The 2023 NFL season is just days away and the level of excitement is at a breaking point. Last year, after sneaking into the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their season cut short by a blowout Wild Card loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Now with GOAT QB Tom Brady retired (for real this time), there are plenty of questions looming for 2023, including the Buccaneers playoff chances. No doubt Bucs fans have a lot to be anxious about leading into the new season.
But how does the restlessness of Tampa Bay supporters compare to other NFL fan bases? Believe it or not, Statista conducted a survey on this very subject — well, sort of. The data website polled 1,020 NFL fans and asked them about their favorite team, and how much sleep they average per night. For the purposes of this article, we’re classifying less than 6 hours of ZZZs as “restless.”
The Most Restless NFL Fanbases
Although Florida sports betting isn't legal yet, this information isn't something you'd find on Florida sportsbooks. Check out where Bucs fans rank below, along with some thoughts on what might be keeping them up at night in the lead-up to the 2023 NFL season.
The Results Are As Expected
Tampa Bay boasts the ninth most restless NFL fanbase. And if Bucs fans have been tossing and turning throughout the night this offseason, it’s because they’re wondering what the team will look like without Tom Brady. As mentioned, the Brady era in Tampa Bay has come to an end. After winning the Super Bowl in 2020, the Buccaneers regressed significantly in 2022. While they still made the playoffs, they did so with a sub-500, 8-9 record, while competing in the NFL’s worst division.
Although Florida sports betting apps have yet to be legalized, based on the odds available in other territories, it’s clear that bookmakers are far from optimistic that the Buccaneers will turn things around in 2023. On DraftKings Sportsbook, the Buccaneers Super Bowl odds have fallen to +10000, and at +1000 they own the longest odds of any NFC South team to win the division.
Clearly, new QB Baker Mayfield faces a tough road ahead. The former Heisman winner was officially named starting quarterback last week, but expect him to have a short leash. Since breaking the rookie passing touchdown record in Cleveland in 2018, Mayfield has endured a rash of injuries, and his play while on the field has been — to put it kindly — inconsistent.
Should he struggle, third-year signal caller Kyle Trask will be waiting in the wings. Even beyond the QB change, expect the Bucs offense to look very different this year. Last season Tampa Bay led the league in pass attempts, and completions, and ran more plays than any other team in the league. That pass-heavy approach works a lot better when you have the greatest quarterback of all time.
Meanwhile, they logged the fewest rushing attempts and yards, managing an NFL-worst 5 rushing TDs. With those lowly figures, it would be nearly impossible for the Bucs rushing attack to perform worse in 2023. However, a recent season-ending injury to former Pro Bowl Center Ryan Jensen does not bode well for starting Running Back Rachaad White and the rest of the Tampa Bay backfield.
Bucs Coaching Staff Looking Ahead
Leading the new offensive regime will be Dave Canales, who replaced former offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich this offseason. Canales comes to Tampa Bay from Seattle, where he was the quarterbacks coach, and helped lead Geno Smith’s surprising turnaround last season. Surely, Buccaneer fans have been dreaming about a similar outcome for Baker Mayfield during their precious few hours of sleep.
On the defensive side of the football, Bucs faithful can rest east easy. The front-seven return DT Vita Vea, along with linebackers Lavonte David and Shaquil Barrett. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s secondary projects to be among the league’s best once again, with Carlton Davis III, Jamel Dean and Antoine Winfield Jr. all back for another year.
While fans may have concerns about the Bucs roster, they can sleep easy knowing FloridaBet.com is there to keep the Sunshine State up-to-date on all the latest Florida sports betting news throughout the 2023 NFL season and beyond.