2022 NFL record projections: Will Bucs fall short of Super Bowl again?

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NFL training camps are kicking off, which means a new round of predictions and projections are flying in from every direction for the upcoming 2022 season.

Nate Davis of USA TODAY Sports just released his forecast for the entire league, and he expects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to coast to another NFC South title, despite what could be a much tougher schedule than last year’s (subscription required):

Assuming QB Tom Brady is healthy, it’s safe to pencil the Bucs in for at least 12 victories based on his track record over the past dozen years – and that includes a 24-9 regular-season mark since coming to Tampa in 2020. TB12 has to adjust to life without TE Rob Gronkowski – apparently – has two new guards in front of him (though ex-Pats teammate Shaq Mason is hardly unfamiliar), must play a home game in Munich in Week 10 and has last season’s version of the final four (Bengals, Chiefs, Rams, 49ers) on the non-divisional slate. Regardless, you betting against him to win the NFC South at minimum? I foresee obtainment of the NFC’s home field with new No. 3 WR Russell Gage (138 receptions since 2020) playing a prominent role.

While Davis projects the Bucs to repeat their impressive regular-season record of 13-4 from last year, he also has Tampa Bay falling just short of another Super Bowl run yet again, this time losing in the NFC title game to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

While the Bucs did lose some key contributors this offseason, compared to bringing back their entire starting lineup last year after winning the Super Bowl, the additions they made could easily make them a better team than the one that was bounced in the divisional round of last year’s playoffs by the eventual-champion Los Angeles Rams.

If Brady and his bunch can stay healthy for the most part, there’s no reason to believe the Bucs won’t be able to run away with their division yet again. Considering what Rodgers and the Packers lost this offseason, particularly star wide receiver Davante Adams, it’s hard to imagine the GOAT losing to Green Bay at home with a trip back to the Super Bowl on the line.

To check out Davis’ full projection for the upcoming NFL season, click here.

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