Interestingly enough many of the prognostications that have been floated and bantered about when talking about the outcome, of the Bucs 2011 season, has them regressing slightly and missing the playoffs. However, Bill Simmons the Editor in Chief of Grantland.com and one of the country’s most widely read sports writers, and the author of the recent New York Times No. 1 best-seller The Book of Basketball. Is going against the grain in his most recent column titled “The NFL in 2011: All About Continuity” Simmons a pioneer of sports writing on the Internet is predicting the Bucs not only make the playoffs, but will actually play in the NFC Championship Game.
Simmons is also predicting the Bucs over the Lions today!
BUCS (-1.5) over Lions
That’s right, I said Tampa! Why do so few people still believe in JAAAAAAAASH FREEMAN!?!?!?!?? Even if the Bucs had some schedule/luck/momentum help last season, don’t they get credit for overcoming a rash of crippling injuries (they lost five starters in two weeks at one point, including stud cornerback Aqib Talib and center Jeff Faine) and gritting their way to 10-6? What about a full year from LeGarrette Blount? Why is everyone so eager to say how much better Sam Bradford will be in Year 2, but they never say this about Freeman (also entering his second full year as a starter)? Have you seen their schedule for god’s sake?7 And haven’t we learned that it’s much better to be the “Nobody Believes In Us!” team (Tampa) than the “Everyone Believes In Us!” team (not just Atlanta but Detroit, as well)? Relatively Bold Prediction No. 4: Tampa makes the playoffs, Atlanta and Detroit do not.
It’s definitely a bold prediction. The Bucs making the playoffs at 11-5 and going to the NFC Championship Game, while last years media darlings the Atlanta Falcons and this years early media darlings the Detroit Lions both miss out.
The would tickle the heck out of me, for nothing else than the Falcons would be sitting at home, Freeman getting his first career playoff win before Matt Ryan and then beating a division rival in the Saints to advance even further. Talk about a fairytale.