The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look like the big winners of this offseason. They added what many think was this year's biggest prize by signing Tom Brady. Brady, who is 43 years old, will learn a new system for the first time in his career and will work with a different set of weapons. Those weapons are some very talented players (Mike Evans, Chirs Godwin, etc.). The main question will be if Brady still has it or not.
The New England Patriots are going into uncharted waters this season. Head coach Bill Belichick is still in town, but Brady is not. The Patriots haven't made a move to bring in a big-name quarterback as of yet. The draft is still coming up, so maybe they will go that route, or maybe they have the guy they want already on the roster. Most Patriots fans will tell you that Belichick alone is enough to keep the Pats back atop the AFC East.
Case For The Patriots (-130)
Belichick is entering his 20th season as the New England's head coach, but his job will be tougher this season without Brady's on-field leadership. I think it speaks volumes that the Brady/Belichick union is no more. It appears the two of them were no longer seeing eye-to-eye, as far as New Englands quarterback of the future goes. I think second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham is up for the challenge.
Stidham was a starting quarterback in the SEC, which is essentially a minor league version of the NFL. In his 2017 season as the starter at Auburn, Stidham lead the Tigers to victories over Alabama and Georgia—he threw three touchdowns passes and zero interceptions in those two games. Stidham also has the advantage of already being in the Patriots system.
The Patriots will come into 2020 with the toughest strength of schedule in the league. Outside of their AFC East opponents, the Patriots play games against the AFC West and NFC West. New England has to travel to the Chargers, Chiefs, Seahawks, Rams and Texans. New England has home games against the 49ers, Cardinals, Raiders and Ravens.
Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history, but finding the usual amount of success this season will be a tall task with an inexperienced quarterback.
Case For The Buccaneers (+110)
Tampa Bay comes into the 2020 campaign with a ton of optimism. Brady joining the Bucs has been the biggest story of the NFL offseason. The Bucs have a ton of talent of offense to put around Brady. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin make a dynamic passing catching duo, while O.J. Howard is super talented and a breakout season could be in store for him. Outside of the defense, the Buccaneers' biggest question mark will likely be Brady. Will the 43-year-old quarterback be motivated to learn a new system from a new coaching staff?
Outside of their own division, the Bucs have to deal with the AFC West and the NFC North this season. Luckily for Tampa Bay, the only playoff team from 2019 that they play on the road are the Saints.
The big thing for the Buccaneers this season will be improving their play on their home field, where they were 2-6 last year. The Vikings, Packers, Chargers, Chiefs and Rams all make the trip to Tampa in 2020. If they can go .500 at home and take care of business with their weak road schedule, Tampa Bay could very well be a playoff team this season.
The Pick: Buccaneers (+110)
This pick is less about the Buccaneers getting Brady and more about the Patriots and their very tough schedule. New England should still be able to handle business in the AFC East, but its games outside of the division will be very difficult for them. I give a slight edge to Tampa Bay.
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