The 2016 season was a very good one for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with many people taking this team as a potential NFL Betting dark horse last season. The promise of two years ago never panned out, though, as the Bucs slipped to a 5-11 record in a vastly improved NFC South. The question now is whether Jameis Winston and crew can get back to where they were a couple of years back, or whether they are going to continue to slide.
Coach Dirk Koetter is probably on a very short leash and will be starting the season on the hot seat. The bad news for the coach is that the Bucs have a brutal schedule in the opening weeks of the 2018 NFL season. Let’s take a look at some of their biggest match-ups of the coming season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2018 NFL Betting Guide
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) 4 de julio de 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Key Players
- QB Jameis Winston
- WR Mike Evans
- WR DeSean Jackson
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul
- LB Kwon Alexander
- CB Brent Grimes
Top Games in 2018 Season
Week 2 vs Philadelphia Eagles
After getting the season started with a visit to New Orleans, things really start to get tough for the Buccaneers. Week 2 will see them host the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, a team with the potential to be even stronger than they were last season.
This is the sort of early test that can go a long way towards showing us what a team is all about. Will the Buccaneers be able to rise up and take a real shot at the champs, or will they buckle under the weight of playing a superior opponent? If it’s the former, it could give this team a huge confidence boost that carries them forward the rest of the way.
Week 3 vs Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Bucs as they go from playing the best team in the NFC to a Monday night game against arguably the best team in the AFC. Further compounding the issue for Tampa Bay is the fact that the Steelers very often play their best football in prime time.
They have a ridiculously good record in Monday night games, which does not bode well for the Bucs. The one bonus for Tampa is that both of these early season games are at home, and you have to feel that they will be happy with a split given the quality of the competition.
Week 16 at Dallas Cowboys
The start of the season is tough for the Buccaneers, and it will finish how it began, with a pair of games that will test the true mettle of this team. The Bucs will head to Dallas a couple of days before Christmas hoping that they are still in the playoff picture at that point.
If Tampa is to be in the hunt for postseason football, these are the types of games that they are going to need to win. While this is undoubtedly a big one, it is the final game of the season that may prove to be the most important.
Week 17 vs Atlanta Falcons
The Buccaneers were the odd man out in what was a very good NFC South last season. Much like last year, most of the divisional games are going to come in the second half of the season, which means that the positioning can change very quickly.
The Falcons are the favorites and may have clinched a playoff spot by this point, but the Bucs may very well be alive and in need of a win in this one. This could well prove to be the game that decides who is in and who is out in the South.
Rest of the Schedule
- New Orleans Saints (Week 1)
- Chicago Bears (Week 4)
- Bye (Week 5)
- Atlanta Falcons (Week 6)
- Cleveland Browns (Week 7)
- Cincinnati Bengals (Week 8)
- Carolina Panthers (Week 9)
- Washington Redskins (Week 10)
- New York Giants (Week 11)
- San Francisco 49ers (Week 12)
- Carolina Panthers (Week 13)
- New Orleans Saints (Week 14)
- Baltimore Ravens (Week 15)