Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule Predictions For 2024

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule Predictions For 2024

The NFL schedule is set to drop on Wednesday, and we’re set to find out just when the Bucs will play their opponents. We know which teams they will be playing, but Wednesday will reveal the order in which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play them — along with their primetime games and when their bye week will be.

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BucsGameday editor River Wells and writer JC Allen took a crack at making some schedule predictions, from season openers to the bye week. Check out our predictions below:

Wells: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t had an NFC South season opener since 2020, so why not make it happen again in 2024? I think a beginning of the season in Tampa Bay against the Atlanta Falcons would be fun — many are crowning the Dirty Birds offseason champs and have them favored for the division, while the Bucs have maintained most of their roster and improved on the spaces they needed to before the beginning of the year. While the NFC South was dreadful last year, that may not be the case this year and the NFL can give fans an immediate taste of what could be the most important rivalry in the division this year.

Allen: The Bucs haven’t opened the season at home since winning the Super Bowl in 2021. While you would think the schedule makers would finally give them a home game to start the season, guess again. It’s too hot in early September no one wants to be out in that weather. Instead, the Bucs open up the season indoors in a “rivalry” game against the New Orleans saints in my prediction.  

Wells: As I mentioned, I think Atlanta at home to kick off the season would be fun. The Bucs haven’t played at home to open the season in two years, so that’s something that is likely to change this time around given natural mathematical variance. Additionally, this game could take a bit of a deja vu angle from 2023 — the Bucs played Kirk Cousins last year for the first game of their respective seasons against the Vikings, and Tampa Bay beat him and Minnesota 20-17. Kirko Chains will want revenge, and this is a good way to offer it to him.

Allen: As mentioned, the Bucs haven’t opened their season at home since 2021, and I expect the trend to continue this season. However, when the Bucs do return back to Raymond James for the home opener, they won’t be the only ones maing a return to Tampa Bay for the first time in 2024. Dave Canales and the Panthers are who I’m betting the Bucs will host the first time they take the field in Tampa Bay. 

Wells: At the time of schedule release last year, Tampa Bay had three primetime games counting Thursday Night Football (and that’s also if you count the Christmas Eve game at 4:05 against the Jacksonville Jaguars). I think the team is a little bit more high profile, but not as high profile as the ridiculous amount of primetime games given to Tom Brady’s Buccaneers in 2022. As a result, I’m going to go with four, which would include a Thursday Night game, a Monday Night Football appearance and perhaps even a Sunday Night Football appearance now that Mayfield played well in 2023. This is also counting an East Coast 4:05 game, which some may not explicitly consider “primetime”. I’d look out for games against the Denver Broncos (more on that right below), the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys.

Allen: Call me crazy, but after just two primetime games in 2023 (including a Thursday night game) I think the Bucs are in line for a healthy dose of night game action. There’s no shortage of worthy opponents. A rematch of the Divisional or Wildcard against the Lions or Eagles would move the needle, while a game against the Cheifs in Arrowhead or a visit from Lamar Jackson and the Ravens could make a lot of sense as well. The NFL loves to pit the Bucs against the Cowboys in primetime and that can’t be ruled out either. I predict three primetime games this season for the Bucs with games against the Eagles, Lions, and Ravens. 

Wells: This is a complete vibes-based guess, but I think that the Denver Broncos in Tampa Bay just screams Thursday Night Football. It isn’t a marquee matchup by any means, but Bo Nix in the spotlight could be appealing to NFL schedule makers and bringing Sean Payton back to Tampa Bay could be appealing, too.

Allen: My gut tells me the league doesn’t want to waste a marquee matchup for the Bucs on a Thursday night with the likes of the Chiefs, Eagles, Ravens, 49ers, and Lions on the schedule. However, I do think a clash of the two NFC South favorites during the week makes a lot of sense. With the intrigue around Kirk Cousins and the Falcons, having a matchup with Baker Mayfield and the Bucs on Thursday Night Football seems like a likely choice. 

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Wells: The Buccaneers got a real rough Week 5 bye week last year, but after winning the division (again) the NFL may go a little easy on them. I’m calling the shot on double digits — I think a Week 10 bye makes a lot of sense for how much better Tampa Bay did than expectations in 2023.

Allen: After getting stuck with a Week 5 bye week last season, the schedule makers are a bit kinder to the Bucs this season with a Week 9 bye week.

Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the offseason.

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