Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas revises his prediction at the midway point of the season:
Preseason prediction: 8-8
Revised prediction: 4-12
Why the Buccaneers will finish worse: I admit I bought into the hype the Bucs were selling about winning right away because they didn't believe they could ask their fans to be patient much longer. They were aggressive in free agency, signing defensive end Michael Johnson, left tackle Anthony Collins and center Evan Dietrich-Smith and trading for guard Logan Mankins. With players like defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David already in place, the roster looked good -- on paper -- heading into the season. But this team has struggled in every way imaginable.
The Bucs aren't going to get to .500 or even close. They rank 31st in the league in overall offense and defense, and they're not doing anything particularly well. They have lost some close games and been routed twice. Injuries to quarterback Josh McCown, running back Doug Martin, middle linebacker Mason Foster and safety Dashon Goldson have played a role, and the loss of offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford to a leave of absence after a preseason heart procedure hasn't helped. But this team still has underachieved, and some of those moves made in free agency aren't looking very good.
Coach Lovie Smith keeps saying his team is improving, but that’s happening in very small increments. The Bucs need major improvement before they can win.
They will win a few games and show a little progress down the stretch. But the kind of improvement this team needs is the type that can come only with another offseason to strengthen the roster.