The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin defense of their Super Bowl Championship on Thursday night, September 9th, when the Buccaneers kick off the 2021 season hosting the Dallas Cowboys.
Skip Bayless said he thinks the Bucs can go 20-0 on their way to winning a second Super Bowl. But, then again, Bayless will say anything to get clicks and views whether he believes what he says or not.
So here we go—your first look at the 2021 Buccaneers schedule with game-by-game predictions.
Week 1 Home Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys game was circled as one of the marquee games on the Buccaneers schedule in 2021 by many Buccaneer fans. Now, the whole country will get to this matchup to kick off the NFL season.
This will be Dak Prescott’s first game since the compound fracture of his ankle injury in October.
The game will be closer than many Bucs fans would like it to be, but the Bucs will start the season 1-0 with a win over the Cowboys.
Week 2 Home Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons may be the most improved team in the NFC South. They improved their offense tremendously with the drafting of tight end Kyle Pitts.
It will take more than this one addition of a pass-catching tight end to take down the Super Bowl Champs. Bucs win to go 2-0 on the season.
Week 3 at Los Angeles Rams.
In his 20-year NFL career, Tom Brady has yet to play in Los Angeles. He will finally get that chance in late September.
This will be a tough one. First, the Bucs travel across the country to take on an improved Rams team offensively, with Matthew Stanford at quarterback.
Second, they will have to go against a Rams defense that finished first in the NFC, allowing 281 yards a game. The Rams defense returns most of its 2020 contributors led by one of the best pass rushers in the NFL in Aaron Donald.
The Rams will win this one in a close game.
Week 4 at New England.
This will be one for the ages as this game has the potential to be the most watched game in the NFL this season. It will pit the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, against the greatest coach of all time, Bill Belichick.
It will be Brady’s first game in New England since he signed with the Buccaneers last March.
If you don’t have Patriot season tickets, be prepared to pay around $1500 per ticket right now for the cheap seats. The price will only go up as this game gets closer.
Cam Newton will be back at quarterback for the Patriots, which doesn’t sit well with Patriot fans. The Bucs defense should have a big day against Newton. Bucs win to go to 3-1 on the season.
Week 5 Home Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins will be one of the most improved teams in the AFC and is just a year away from challenging the Buffalo Bills for division supremacy in the East.
Tua Tagavailoa will be back under center to start the season. In addition, the Dolphins drafted wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to give Tua an additional weapon on offense.
The defense also improved with the drafting of edge rusher Jaelan Phillips from Miami.
The Dolphins are not quite yet ready for prime time. Bucs will win this game to go to 4-1 on the season.
Week 6 at Philadelphia.
The Eagles may have a new quarterback in Joe Flacco. The Eagles also traded up to draft Heisman Trophy winner Davonta Smith from Alabama to give Flacco or Jalen Hurts additional weapons.
The Eagles defense and especially the secondary still needs a lot of work. These two teams have had some epic battles over the years, especially in the playoffs. Bucs will win in Philly.
Week 7 Home Chicago Bears.
Justin Fields should be firmly entrenched as the Bears starting quarterback by the time the Bears visit Tampa.
Fields has the potential to be an excellent quarterback in the NFL, but it will take some time. Bucs will win by two touchdowns.
Week 8. At New Orleans.
There is a good chance the Bucs will face their ex-starting quarterback Jameis Winston when the Bucs visit the big easy.
There is no team that Winston wants to beat more than his former team. The Bucs defense will force Winston into turnovers at crucial moments in the game as the Bucs will defeat the Saints in New Orleans.
Week 9. Bye Week.
Week 10. At Washington.
This will be a rematch of the Buccaneers wildcard game last year in Washington. Ron Rivera did a great job with a Washington team last season that never had good quarterback play from anyone all season.
This defense should continue to get better, but the Bucs have too much firepower for this young team. Bucs get their eighth win of the season with a win over Washington.
Week 11. Home New York Giants.
These two teams have had some epic battles over the last few years. The Giants won in Tampa 32-31 two years ago, and the Bucs barely hung on to win 25-23 in New York last season.
The Giants are slowly playing their way back to respectability. But, in front of a national TV audience on Monday night, the Bucs will continue to roll as they will beat the Giants for the third straight time.
Week 12. Away at Indianapolis.
This was the extra game added to the schedule this season, and the Bucs will go to Indy to play a good Colts team that got better with the addition of Carson Wentz.
This will be another challenging road game for the Bucs, and the Colts will lay the second loss of the season on the Bucs.
Week 13 at Atlanta.
Another challenging divisional road game awaits the Buccaneers in Atlanta in week 13. This will be another close game for these two division rivals, but the Falcons do not have enough offensive firepower or the defense needed to stop Tom Brady and this high-powered offense.
Bucs win to go to 9-2 on the season.
Week 14. Home Buffalo Bills.
The Bills are one of the best up-and-coming teams in the NFL. Josh Allen is proving to be the best quarterback from the 2018 class as he led the Bills to the AFC Championship game last season.
The Bills can be explosive on offense and stingy on defense. However, for the first time all season, the Bucs will lose two consecutive games. The Bucs will drop their second straight game to go to 9-3 on the season.
Week 15. Home New Orleans Saints.
Another matchup awaits with their arch-rivals from the NFC South. The Saints, despite losing Drew Brees to retirement, still have a ton of weapons on offense.
The defense isn’t too shabby either. Unfortunately, the Saints will find out throughout the upcoming season that Jameis Winston is no Drew Brees.
This will be a game that will be close, but again those Winston mistakes will doom the Saints, and the Bucs will win a close one at home to improve to 10-3 on the season.
Week 16. At Carolina
The Panthers will have a new starting quarterback in Sam Darnold. The Panthers acquired Darnold right before the draft, and he will be the starter this year in Carolina.
The Bucs have had Carolina’s number the last few years, which will not change this year. The Bucs will continue to dominate the series as they will win on the road to improve to 11-3.
Week 17. At the New York Jets.
The Bucs will face off against another rookie quarterback in Zack Wilson of the Jets. Wilson out of BYU should have a good grasp of the offense by this point in the season, but it won’t matter.
The Jets are still a few years away from winning consistently. Unfortunately, this will not be a close game for the Jets as the Bucs will blow out the Jets next on the road.
Week 18. Home Carolina Panthers.
The Bucs have secured Home field advantage for the NFC Playoffs. As a result, Bruce Arians will rest his starters, and Kyle Trask will be under center, giving Bucs fans their first look at their quarterback of the future.
Trask plays like a rookie in his first NFL game as the Bucs lose the season finale to the Panthers.
The Buccaneers will win the NFC South with a 13-4 record for the first time since 2007 and cruise into the playoffs as the number one seed.