Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 11/8/12

Tampa Bay is eight games into the 2012 regular season and have already impressed many with their .500 record alone. But after starting 1-3 and winning three of their last four, the Buccaneers are beginning to make some noise around the league. Where the team ranks Total Offense – 9th (376.4 ypg) Rushing Offense – 9th (131.0 ypg) Passing Offense – 14th (245.4 ypg) Total Defense – 29th (398.4 ypg) Rushing Defense – 1st (77.3 ypg) Passing Defense – 32nd (321.1 ypg) Points Scored – 5th (28.3 ppg) Points Allowed – 19th (23.1 ppg) Sacks – tied 25th (13.0) Sacks Allowed – 5th (12.0) Turnover Margin – 5th (+9) Team leaders Rushing Yards – Doug Martin (794) Passer Rating – Josh Freeman (95.1) Receptions – Vincent Jackson (31) Receiving Yards – Vincent Jackson (710) Sacks – Michael Bennett (6.0) Interceptions – Ronde Barber (3) Tackles – Lavonte David (67) First half MVPs Offense: Josh Freeman and Doug Martin – Both started the first four games of the season rather sluggish. However, in the last four games, Martin has rushed for 547 yards and six touchdowns while Freeman has thrown for 1,257 yards, 11 touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 111.2. Defense: Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David – The defensive side of the ball is a bit difficult to single out a player or two for any kind of MVP honors. However, Gerald McCoy and rookie Lavonte David have played important rolls to help turn the Bucs into the best run defense in the league. Aside from David’s team leading 67 tackles, the rookie has been instrumental as the signal caller and for the plays he has made behind the line of scrimmage. For McCoy, he has gotten into the backfield and disrupted running lanes which was something the Bucs defense has missed from him in the past due to injuries. Remaining schedule November 11 San Diego Chargers 4-4 November 18 at Carolina Panthers 2-6 November 25 Atlanta Falcons 8-0 December 2 at Denver Broncos 5-3 December 9 Philadelphia Eagles 3-5 December 16 at New Orleans Saints 3-5 December 23 St. Louis Rams 3-5 December 30 at Atlanta Falcons 8-0 Second half outlook The Bucs have a few things going for them right now and it’s on the offensive side of the ball. For starters, Doug Martin is emerging as the running back that can turn a game in the Bucs favor single-handedly. If Tampa Bay keeps feeding him the ball and his success continues, they can make things interesting down the stretch. Second, Josh Freeman’s options seem to be endless as of late. If Vincent Jackson gets shut down, Mike Williams becomes the reliable go-to guy and vice versa. The pass defense will need to make progress in the second half. The team can not expect to rely solely on their great run defense that has arguably helped keep them in games. With Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan (twice), Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees left to play, they better make some adjustments fast. Bold prediction 10-6. That’s right, the Bucs will finish the second half strong winning six of the final eight games including wins against Denver and Atlanta to keep the 10-6 record that was predicted before the season began. (Photo credit: AP) The post Bucs’ midseason review and prediction appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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