The Buccaneers are coming off a disappointing 5-11 season and were a mess defensively and also being able to run the ball effectively.
This past off-season Jason Licht went out and completely retooled the defensive line and re-worked the offensive line. The Bucs also drafted Ronald Jones out of USC to help re-juvenate the running game.
So with the addition of Jason Pierre Paul, Beau Allen, Mitch Unrein, Vinny Curry, and Vita Vea via the draft, and the addition of Ryan Jensen to the OL, the Bucs actually took a step back and will be much worse in 2018 than they were in 2017.
As our president would say that is fake news. Don’t you believe it for a minute. Most of the pre-season publications have the Bucs finishing 5-11, or if the football bounces the right way maybe 6-10.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will start the first three games for the Bucs, in place of the suspended Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick is a solid back-up having started 119 games in his career. Every one is predicting doom and gloom for the Bucs and some even think the Bucs would be better off canceling the season.
In the coming weeks we will give you a good in depth look at what kind of team we think the Bucs will put on the field. Let’s take a quick not too early look at the 2018 schedule Buccaneer schedule and give you a quick break down.
Sept. 9. At New Orleans. If the Saints were ever primed for an upset it would be in week 1. The last Bucs win was in 2015 in the big easy. I like the Bucs in week 1. 1-0
Sept 16 Philadelphia. It’s the home opener as the Super Bowl Champs come to town. With or without Carson Wentz, this will be a tough one To win for the Bucs. Eagles win. 1-1
Sept 24 Pittsburg. Monday night football in Tampa with the Steelers making a prime time visit. The Bucs probably will not have to face LeVeon Bell, but Antonio Brown could scorch the Bucs Secondary. I like the Steelers. 1-2
Sept. 30 at Chicago. This could be the return of Jameis Winston to the line-up. The Bears are in re-building mode as they have seem to have been forever now. Bucs win in Chicago. 2-2
Oct. 14 at Atlanta. The Bucs seem to play the Falcons very well in Atlanta, But the Falcons will have a bit too much firepower for the Bucs. Falcons win a close one. 2-3.
Oct.21 Cleveland. The Browns have been rebuilding since 1999. They will be much improved from last season’s 0-16 debacle. But the Bucs should win this one comfortably. 3-3
Oct. 28 at Cinncinnati. This is one of those games that the Bucs could win and should win. As long as Marvin Lewis coaches in Cincy, the Benagals will be mediocre. Bucs Win. 4-3.
Nov. 4 at Carolina. Another division match-up for the Bucs. Tampa won here two years ago in a thriller on a Monday night. No such luck this time. Panthers win by 10. 4-4
Nov. 11 Washington. The Redskins hit the reset button bringing in Alex Smith as their starting QB. I think Smith struggles in Washington, and the Bucs will win this one in a close one. 5-4.
Nov. 18 At NY Giants. The Giants are in rebuild mode as well. The Bucs won a close one in Tampa lat year, and the Bucs will win this one at Giants Stadium. 6-4.
Nov. 25 San Francisco. Jimmy Garraoplo will have a full off-season learning Shanahan‘s offense. The Bucs defense should be hitting their stride about this time. Bucs win by 7. 7-4.
Dec. 2 Carolina. Cam Newton and the Panthers return to Tampa where they play the Bucs very tough. The Bucs won in a thriller last year in Tampa. I like the Bucs in this one. 8-4
Dec. 9 New Orleans. The Saints and their high powered offense will be clicking on all cylinders by this time in the season. I think Drew Brees and the Saints win this one 8-5.
Dec. 16. At Baltimore. The Ravens have been on a downward spiral for a while now. Joe Flacco is another year older and has less offensive weapons than in the past. Bucs win on the road. 9-5.
Dec. 23 At Dallas. The Bucs never seem to play well in big D. This year will be no different as the Cowboys get the win. 9-6.
Dec. 30 Atlanta. The Falcons have torched the Bucs the last two years in Tampa. This one should be closer, but I like the Falcons to win it. 9-7.
So their you have it. A not to early look game by game at the 2018 Buccaneers Game by game predictions. I like the Bucs to go 9-7. A huge improvement but still not enough to get the Bucs over the hump and into the Playoffs.