With the 2018 season right around the corner, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to put the off-season highs and lows behind them.
Soon enough, everything will be forgotten, or at least, pushed to the back burner. The talking will be done on the field. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the third toughest schedule in the NFL this year. While most of us will watch every game, here are a few games that deserve our special attention.
Week Two: Buccaneers vs Eagles
This was an easy one. The Bucs will be facing the defending Superbowl Champs to open up Raymond James Stadium for the 2018 season. For the Eagles, Carson Wentz should be playing in his second game since his torn ACL on December 10th of 2017.
The Bucs will be without Jameis Winston as he serves his three game suspension to start the season. The Eagles have the added benefit of opening up at home versus the Falcons on a Thursday night.
Although the matchup is early in the season, it should prove a good test of the Bucs metal. Vinny Curry and Beau Allen face their former team, as the Bucs look to build momentum coming off their week one win in New Orleans. Every game on the schedule is important, but the excitement should be high in RayJay.
Week six: Buccaneers At Falcons
Division games are always big. Coming off a bye week, the Bucs look to beat the Falcons in Atlanta. Will the Bucs wait until after the bye week to bring Jameis back? If Ryan Fitzpatrick, the presumable starter (but don’t forget about Griffin), is 2-1 going into week four, do the Buccaneers let Fitzmagic play the fourth game?
Winston starts as soon as he is available in my opinion, but there is an argument to be made for waiting until after the bye week.
Regardless of who starts at quarterback, a big road test with an extra week to prepare will be next up in week six. The Buccaneers haven’t faced a division opponent coming off a bye since 2011. This is a huge season for the coaching staff as a whole, and depending on how the first few games go, this could easily be a make or break game for the Bucs.
Week 16: Buccaneers At Cowboys
Come week 16 we all want the Bucs to be in the playoff hunt. The Cowboys have a middle of the road schedule, difficulty wise. I expect both teams to be competing hard for playoff spots. If that’s the case, this game will get flexed and possibly end up being the Sunday Night Football game.
Last time these two played, Ezekiel Elliot jumped in the salvation army bucket for charity. Such a nice guy (Insert eye roll). Cam Brate made a highlight reel grab in the end zone and Kwon Alexander tackled anyone wearing blue in the stadium.
Of course “America’s Team” will be the favorites, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have unfinished business with the Cowboys. The match up is exciting and by that time, both teams should be clicking on all cylinders.
It all comes down to this
2018 will be a big year for the players, coaches and fans alike. Will the corner backs play 22 yards off of the opposing wide receivers? Will Desean Jackson run a route besides a go route? Will Chris Conte piss off the masses once again? Tune in September ninth to find out.