A flurry of free-agent moves and a trade-up in the draft helped Tampa Bay address its offense this past offseason. After a 7-9 finish, the Bucs will need to make similar moves to shore up their pass defense if they hope to be a more serious contender for an NFC playoff berth in 2013.
Tampa Bay showed marked improvement in several key areas in the first season under coach Greg Schiano, but deficiencies in key areas cost the Bucs a chance to make a playoff run.
If Tampa Bay hopes to make a playoff run in its second season under coach Greg Schiano, it will have to handle a schedule that includes road tests against explosive passing attacks in New England and Detroit.
With both a four-game winning streak and a five-game losing streak, Tampa Bay had its share of ups and downs in 2012. Here are RapidReports' picks for the top highlights and lowlights from the Bucs' first year under coach Greg Schiano.
Tampa Bay made aggressive moves in the draft and free agency after a miserable 2011 season, and most of those decisions paid off in 2012, as reflected in CBSSports.com's RapidReports picks for the team's MVPs.
The rematch between Iowa State and Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl flipped the script from the first meeting between these two teams, as the Golden Hurricane rallied from an early deficit to win 31-17 on Monday.
Tampa Bay's playoff chances wilted away with a five-game losing streak late in the season. But the Buccaneers should enter the offseason on a relatively happy note thanks to Sunday's 22-17 win over the NFC's No. 1 seed, Atlanta.
Neither team has anything to play for but pride in a Week 17 matchup between NFC South rivals Tampa Bay and Atlanta.
It's a rematch of the season opener for both teams. Iowa State hopes for a similar result, while Tulsa hopes to cap off its Conference USA championship season by exacting a measure of revenge.
Baylor's offense had shredded opponents for much of the season, but its defense made plays early to give the Bears an insurmountable lead by halftime of Thursday night's Holiday Bowl, a 49-26 win over UCLA in San Diego.
Baylor and No. 17 UCLA have explosive options at the skill positions. Could the Holiday Bowl serve as a late Christmas gift for those who enjoy a glut of points and yards?
For the fifth consecutive week, Tampa Bay fell. For Bucs fans who were already frustrated with QB Josh Freeman, Sunday's 28-13 loss to the Rams did nothing to convince them that Freeman can lead this franchise to better things in the years to come.
Tampa Bay's nosedive continued on Sunday, as another poor outing from QB Josh Freeman helped St. Louis to a convincing 28-13 road win at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Rams inactives for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay include WR Steve Smith and RB Terrance Ganaway.
The Buccaneers have announced their inactive players for Sunday's home finale against the Rams.