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Is the entire NFC West a threat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Brady vs. Aaron Donald

After coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did something that very few teams can accomplish. Tampa was able to bring back a considerable bulk of last year’s Super Bowl-winning roster. Because of those transactions, Tampa Bay is expected by a large majority to return to the Super Bowl and defend their title.

However, can an entire division derail the Bucs Super Bowl aspirations once the playoffs start? Strike 7 Sports looks at how the four teams in the NFC West could pose a threat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers repeating as Super Bowl champions. The division is projected to be the most highly competitive in the league for 2021.

Los Angeles Rams

Last season, the Los Angeles Rams went into Raymond James Stadium and knocked off the Tampa Bay Bucs 27-24 on one of the game’s biggest stage Monday Night Football. Los Angeles accomplished the victory by playing a style of football that frustrated Bucs QB, Tom Brady. Could the same type of performance become a recipe for success in the rematch on Week 3?

It is highly possible, but Brady and the Bucs are vastly improved as a football team. Viewers will not see the type of offensive production that they witnessed in the Monday night matchup from last season.

While the Buccaneers brought back everyone from last year’s roster, the Rams made a significant upgrade at the most critical position. They decided to trade quarterback Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for highly sought-after talent Matthew Stafford. A rematch between the Rams and Bucs is highly possible once the playoffs begin.

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers could not return to the Super Bowl due to a series of injuries occurring among critical personnel on their roster in 2020. While the team remained competitive in games, it was not at the level of what we had witnessed in 2019. Now that those impact players have returned from their injuries, San Francisco will attempt to get back to what made them dominant two seasons ago.

The key ingredient to their success is Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan is a dynamic play-caller that can get the best out of his players on offense. Their versatility on the offensive side of the ball is what made them so difficult to defend in 2019. Similar to the Rams, the 49ers have a defensive line that can get after immobile quarterbacks like Brady.

Seattle Seahawks

Here is one thing that this for sure, you can never count out Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. With Wilson under center, the Seahawks have only missed out on the playoffs once. Their front office has made significant moves in the offseason to build a more vigorous offensive line around Wilson.

Will those moves be enough to propel the Seahawks over the top? If so, the league could witness another classic battle between Wilson and Brady. Both quarterbacks have had thrilling showdowns in the past whenever they faced each other.

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are the biggest sleeping giant in the league right now. The roster is stacked with playmakers on both sides of the football. Their quarterback Kyler Murray has the potential to become a multiple-season 4,000-yard passer. What if the Cardinals can finally put it all together and make a strong push into the postseason? If they had to come across the Buccaneers in the playoffs, it could be a game with a lot of intrigues. Murray’s skill set is an element that would keep any defensive coordinator up at night. 

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Photo courtesy of Kim Klement-USA Today Sports.

Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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