When the NFL released the schedules for all 32 teams on Wednesday, fans rushed to Twitter to share their opinions on the lineup that their favorite team would face in 2019. For one team though, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was immediately apparent that something wasn’t right.
Something that immediately jumps off of the page includes the Bucs participating in a Thursday night, prime-time, divisional road game against the Carolina Panthers immediately following their home opener against the San Fransisco 49ers. They then return to Tampa to face the New York Giants in Week 3.
The stretch that follows is something out of a scheduling nightmare. Tampa Bay will play their next two games on the road against the New Orleans Saints and defending AFC Champion Las Angeles Rams before heading to London where they will not just forfeit a home game, but forfeit a divisional home game, for their second matchup against the Panthers. The Bucs will then get their bye week in Week 7 before two more road games in Tennessee and Seattle for a breathtaking 49-day stretch between games in Tampa.
Worst part about this schedule: I can't even pick a worst part
– 2 games in 4 days to start the season (second being a div. road game)
– 7 WEEKS between home games from Sep. 22-Nov. 10
– Nearly 30,000 miles traveled in a 3 wk stretch
– London game replaces a DIVISIONAL HOME GAME https://t.co/p1yYnYyQhm
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) April 18, 2019
Even the NFL’s senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling, Mike North, spoke about the Bucs’ perplexing schedule on Late Hits, a football talk show on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“If we had to do-over, if we had a redo, I’d love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” North said. “I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans. I’m hopeful that we didn’t do something to the Buccaneers that they feel like was really unfair.”
He even added that the scheduling snafu gave Tampa Bay such a rough stretch that he’s actually pulling for the Buccaneers throughout the first half of their season.
“I know we’re not allowed to root for anybody, but I’m kind of rooting for the Buccaneers through October,” North said.