Commentary

Bucs will regress in 2011

After a honeymoon ride in 2010, Tampa Bay faces major obstacles in 2011

Updated: May 27, 2011, 4:28 PM ET
By Ben Fawkes | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesRaheem Morris can't rely on Josh Freeman alone in 2011, and that's the problem.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were widely celebrated as the NFL's top breakout team in 2010, finishing 10-6 -- an astounding improvement from a 3-13 campaign in 2009 -- and missing the playoffs only due to losing a tiebreaker with the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants.

With Josh Freeman having another year under his belt, young talent on offense and a solid draft to strengthen the defensive line, Tampa Bay should be ready for a playoff run next season, right? Well, not exactly.

So why won't Tampa Bay improve from last season's 10-6 mark? It comes down to a tough 2011 schedule, a questionable defensive line and issues in the secondary.

Let's consider the factors:

2011 schedule


For much more on the reasons Tampa could drop in the standings in 2011, you must be an ESPN Insider.