The Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule was released last week, providing a roadmap for this upcoming season. With Tom Brady gone and the roster in the midst of a “reset,” the Bucs face a much tougher road than they have faced in years.
Free agency and the draft are in the rear window, but the Bucs still have many questions to answer. Who will be the starting quarterback? Is the offensive line ready for new starters at almost every position? What will the secondary look like after the depth chart was hollowed out in free agency?
The answers will manifest over the course of the season on the scoreboard and in the standings. Without an entrenched starter at quarterback and cap-strapped churn across the roster, Bucs fans may not be all that pleased with what those answers may look like.
Here are the Bucs’ schedule predictions for the 2023 season:
Prediction: Bucs lose 24-17
The season opener could be one of the closer games the Bucs play this season. The Vikings have a flawed roster, but wide receiver Justin Jefferson has a way of putting the entire offense on his back and grinding out a win.
Prediction: Bucs win 21-13
The Bucs should bounce back in Week 2 against a rebuilding Bears team. Justin Fields is one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the NFL, but he is still developing as a passer, and the defense is still at least a year or so away from being a legitimate threat.
Prediction: Bucs lose 35-10
Tampa’s 2021 playoff thumping of Jalen Hurts is but a distant memory at this point. Last year’s NFC champions are likely going to embarrass the Bucs offense at home, dominating the trenches and exposing the lack of depth on Tampa’s roster this season.
Prediction: Bucs lose 21-16
Though the Bucs swept the Saints last year, they no longer get the benefit of a muddled New Orleans quarterback room and an undermanned receiving unit. Derek Carr and Chris Olave could take this game over with a late game-winning touchdown drive.
Prediction: Bucs lose 21-24
With a deep roster and one of the league’s best coaching staffs, the Lions will be a trendy pick to win the NFC North this season. Still, this game will be close, with Tampa’s lack of firepower at quarterback making the biggest…