ESPN’s forecast for the 2018 Buccaneers is really depressing

Tampa Bay will miss the playoffs for the 11th straight season, according to its projection model.
The Bucs offense ranks 18th in ESPN's Football Power Index rating. [Times]
The Bucs offense ranks 18th in ESPN's Football Power Index rating. [Times]
Published May 29, 2018|Updated May 29, 2018

With kickoff 100 days away, it's projection season in the NFL.

ESPN published its Football Power Index rankings Tuesday, and the model predicts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will finish last in their division for the seventh time in eight seasons.

General manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter might need to make the playoffs to save their jobs. The FPI doesn't see that happening. It ranks the Bucs as the 22nd-best team and projects they'll win 6.5 games. It gives Tampa Bay a 10 percent chance of reaching the postseason. Only Arizona and Cleveland have worse odds. It gives the Bucs a less than 1 percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl.

That offseason overhaul of the defense? It won't be good enough, according to the FPI, which ranks the Bucs defense 28th. Jameis Winston and the offense will be about league average, the index says.

The schedule won't do Tampa Bay any favors. With nine games against the FPI's top 10 teams, the Bucs have the toughest slate.

The good news? They have seventh-best odds (29 percent) of landing a top-five pick in next year's draft.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at Follow @tometrics.