2023-24 NFL Season Tampa Bay Buccaneers Review

Last week kicked off our series of deep dives on NFL teams whose T Shoe Index power rating increased the most throughout the 2023 NFL season. Today, we will finish up the teams who overachieved the most relative to preseason ratings, and move on tomorrow to teams that underachieved the most. 

Wrapping up our overachievers series is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by the resurgent Baker Mayfield after Tom Brady’s retirement the previous year had many people questioning which direction this franchise would go. 


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The Bucs finished the season with a winning record at 9-8 and champions of the NFC South, but were a blistering 11-6 ATS. Blindly betting the Bucs in 2023 wasn’t a bad strategy (Kidding. Don’t do that), especially as underdogs, where Tampa went 9-4 ATS.

Above, you’ll see the Bucs’ TSI rating as it fluctuated throughout the season. What started as an abysmal power rating of almost 4 points below league average rapidly rocketed up and maintained above league average for the rest of the season.

Buccaneers Offense

The primary driver of this expectations-surpassing season was that the offense improved even after having Tom Brady as QB in 2022, going from 18 points per game in 2022 to 21 points per game in 2023, even scoring 23 points per game on the road, surprisingly. This offensive output cemented Tampa Bay as the 17th-rated offensive in the TSI ratings. 

Some key stats that were indicative of Tampa Bay’s success in 2023: they were 12th in the NFL in offensive EPA per play (up from 20th in 2022) and 8th in EPA per dropback (up from 14th in 2022).

Buccaneers Defense

The improvement didn’t stop there; while 2022 was not a bad defense by any means, 2023 was even better, allowing just 19.2 points per game – a 2.4 points per game improvement over the previous year, resulting in being rated 8th in TSI defensive ratings.

Defensively, they were 18th in EPA per play (down from 11th in 2022) and 19th in defensive success rate (way down from 8th in 2022).

Buccaneers 2024 Outlook

Their 2024 win total currently sits at 8.5, with the under being juiced to -150. The defense improved in its raw points per game numbers in 2023, but the advanced numbers may suggest there was some luck involved there. I do think the offensive success is replicable, especially if they get anything going in the run game. 

I think I’d lean Over 8.5 at +125 odds right now, and of course I will produce full win total projections for all 32 teams and release them at some point this summer, so stay tuned for that.