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SR’s 2024 Bucs Schedule Analysis

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By: Scott Reynolds

The 2024 Bucs schedule is finally out! And while it’s too early – and futile – to predict wins and losses before training camp even starts, it is okay to examine each matchup week-by-week and offer up some commentary on Tampa Bay’s 2024 slate of games. This year’s schedule features four games in prime time, so let’s take a look at what’s coming this fall.

SR’s 2024 Bucs Schedule Analysis

Week 1: Bucs vs. Commanders – 4:25 p.m. ET – Fox

All eyes will be on how Jayden Daniels fares against a fast Tampa Bay defense that will feature a myriad of disguised coverages and exotic pressure packages from Todd Bowles, who will have all offseason to prepare for the dual-threat QB. But the real story could be how Tampa Bay’s revamped interior offensive line and running game fares against Washington defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. Expect a very hot season opener at Ray-Jay.

Week 2: Bucs at Lions – 1:00 p.m. ET – Fox

The rematch of the NFC Divisional playoff game takes place at Detroit in Week 2. It’ll be a revenge game for Tampa Bay, which got swept by the Lions last year. Is Todd Bowles able to finally solve the puzzle that is quarterback Jared Goff? Detroit will prove to be an early test for Tampa Bay and the team could use it as a measuring stick to see how much it’s improved from a year ago.

Week 3: Bucs vs. Broncos – 1:00 p.m. ET – Fox

Todd Bowles’ defense will face its second first-round rookie quarterback in three weeks as Tampa Bay takes on Denver’s Bo Nix in the second home game of the year. If the team starts out 2-0, this game against Sean Payton’s troops could propel the team to 3-0 – or serve as a chance to get over .500 if it splits the first two games of the season. This Week 3 clash could mark the second game this season with very high temperatures for the opposing team – as well as Tampa Bay fans in attendance.

Week 4: Bucs vs. Eagles – 1:00 p.m. ET – Fox

Bucs TE Cade Otton – Photo by: USA Today

Philadelphia will be looking for revenge after being throttled 32-9 in the Wild Card playoffs last year at Ray-Jay. And new inside linebacker Devin White will be looking for some revenge against his former team, who didn’t want to re-sign him this offseason. Todd Bowles designed a masterful gameplan the last time these two teams met. Can he do it again? It should be noted that the Pewter Pirates open up with three home games in the first four weeks of the season and should be no worse than 2-2 at this point, with a 3-1 or even a 4-0 start likely.

Week 5: Bucs at Falcons – 8:15 p.m. ET – Amazon Thursday Night Football

A high-stakes division battle takes place in prime time on Thursday Night Football in Atlanta against Tampa Bay. The Bucs, who are the three-time defending NFC South champions, have heard all offseason how they’re going to be dethroned by the Falcons now that Atlanta has Kirk Cousins. This game is definitely worthy of prime time, and the short trip to nearby Atlanta for the Thursday night game is a blessing.

Week 6: Bucs at Saints – 1:00 p.m. ET – Fox

Tampa Bay’s first two division games are on the road, which will prove to be a challenge. Have the Saints gotten better or worse this offseason? Is the NFC South just a two-team race between the Bucs and Falcons? The outcome of this game will be quite telling for New Orleans.

Week 7: Bucs vs. Ravens – 8:15 p.m. ET – ESPN Monday Night Football

Bucs NT Vita Vea and Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

Bucs NT Vita Vea and Ravens QB Lamar Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay hosts Baltimore on Monday Night Football, and this will be a big test for the home team. The Ravens may be the class of the AFC this year and Lamar Jackson has been tough for Todd Bowles and Co. to stop before. Baltimore offensive coordinator Todd Monken makes his return to Tampa Bay and Bowles’ defense will be in for a real challenge.

Week 8: Bucs vs. Falcons – 1:00 p.m. ET – Fox

It’s criminal that the NFL decided to put both Bucs-Falcons games within the first eight games of the season. If these two teams are supposedly the class of the division, why not put one of these games later in December to build intrigue for a climactic finish that could be settled on the field?

