh Freeman’s job easier, as the QB won’t have to keep pace as often with opposing passing games.
Last season, the Bucs lost seven games by one score or less, so they weren’t very far away from being a winning team. Now that they have a much improved secondary to go along with a stout run defense, they will have a well balanced team that should be able to win more of those close games. A 10-6 season looks very doable, which should put them right in the playoff mix. And if the tiebreakers go their way, the Bucs will be able to grab the sixth seed.