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2024 Buccaneers NFL Schedule Analysis

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By: Mike Kiwak

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

With 2024 schedule set, what does Tampa’s slate look like?

The NFL unveiled its 2024 schedule Wednesday, and the Buccaneers’ portion of the slate has several interesting storylines to keep an eye on.

The full schedule is located below:

A Defining Stretch

There is no doubt that the Bucs’ chances of posting of a fourth winning record in the last five years will largely come down to weeks 5-10.

Usually, the opening month can be anyone’s guess as teams acclimate to new coaching, roster dynamics, or injuries. That said, Tampa’s first four opponents (Washington Commanders, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, and Philadelphia Eagles) will be tough outs. As long as they can muster at least 1 or 2 wins out of that, their real obstacles begin on Thursday Night Football in Week 5.

That will mark their first divisional contest of the year on the road against Kirk Cousins and the new-look Atlanta Falcons. That’s immediately followed by a road trip to New Orleans to face the Saints, a Monday Night Football home tilt against the Baltimore Ravens, the Falcons once again, and then a brutal primetime road jaunt to face the Kansas City Chiefs on another Monday.

Punctuate that with another round against the San Francisco 49ers, who have brutalized the Bucs like no other in the last 5 years, before heading into the Week 11 bye, and we’ll likely have a great idea of whether a division title is possible or if we’re already looking ahead to the off-season.

A Return to the Limelight

After just two scheduled primetime games in lieu of a Tom Brady-less roster last season, another NFC South crown and a reignited Baker Mayfield have bolstered interest in the Bucs once again.

It’s not just throwing a bone to the underdog, as Tampa gets big-time opponents in the Chiefs (a classic Super Bowl rematch) and the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens (who led the NFL in wins last year) on Monday Night on ESPN. And then there’s the always popular Dallas Cowboys — who the Bucs have built quite a rivalry with in recent seasons — on Sunday Night in Week 16.

If Atlanta is as improved as many fans and sportsbooks think, the Week 5 Thursday nighter should be something fun to watch as well.

They’ll have some potentially expanded viewing windows on Week 1 against Jayden Daniels and the Commanders, as well as Week 15 when they travel to face the Los Angeles Chargers — both on at 4:25 on FOX.

Travel Lite

The Bucs will benefit from logging very few miles travel-wise in 2024. They’ll cover the 10th fewest miles of any team with 15,303 and just 12 timezones — tied with three other teams for third-fewest.

They get favorable home matchups against the Broncos, Eagles, Ravens, 49ers, and Raiders. In addition to that, Tampa will largely avoid cold-weather sojourns, with only the back-to-back of the New York Giants in Week 12 (Nov. 24) and Carolina Panthers in Week 13 (Dec. 1) standing out as ones that might receive a less-than-rosy forecast.

When your toughest road trips stand out as “just” Detroit, New Orleans, Kansas City, and Los Angeles (three out of four being domes, only one across the country), you could be in a lot worse shape.

Hostile Territory

The Buccaneers are vying for a fourth-consecutive NFC South title, which would extend the feat they just achieved after winning three consecutive titles for the first time in their history. In the 20-year history of the division, only the Saints have won four straight crowns (2017-20).

They’ll do so once again facing stiff competition despite a divisional slate largely dismissed as subpar. They will face all four 2023 conference championship participants, rematch their two playoff opponents within the first four weeks, and play five division winners and six playoff teams.

Even with the divisional opponents, the Bucs will face some added challenge since they’ll see the Falcons on two short weeks (Thursday night and when the Bucs are coming off a Monday nighter). They also have to conclude their season like they did last year — against the Panthers and Saints — in two weeks that could likely have significant ramifications.

Originally posted on Bucs Nation – All Posts