Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/18/12
In 2011 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 10 straight games to end the regular season, which led to the firing of head coach Raheem Morris and his staff.

However, in the NFL a bad season does not always translate into a succession of bad seasons.

Tampa Bay made some good moves this offseason, and this article will look at the best and worst-case scenarios for Tampa Bay in 2012.

There are some, especially in the light of Tampa Bay's free agency moves, that expect me to say that the best-case scenario for Tampa Bay this season is making it to the Super Bowl.

However, I am not going to say that, in fact I believe that the best-case scenario for Tampa Bay in 2012 is to drastically improve on both offense and defense.

Defense

On defense in 2011, Tampa Bay registered the fewest sacks with 23, allowed the most rushing yards with 2,497, and allowed the most points with 494. Additionally, Tampa Bay finished the season ranked 24th in number of total tackles with just 989.

This is a stark comparison to Tampa Bay's 2002 Super Bowl season, when Tampa Bay's defense gave up the fewest total yards, total passing yards, and total points per game. Additionally in that 2002 season, Tampa Bay finished 10th best in total tackles, and tied for 10th best in total number of sacks.

Offense

On offense in 2011, quarterback Josh Freeman threw for the most interceptions in the NFC, and the second most in the NFL with 22, while the offensive line allowed Freeman to be sacked 29 times.

Additionally, Tampa Bay finished ranked 26th in total number of first downs gained, 21st in total offensive yards with 5,108, 30th in total number of rushing yards with 1,458, and 27th in both total points and average points per game with 287and 17.9, respectively.

Lastly, in a testament to how bad both the offense and defense were last season, Tampa Bay finished the season with the worst turnover differential with -16, after giving the ball away 40 times but only taking the ball away 24 times.

Analysis

The best-case scenario for Tampa Bay in 2012 is improvement, which will only happen through good coaching, avoiding the injury bug, and playing together as a team. Tampa Bay possesses the talent this offseason, now they need to use it in the right way.

The worst-case scenario for Tampa Bay this season would be only slight improvements or continuing to stay where they were in 2011. Again, Tampa Bay picked up some good players in the Draft and free agency, therefore they will only have themselves to blame if significant improvements are not made in  2012. 

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