Bucs DT Gerald McCoy - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
With a dramatic 17-16 victory over of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the 2016 regular season with a 9-7 record and a second-place finish in the NFC South division, the team’s best mark since going 10-6 in 2010. While the exact times and dates of the Bucs’ 2017 schedule won’t be known until April, Tampa Bay knows which opponents it will face home and away next year due to the NFL scheduling formula that rotates the divisional opponents.
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Aside from the NFC South division rivals Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans, Tampa Bay will also face teams from the AFC East and the NFC North, in addition to a team from the NFC West and the NFC East that also finished with the same standing in their respective divisions. The New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals are those two other NFC teams.
For the Glazers, the Bucs’ owners, they have to like the prospects of several sold out games at Raymond James Stadium in 2017. If Tampa Bay fans don’t purchase all the tickets, fans of Chicago, both New York teams and New England all travel well and will assure the Buccaneers of at least a few sellouts in the new year.
Tampa Bay will face at least five playoff teams in 2017, including Atlanta (twice), New England, Miami, the New York Giants and possibly either Green Bay and/or Detroit.
Bucs’ 2017 Home Opponents
New England Patriots
New York Jets
New Orleans Saints
New York Giants
Bucs’ 2017 Away Opponents
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The 2017 season will mark the fourth time the Bucs have played the Bears, an old NFC Central foe, in as many years. After losing to Chicago in 2014 and ’15, the Bucs beat the Bears in 2016 at Raymond James Stadium, 36-10. That victory sparked Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak that pushed the team’s record to 8-5 into December.
Tampa Bay will also have a return to the desert to face Arizona, which beat the Bucs 41-7 in Week 2 in Phoenix this year.
The Bucs used to play their in-state rivals, the Dolphins, each year in the preseason, but that practice ended in 2014, which is the last time Tampa Bay has faced Miami.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
With away games at GB and Buffalo, there might be a cold weather games next season.
What???? Gimme a chance to decompress, why don’t cha! We just finished a tough schedule and went 9-7 to my surprise. It gives me great confidence as I’m sure it does the Buc players that we can win against anyone we play. So bring’em on! As Wanda (from Living Color) would say “We ain’t scurred”! lol.
I really, really hope they do what Sapp did to Jerry Rice and Steve Young to Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. If you play the Cheatriots without the desire to injure them you’ll have a very nice 30-14 loss.
I’ve never looked at schedules as either easy or difficult. All teams are beatable and all teams are capable of beating even the most favored of foes. Each year and each week is a different set of circumstances.
I’m sure that nearly every one of our opponent’s fans looked at their team’s schedule, saw the “lowly” Bucs and put a “W” next to it. But just look how our season unfolded. We lose to a crumby Rams team and beat the Chiefs in KC. We get blown out by a mediocre (sorry JonnyG) Cardinals team and totally dominate the Seahawks.
I just hope my fellow Season Pass Members (especially the one right behind me) don’t continue their recent practice of purchasing season tickets for the sole purpose of selling them to the opponent for a higher price. It wasn’t like that the first 10 years at RayJay when the Bucs were in the Superbowl hunt each season.
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