The Bucs will face the Falcons and try to win their first season opener in four years. Tampa has struggled out of the gate recently and last year they were humiliated at home by Tennessee losing 42-14, as Marcus Mariota outdueled Jameis Winston in a matchup of the top two draft picks of 2015. The Titans only won two more games the rest of the year.
Getting off to a good start is imperative as the Bucs start with four of their first six on the road. Tampa swept the series with the Falcons last year so they should be able to compete and hopefully win on Sunday and start the season 1-0. With Carolina losing on Thursday a win would put them a game ahead of the two-time NFC South Champs.
The schedule in the first six games is daunting after Sunday as it will include road games in Arizona and Carolina, both are favorites for the Super Bowl. Also, the defending champion Broncos will come to Tampa during this stretch so getting off to a good start against an average at best Falcons team is critical for a successful 2016.