The Tampa Bay Buccaneers proved to be a major disappointment in 2017. Can they get back on track in the formidable NFC South?
Off a 9-7 showing in 2016, there was a lot of optimism surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entering this past season. But it all came apart following a 2-1 start. Dirk Koetter’s club suffered through a pair of five-game losing streaks during the year. A 5-11 finish not only put the Bucs in the NFC South basement, they were the only team in the division not to reach the playoffs.
Will 2018 be different? There is still a lot of young talent on this club. The combination of quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans is one of the best passing duos in the league. And general manager Jason Licht addressed the team’s biggest issue via free agency and trades. But the club certainly has its work cut out for itself when it comes to this division.
Here is how the complete schedule, week-by-week, lays out for Dirk Koetter’s Buccaneers:
Week 1: at New Orleans Saints
Week 2: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 3: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (MNF)
Week 4: at Chicago Bears
Week 5: BYE
Week 6: at Atlanta Falcons
Week 7: vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 8: at Cincinnati Bengals
Week 9: at Carolina Panthers
Week 10: vs. Washington Redskins
Week 11: at New York Giants
Week 12: vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 13: vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 14: vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 15: at Baltimore Ravens
Week 16: at Dallas Cowboys
Week 17: vs. Atlanta Falcons
The club has once again made some substantial offseason moves. The most significant of those have come on the defensive front as the Bucs traded for end Jason Pierre-Paul while adding fellow pass-rusher Vinny Curry and interior performers Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein. This was a Buccaneers’ squad that finished last in the NFL in both total yards and passing yards allowed in 2017.
The team also needs to find a reliable ground attack as well. All told, Koetter’s club needs to find some answers in April’s draft or elsewhere to the latter if they are to escape the division basement.