Last season the Bucs hovered around the nine-win mark according to an average of most oddsmakers, but clearly exceeded that with an 11 win regular season that ended up being 15 after capturing the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy at home at Raymond James Stadium.
The Buccaneers will return all 22 starters from their Super Bowl-winning squad, and even several key backups. Tampa Bay also added former Bengals’ second-round pick Giovani Bernard this past week, giving them a quality third-down back and an outlet for quarterback Tom Brady who love to utilize a pass-catching back.
Tampa Bay will face their NFC South rivals Carolina, Atlanta, and New Orleans both home and away as usual. Their other home games will be against the Cowboys, Giants, Bills, Dolphins and Bears.
Road games will be against the Eagles, Patriots, Jets, Chargers, Colts and the Washington Football Team.
The NFL’s and Tampa Bay’s schedules haven’t been released yet and according to reports won’t be until sometime after the draft. However who the Bucs play is already known. The NFL voted for a 17th regular season game and that final contest will be the road game against the Colts.
With the Bucs success at returning all of their core players, and a draft still to come, 11 wins seems a little low, however picking the records for NFL teams before the draft and before teams even get together for training camps is just a crapshoot by oddsmakers. The total will adjust as people make bets shifting the money towards more or less wins.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org