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Tom Jones' bold predictions for Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010

St. Petersburg Times staff writer Tom Jones takes a crack at picking all 16 Bucs games this season.

Three years ago, I picked the Bucs to go 5-10-1, and they went 9-7 and made the playoffs. Two years ago, I picked the Bucs to go 5-10-1, and they went 9-7 and missed the playoffs. Then last year, I said I was not going to pick the Bucs to go 5-10-1. But I did. And that would've been a good season considering the team went 3-13. So now comes this year. I promise I will not pick them to go 5-10-1. But by year's end, 5-10-1 might turn out to be a good season for the Bucs.


Cleveland at Tampa Bay: This game sounded a whole lot more promising before QB Josh Freeman got hurt and CB Aqib Talib got suspended. Still, it's the Browns. That franchise is so dysfunctional that even Jim Brown is mad at it. Prediction: Bucs, 27-14. Record: 1-0

Sept. 19

Tampa Bay at Carolina: Bank of America Stadium has become something of a house of horrors for the Bucs the past two years. In December 2008, the Bucs were 9-3 headed into Carolina and lost 38-23. That started an 11-game losing streak that carried into the next season, and counting that game, the Bucs are 3-17 since then. This game will start another losing streak. Panthers, 20-7. Record: 1-1

Sept. 26

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay: Good news: No Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers QB will still be suspended. Bad news: The entire Steelers defense, which is pretty good, won't be suspended. The Steelers aren't very good without Big Ben, but they are still better than the Bucs. Steelers, 17-10. Record: 1-2

Oct. 10

Tampa Bay at Cincinnati: How can you not love WR Chad Ochocinco? We all should just be looking forward to what he might say the week leading up to this game. Or what he might do during the game. That, in fact, might be the only thing to look forward to in this game. Bengals, 31-14. Record: 1-3

Oct. 17

New Orleans at Tampa Bay: Remember when the Bucs went into New Orleans last year and upset the eventual Super Bowl champs? Remember how Saints owner Tom Benson was embarrassed for celebrating what he thought was a victory? Remember how embarrassed the Saints were for losing? Yeah, well, the Saints remember, too. Saints, 28-17. Record: 1-4

Oct. 24

St. Louis at Tampa Bay: The Bucs' losing streak comes to an end in the NFL's version of getting Stony Brook on your schedule. Seeing St. Louis come to town with a rookie quarterback makes it feel like a homecoming game. Bucs, 24-13. Record: 2-4

Oct. 31

Tampa Bay at Arizona: What in the world has happened to QB Matt Leinart? Was it the curse of Paris Hilton? To quote former Lightning owner Art Williams, this guy went from stud to dud to Houston Texan after being released. Now the Cards probably wish QB Kurt Warner hadn't retired. Still, the Bucs don't win out west. Cardinals, 23-13. Record: 2-5

Nov. 7

Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Not to be a wise guy, but does anyone truly like living in Atlanta? It seems like the most boring big city in America. It's like Orlando without Disney World. And the traffic? I don't understand where everyone is going because there is nowhere to go. But the football team is pretty good. Falcons, 33-20. Record: 2-6

Nov. 14

Carolina at Tampa Bay: The Panthers aren't exactly the '85 Bears or '78 Steelers, but they play like that in Tampa Bay. Did you know the Panthers have won six of the past seven meetings against the Bucs in Tampa? Still, they just don't seem good enough to beat the Bucs twice. Bucs, 23-20. Record: 3-6

Nov. 21

Tampa Bay at San Francisco: The 49ers have become one of the chic teams to pick in the NFC, with some predicting 12 or more wins. I have another word instead of chic: dumb. Maybe they're good enough to win their crummy division, but let's not get carried away with how good they are because they have some serious quarterback issues. If this game were in Tampa, the pick might be different. 49ers, 21-14. Record: 3-7

Nov. 28

Tampa Bay at Baltimore: You know how every year, it seems, the Bucs win a game that they have no business winning against a team that is clearly better than they are? Yeah, well, this isn't one of those games. Ravens, 30-6. Record: 3-8

Dec. 5

Atlanta at Tampa Bay: Okay, this is the game that you won't expect the Bucs to win … but they will. Bucs, 17-14. Record: 4-8

Dec. 12

Tampa Bay at Washington: The Redskins aren't going to be all that great this year, not even with quarterback Donovan McNabb. But you just know how this game is going to play out: It's going to be cold, windy, maybe even a little rainy or snowy, muddy. And for half the game, the Bucs will look like they have a chance, but somehow it will get away from them. We've seen this game 100 times. Redskins, 31-24. Record: 4-9

Dec. 19

Detroit at Tampa Bay: Okay, just like every year, the Bucs win a game that they shouldn't win, and they lose a game they shouldn't lose. This would be that game. Lions, 13-6. Record: 4-10

Dec. 26

Seattle at Tampa Bay: New coach Pete Carroll brings in a team that probably has a lower payroll than most of the teams he had at USC. Save your angry e-mails, Trojan fans. I know you have plenty of free time because your don't have a bowl game to go to, but I'm only kidding. Unfortunately for Carroll, he won't have the success this season that he had most of the time at USC. Bucs, 28-13. Record: 5-10

Jan. 2

Tampa Bay at New Orleans: You know, if I pick this game to end in a tie, it would be the fourth straight year that I picked the Bucs to go 5-10-1. But I promised I wouldn't do that again. The Saints could need this game for homefield advantage or something. Saints, 27-21. Record: 5-11

Tom Jones' bold predictions for Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010 09/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 5:28pm]
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