With the 2014 season officially over for the 2-14 Buccaneers, the Bay Area faithful can now turn their attention to next year. And while there’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2015 season – offensive coordinator, draft strategy, possible free agents, to name a few – one thing that isn’t up for debate is the upcoming competition.
Starting with the NFC opponents, conference divisions play each other once every three years. With that being the case, the the NFC South is slated to play the NFC East division for the first time since 2012. So along with the Buccaneers’ six divisional games against New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina, they will play the Redskins, Eagles, Cowboys and Giants, with the latter two opponents at home.
Moving to the AFC, the NFC South will face the division they played four years ago – the South. In 2011, their home games against this division came against the Colts and Texans, which means that next season will consist of trips to Indianapolis and Houston while the home contests will be against the Jaguars and Titans.
This leaves two remaining games. With the NFL’s scheduling structure, a team will play one team in each of the other two divisions in their conference that finished the previous season in the same place.
In other words, the Buccaneers will face the last-place finisher in the NFC West and North.
With the Chicago Bears losing, 13-9, in Minnesota, this means that there will be a rematch with Lovie Smith’s former team in Tampa, while the Bucs will travel to face St. Louis.
The only thing that won’t be determined on Sunday is the order in which they come, which will be decided in April. But here’s an early look at the 2015 home and away opponents:
HOME: New Orleans, Atlanta, Carolina, New York Giants, Dallas, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Chicago
AWAY: New Orleans, Atlanta, Carolina, Washington, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Houston, St. Louis
Interesting Bucs 2015 Schedule Notes:
•Of the home opponents, every team except for the Titans defeated the Bucs the last time they met in Ray Jay. The Bucs beat Vince Young and the Titans, 13-10, in 2007.
• Of the away opponents, the Bucs lost their last road meeting to every 2015 foe except the Redskins, whom they beat, 27-7, in November to earn their second and last win of the 2014 season.
• If this season is any indication for next years strength of schedule, the Bucs could be poised for a turnaround, especially at home. Twelve out of the 16 games next season are against teams with losing records in 2014. And of their 13 different opponents – not including second game against divisional opponents – nine of them have losing records in 2014. Indianapolis, Houston, Dallas and Philly are the four winning teams this season, with the Cowboys being the only one at home. Seven of the Bucs’ eight home games will be against teams with losing records in 2014.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
HA, Sure. We’re officially the worst team in the league, no Oline, no running game, no QB, and ONLY 1 solid WO on the outside. (Evans)
We got swept by Derek Anderson nuff said
Now that’s hilarious!
This years record will mean nothing next year. Too many players and coaches change from year to year to say that we have a good or bad chance to beat any of those teams next year.
I do expect to win 7-8 ball games next year. We have many variables to get help for QB, RDE, LOT, LB, Center, OG, RB, CB. Go Bucs! It’s a new year!
Pinks right, teams like the Texans, and Jags as it stands would kick our A’s right now. The NFC east won’t be easy. St Louie beat us with a back up Q.B.. Winning 8 games next year could be a stretch.
Why is a win over a bad team supposed to make me excited about this team? The 10 win season with Ra…that was not a good Bucs team. When they played good teams they lost and looked terrible doing it. A competitive team gives you hope. Everybody’s diss’n the Jags. The Jags have something to look forward to. Bortles is giving them a solid shot and an encouraging future. Carr is doing the same for the Raiders. It goes both ways though as the Titans are going back to the well Again. I could care less how many games we win next season. I want to see the team making strides forward. On O, D & ST–run your stuff well. Know your role. Don’t look like you just rolled out of bed onto a football field and never saw a playbook.
Even if we got Winston (god help me) or Mariota we are far off from winning 7 or more games, holes are everywhere
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