We’ve known who the Bucs opponents have been since the season ended.
And at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday night we’ll know when they’ll play them.
The teams the Bucs face have no shortage of talent. Eight of which made the playoffs last season, including the Super Bowl LVI champion Rams, and the runner-up Bengals.
Just three teams project to have a tougher strength of schedule than the Bucs in 2022, according to the NFL. Coming in with a combined .535 win percentage, it will be a far cry from one of the easier schedules they played in 2021.
The strength of schedule formula is based on the records of teams from the 2021 season. Sharp Football Analysis follows a Las Vegas model that actually has Tampa Bay having the seventh-easiest schedule based on projected win total.
The Bucs will need to bring their best week in and week out through a gauntlet of tough opponents. That includes an overseas game in Germany versus the Seahawks, a Sunday Night Football matchup against the Chiefs, and as many as four more prime time games.
One of those is rumored to be a Monday Night Football game against the divisional rival Saints. The winners of the last seven regular season clashes, New Orleans has presented a bevy of challenges for Tampa Bay.
Also on the schedule will be the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers. The Bucs have beaten them in their last two meetings, including the 2020 NFC Championship Game. Green Bay will still provide a tough game as the team has focused on rebuilding its defense this offseason.
Bucs’ Road To Super Bowl LVII Is Tough At Home And Away
There’s a case to be made for nearly half the teams on Tampa Bay’s schedule having Super Bowl aspirations. While it appears the Bucs got the tougher slate of opponents at home, they’ve played well at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay went 7-1 at home last year in the regular season, setting a new franchise record. Aside from Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Cincinnati, the team plays Baltimore, Kansas City, Green Bay and the home game in Germany versus Seattle.
The Bucs will need to play smart, disciplined football on the road against the 49ers, Cowboys, Browns, Steelers and Cardinals, in addition to the NFC South opponents. Tampa Bay came close to repeating as Super Bowl champions last year, going 13-4. But the road to another championship to be even more difficult in 2022.