Last week CBSSports, in a quest to rank all 32 NFL teams by the difficulty of their schedule, published their rankings for all four schedules in the NFC South.
The article claims that the Bucs’ easiest stretch comes in the season’s ever-important first three weeks where they will be tasked with taking on the 49ers to open the season at home, the Panthers on the road for a Thursday night match-up in week two and then returning to Tampa with 10 days to prepare for the visiting Giants.
Tampa Bay will then endure a grueling 49-day span between home games that includes four games on the road against the Rams, Saints, Titans and Seahawks, with a forfeited home game in London against the Panthers and a bye week in the mix. In fact, the stretch is so unfavorable that a scheduling official actually apologized for it.
Even so, CBSSports’ difficulty of schedule formula gives the Bucs the easiest schedule in their division, and the 26th toughest schedule in the league, as they will play six games against teams that the Westgate Las Vegas SportsBook doesn’t view as Super Bowl contenders: the Lions, Giants, Cardinals, Titans and two games against the Panthers.