Predicting final NFC South standings after schedule release

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
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2. Tampa Bay Bucs 9-8 Record

Two things can be true the NFC South was embarrassingly bad in the 2023 season and the Bucs deserve far more credit. This was a Tampa roster that was expected to be a rebuilding team in the 2023 season and likely in the market for a head coach and a quarterback during this offseason.

Despite losing Tom Brady and a myriad of other pieces the Bucs found a way to get the job done. They haven't made any splashy moves this offseason but did retain both Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield. Giving them the same number of wins in the 2024 season is being conservative.

If Mayfield doesn't regress this team can beat anyone any given week. They have the firepower on offense and underrated defensive pieces. The division race is going to come down to the final weeks of the season and Atlanta's path is far easier.

The Bucs are going to have early control of the NFC South but aren't going to be able to hold off a hot finish from the Falcons. Tampa's final four games are Chargers, Cowboys, Panthers, and Saints aside from the Panthers a tough final four that will tilt the division in Atlanta's favor.