Buccaneers Schedule Release: Instant Reaction


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule has been released. Despite having known who the Bucs will play in 2033 the order of the opponents wasn’t revealed until today. We now know what the season will look like.

The order of the opponents has a surprisingly large influence on the perception of the outcome. How many prime time games, when the bye week will be, if there will be cold weather games; all these things have an impact. 

Considering all of these factors, leads me to believe if this is a favorable schedule or it will make for an uphill battle. Here are my initial thoughts.

Makings of a hot start?

The Buccaneers will start the year traveling up to Minnesota to play the Vikings and then returning home to host the Chicago Bears in week two. These are matchups I view as favorable. Especially for new offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

These two teams gave up the most (Bears) and third most (Vikings) points in the NFL last year. And while these were a few notable names brought in to help improve these defenses, neither invested a lot of resources into revamping their unit. This is an ideal opportunity to see what this new look Buccaneers offense can do.

Following that, the Bucs will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night football before heading to New Orleans to play the Saints. These will both be tough games, although neither is impossible.

I expect the Eagles to be one of the best teams in the NFC again this year. However, I like the matchup for the Bucs and I like catching them early in the year as they replace both the offensive and defensive coordinators. I think this will be a loss, but I could be more interesting than some expect.

Then there’s the Saints and what has become one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL in recent years. Going on the road will be a challenge, but I also believe the Bucs are a slightly better team. I can see this one going either way.

Early bye isn’t all bad

My instant reaction was that I hated seeing a week five bye week. That means it will be 13 consecutive weeks after that without a break. With that comes a higher risk of injuries and no time to rest and heal.

On the other hand, I like that the coaching staff will have a chance to evaluate and adjust the new offense early in. This makes for a nice way to ease first year offensive coordinator Dave Canales into his role. I still don’t like the early bye, but there is a silver lining in that.

Building momentum?

I like getting the Detroit Lions in week six. Coming off the bye it gives the Bucs extra time to prepare for one of the better teams on their schedule. It also means that speedy receiver Jameson Williams will still be suspended for gambling.

After that the Buccaneers will see the Atlanta Falcons come to Tampa Bay as well as playing the Houston Texans (away) and the Tennessee Titans (home) in a month’s time. These are three of the easiest games the Bucs will play this year. This is an opportunity for the Bucs to stack some wins before the stretch run.

Sandwiched between the Falcons and Texans games, the Buccaneers will travel to Buffalo for Thursday night football. This is a game the Bucs will likely lose to the Bills who are one of the best teams in the AFC. The only thing I’ll say about that is that weird things can happen with Thursday night football.

Hope down the home stretch 

The Buccaneers kick the second half of their schedule by playing the 49ers in San Francisco. This might be the best team in the NFC and it’s on the road. I’ll be chalking that up as a comfortable loss.

After that things get much easier. The Bucs will play one team that had a winning record last year (Jacksonville Jaguars at 9-8) in their final seven games. Granted the Bucs didn’t have a winning record last year either, but that just makes these all teams of a similar caliber. 

If the Bucs can hover around .500 during this seven game stretch then they will likely be in position to compete for the playoffs. Especially if they can beat their division opponents at n that span who will make up four of those seven games.


The Bucs don’t have many cupcakes on the schedule, but they also only have a handful of great opponents. Their hardest games are spaced out and surrounded by haves that look winnable. This will give them a chance to rack up chunks of wins.

The early bye is a major concern and it makes me skeptical of the team’s health down the stretch. However, being able to refine the new offense that early on is a positive. If the Bucs can get some injury luck then the timing of the bye could be a positive. 

I believe it’s premature to predict wins and losses. There is just so much we are still learning about this Buccaneers offense. With that said, this schedule looks favorable. If the Bucs don’t win the NFC South it won’t be due to a bad draw with the schedule.

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