Week 9: Bucs at Chiefs – 8:15 p.m. ET – ESPN Monday Night Football

Tampa Bay’s tough stretch of games continues with a trip to Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes is awfully hard to beat at Arrowhead and this game might be a cold one as it’s played in November in prime time. Mahomes has gotten the best of Todd Bowles’ defense twice – in the 2020 regular season and again in 2022. But the Bucs beat the Chiefs when it counted the most – in Super Bowl LV.

Week 10: Bucs vs. 49ers – 1:00 p.m. ET – Fox

Bucs OLB YaYa Diaby and 49ers QB Brock Purdy

Bucs OLB YaYa Diaby and 49ers QB Brock Purdy – Photo by: USA Today

Tampa Bay is 0-2 over the last two years against San Francisco. But this year’s game isn’t played at Levi’s Stadium. Instead, it’s at Raymond James Stadium, so maybe a change of scenery changes the outcome. Tampa Bay played much better last year against San Francisco than it did in 2021. How will the Bucs fare against the defending NFC champions this year?

Week 11: BYE WEEK

The Bucs’ late bye week comes at an ideal time after 10 straight weeks of football. Last year, Tampa Bay had an early bye week after Week 4 and played 13 straight weeks of football afterwards.

Week 12: Bucs at Giants – 1:00 p.m. ET – CBS

Just before Thanksgiving, the Bucs travel to New York to play the Giants. Who knows how good or bad the men in blue will be this year? One thing is for certain is that Tampa Bay better pack some warm clothes for what could be the team’s lone cold weather game.

Week 13: Bucs at Panthers – 4:05 p.m. ET – Fox

Bucs DT Calijah Kancey and Panthers QB Bryce Young

Bucs DT Calijah Kancey and Panthers QB Bryce Young – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

For the second straight year, Tampa Bay will be playing Carolina twice down the stretch. It’s an odd quirk for sure, and it’s a shame that the Bucs won’t be able to take advantage of Dave Canales’ inevitable growing pains as a head coach at the start of the season.

Week 14: Bucs vs. Raiders – 1:00 p.m. ET – CBS

Kind of like the Giants game, which kind of team will the Raiders become in 2024? Las Vegas could be awful or really good depending on how they respond to Antonio Pierce, who has taken over as the head coach. Regardless, it’s a home game in December that the Bucs will need to win in order to help their playoff chances.

Week 15: Bucs at Chargers – 4:25 p.m. ET – Fox

Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers will host the Bucs in a late season non-conference game. This will be the farthest Tampa Bay will travel this year and who knows how good Los Angeles will be in his first year as coach? The Bucs likely can’t afford to lose any games down the stretch for playoff purposes, but this is an AFC foe, and won’t matter as much as next week’s opponent.

Week 16: Bucs at Cowboys – 8:20 p.m. ET – NBC Sunday Night Football

Bucs S Antoine Winfield Jr.

Bucs S Antoine Winfield Jr. – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay travels to Dallas for the team’s fourth and final prime time game on Sunday Night Football, and these two teams could face each other again in the playoffs. The Cowboys figure to be in the mix in the NFC East and the Bucs could be leading the NFC South by Week 16. It’s a big game and Liam Coen’s offense needs to be firing on all cylinders in “Big D.”

Week 17: Bucs vs. Panthers – 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS

Tampa Bay ends the 2024 season favorably with two important division games at home. This will either be a chance to sweep the Panthers or split the series if the Bucs stub their toe in Carolina back in Week 13. Remember that Tampa Bay beat Carolina by a combined 12 points last year. This one is a must-win for the Pewter Pirates.

Week 18: Bucs vs. Saints – TBD

Tampa Bay will either be fighting for its playoff life or battling for playoff positioning in the 2024 season finale. The Saints nearly spoiled the team’s chances of winning the NFC South last year by being the bully in Week 17 and pulling off an upset. Tampa Bay can’t afford to let that happen again in 2024. This team feels like a double-digit winning team. But is that 10 wins or 11? And will that be enough to capture a fourth straight division title?

The post SR’s 2024 Bucs Schedule Analysis appeared first on Pewter Report.

Originally posted on Pewter Report