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Thinking about giving up your Tampa Bay Buccaneers season tickets? Despite the fact that there are over 100,000 people on the Bucs’ season-ticket waiting list, some fans are. It may not hard to figure out why, either. The Bucs are, after all, just 4-7 at Raymond James Stadium since the start of the 2003 regular season.
But before Bucs fans give up their season tickets, they should take a close look at their favorite team’s 2005 home opponents, who currently have a combined record of 22-36 and make for a favorable home schedule.
In addition to Tampa Bay’s three NFC South division opponents – Atlanta (6-2), Carolina (1-6) and New Orleans (3-4) – the Bucs will host Buffalo (2-5), Chicago (2-5), Detroit (4-3) and Miami (1-7) next season.
The only game that hasn’t been determined is the one that won’t be decided until the end of the 2004 regular season. If the season ended today, the third-place Bucs would host the NFC East’s third-place team, which just happens to be Keyshawn Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys (3-4).
Depending on how the 2-5 Bucs finish in the NFC South Division and the rest of the NFC West division teams fare in ’04 season in terms of standings, the Bucs could possibly host Philadelphia (7-0), the New York Giants (5-2) or Washington (2-5) instead of Dallas.
While Tampa Bay’s home schedule appears to be favorable, its away schedule is just the opposite – it’s brutal – or at least that’s the way it appears right now. These teams currently have a combined record of 33-25, and four of the eight teams are atop their divisions.
In addition to games against Atlanta (6-2), Carolina (1-6) and New Orleans (3-4), Tampa Bay is scheduled to travel to Green Bay (4-4), where the Bucs haven’t beaten the Packers since 1989, Minnesota (5-2) and New England (6-1) and the New York Jets (6-1), both of whom are tied for first place in the AFC East Division and are undefeated at home this season.
The Bucs are also scheduled to face a NFC West opponent, but that team won’t be determined until the end of the 2004 season. If the ’04 season ended today, the third-place Bucs would travel to Arizona next year to take on the third-place Cardinals (1-6), whom Tampa Bay will face in Tempe on January 2, 2005 in the season finale.
Depending on how Tampa Bay and the rest of the NFC West division teams finish the ’04 season in terms of standings, the Bucs could possibly travel to Seattle (4-3), St. Louis (4-3) or San Francisco (1-6) instead of Arizona.
TAMPA BAY 2005 OPPONENTS (as of 11/2/2004):
New Orleans 3-4
Green Bay 4-4
New England 6-1
New Orleans 3-4
New York Jets 6-1
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