Initial Thoughts On The Buccaneers 2024 Schedule


Wednesday night NFL teams across the league released their 2024 season schedules. While Buccaneers fans have known the opponents for weeks, this was when they finally learned when the Bucs would face each of their opponents. This might not seem especially important, but it’s not always about who you play, but rather when you play then.

The revealed schedule gave me a lot of thoughts. It also gave me a clear picture of what my expectations for the Bucs should be this season, like a natural road map to the playoffs. Here are my initial thoughts of the Buccaneers 2024 schedule.

First Six Games

Over the first month and a half, I see a lot of opportunity for the Bucs. They will play vs Washington, at Detroit, vs Denver, vs Philadelphia, at Atlanta on Thursday night and at New Orleans. This isn’t an easy road, but it’s a group of games that I think the team should be able to handle.

The notable games are at Detroit, vs Philadelphia and at Atlanta. I view all of these teams as likely playoff teams in 2024 and will all provide a difficult challenge. These three games will be an early test of who the Bucs are and how far they have to go. 

I think the Buccaneers are very capable of winning any and all of these games. However, it seems unlikely that they will win every game vs every good team, even though they are a good team themselves. If they can manage to win at least one of these games, if not two, then Tampa Bay will be in good shape.

After that, the Bucs just have to take care of business against three bad teams. Washington and Denver were two of the worst teams in the NFL last season and both will likely be starting rookie quarterbacks. Winning these games should be the expectation.

Then there are the New Orleans Saints. A division rival who beat the Buccaneers down the stretch last year. It’s a game that shouldn’t be overlooked as an easy win, but there is no doubt that this is a team on the decline and the Bucs should win this game. 

The Middle Four

This will be the gauntlet stretch for the pewter pirates. Monday night football vs Baltimore, vs Atlanta, at Kansas City and vs San Francisco. That was the team with the best record in the NFL last year, the NFC champion, the Super Bowl champion and the Bucs biggest threat within their own division. 

If the Bucs first six games were a measuring stick, these four games will tell them exactly how far away they are from the top. These are the teams you have to compete with and beat if you want to win the NFL’s ultimate prize. 

It’s hard for me to have high expectations for these games. After all, the Bucs are a very young team and we need to see progression from the rookie and sophomores to really be in a position to defeat these types of teams. I will reassess after the first month and a half, but at this point I would say that they have to come away with one victory in these four games.

The Back Seven

At this point in the year the Bucs should be somewhere between a 6-4 or 4-6 record.Regardless of where they fall on this scale, the back end of the schedule is where they should make their playoff push. Most of the teams in the last two months are weaker rosters who will most likely be out of contention at this point of the year.

These teams include the New York Giants, at Carolina, vs Las Vegas, at Los Angeles Chargers, at Dallas Cowboys, vs Carolina and vs New Orleans. For those keeping track, that is four games against teams that had a top six draft slot in the most recent draft and a team that is starting one of Gardner Minshew or Aidan O’Connell at quarterback. There is no reason that those shouldn’t be five wins for the Bucs.

The big game in this group is primetime on Sunday night football when they play the Cowboys. Dallas was 12-5 last season and still has a lot of outstanding individual pieces from that team. However, I view the Cowboys as a team similar to the Buccaneers as someone who is trying to reload on the fly. I think the Bucs are the better team and I see this as a very winnable game for Tampa.

Overall Prediction

This first half of the year will come with ups and downs. The Buccaneers are a very young team, especially in the trenches. It will take time for those young guys to find their footing and take the next step in their career.

Fortunately, the schedule eases up in the second half right when you would want to be finding your stride as a potential playoff team. This will give the Bucs not only a great shot to win their division, but enter the postseason with momentum. Afterall, it is the second season that really matters in any sport.

Overall, I see a schedule that projects favorably for double digit wins. It’s too early to really have strong predictions about the exact record, but at a glance I would say the Bucs should go around 11-6 this season. This should be enough to win the NFC South for the fourth consecutive season and make a run at the NFC championship game.

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