Sports Illustrated NFL Insider Stays True To His 2024 NFC South Champion Pick

The Bucs are still getting proper due by a few people in the national media sphere.
Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) scrambles during the first half of a 2024 NFC wild card game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) scrambles during the first half of a 2024 NFC wild card game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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The NFC South isn't by any means a juggernaut division in the NFL, but it is always sure to provide entertainment as you never know which team will come out on top.

For the past three seasons, the NFC South crown has passed through Tampa Bay and the Buccaneers, and in 2024, they will be looking to add a fourth consecutive title. Much has changed over the span of those three years, however. Tom Brady has come and gone, along with a host of other players and then Baker Mayfield entered the fold.

READ MORE: Three Potential Breakout Players for the Buccaneers in 2024

Things stayed the same in Tampa Bay despite changes happening throughout the organization, and as a result, they are the top dog of the NFC South until another team proves them otherwise. This offseason, the entire division put their efforts into improving off their 2023 season and one team in particular has stolen the valor from the Bucs as the preseason favorites to win the division — the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons went out and got veteran QB Kirk Cousins in free agency under the new direction of head coach Raheem Morris, which vaulted them to slight favorites. The Saints and Panthers are also still there, but they are viewed as the outsiders looking in with the Bucs standing pat with much of what they ended with last year.

With many still deciding to hitch their wagons to the preseason favorite Falcons, Sports illustrated NFL Insider Albert Breer answered a question posed by Buccaneers fan Josh on who will win the NFC South.

"Josh, when we did our podcast, I went with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I’m going to stick with that. There’s too much history there, where they won with different quarterbacks, different coaches, different offenses—and they’ve continued to stock the roster as stars have aged off the team over the past couple of years.

I think they’ve gotten a different version of Baker Mayfield than we’d previously seen, one who’s grown through the experiences and lumps he took in Cleveland and Carolina. He’s also getting a coordinator, in Liam Coen, who’s returning to the NFL with something to prove, came up under Sean McVay and was the OC for Mayfield’s fire drill of a finish to the 2022 season with the Rams.

Are the Bucs perfect? No. They’ll have to show they can get by at corner after trading Carlton Davis III, and they’ll need their young pass rushers to take another step. But the other teams in the division are flawed, so I'll take Tampa to make it four in a row."

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The Buccaneers will have their work cut out for them as they face another daunting schedule after winning the division last year, but as it remains the NFC South is still one of the weaker divisions in football. That should give them a slightly easier shot to make the playoffs once again.

The offense might look a little different, but at the end of the day, the Bucs still have one of the better units in all of the league, especially if they can get their running game figured out. The defense struggled in areas last season, but with some added guys joining the krewe along with Todd Bowles harping on creating turnovers, the 2024 iteration of the Buccaneers has the chance to create some major noise.

Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the offseason.

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Caleb Skinner

CALEB SKINNER

Caleb is from Nashville, TN and graduated from Florida State University in 2018 with majors in Sociology and History. He has previously written for an FSU outlet and started covering the Buccaneers in March of 2022. Caleb is an avid sports fan and former host of the Tribeoholics podcast. You can follow Caleb on Twitter @chsnole