by Douglas O’Connor
When the Buccaneers NFL season schedule was released to the public some fans initial reactions was one of dread. The divisional rotation had the Bucs playing NFC West this year. No small hill to climb with the Seahawks and Cardinals being recent annual playoff contenders and the newly moved LA Rams owning a 4 year 4 game winning streak against us. Toss in back to back games against the 2 teams that played in the most recent Super Bowl and Buc fans were left scratching their heads wondering where the 9th easiest schedule was.
When you breakdown an NFL schedule most of us look at in quarters, 4 mini seasons. Since the Bucs bye week is scheduled for week 6 it was natural to include the 5th game when predicting how the home team would come out of the gate. Below is a look at what the majority of fans thought would happen and what actually did happen.
Atlanta Falcons Neither fan base could feel confident that their team would get a W in this week one match up. The Buccaneers finished last season losing their last 4 games. Totally overhauled their coaching staff and brought in 4 free agents and drafted 3 rookies that were inserted as starters. Atlanta also finished last year in a tailspin, after starting 6-1, the Falcons ended with a 8-8 record, including 2 losses to the Bucs.
Fan Expectations: Fingers crossed
Fans Reaction: We’ve turned the corner. Playoffs here we come.
Arizona Cardinals The Cardinals are a popular pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, but had a bad week 1 loss. The Buccaneers are riding high off of their big road win.
Fan Expectations: We’ll probably lose but we could sneak out with a victory.
Fans Reaction: That was ugly! No offense! No Defense! Koetter’s an Idiot!
LA Rams Home opener for the Bucs. Rams haven’t scored a touchdown yet but somehow they have a win.
Fan Expectations: This one’s in the bag. We need this one with Denver then Carolina on the horizon.
Fans Reaction: Same ole Bucs. Lovie’s defense wasn’t this bad! Call an ef’en TIMEOUT!!!!
Denver Broncos Time to circle the wagons for the Bucs. Leagues best defense coming to town. Denver hasn’t missed a beat undefeated and flying high.
Fan Expectations: This could get ugly. We need to run and protect the ball. C’mon D get some pressure.
Fans Reaction: Once again we made a inexperienced QB look like a Hall of Famer. Jameis is regressing! Why don’t you go eat some crab legs!
Carolina Panthers Head Coach Dirk Koetter tells the media that he is very worried about Jameis turnover problems. Injuries have decimated the Bucs defensive line and running back positions. Carolina is shelled shocked about how the season has went. Just gave up 300 receiving yards to Julio Jones, also league MVP Cam Newton is on the bench in with a concussion.
Fan Expectations: I’d love to beat the Panthers at home on Monday night, but we always let no name quarterbacks beat us. Defense is in shambles. Season my already be over.
Fans Reaction: He made the kick! He made the KICK! He make the FRICKING KICK!
So we swap out the Rams loss with the Panthers win and here the Bucs are at 2-3 just as you thought it would be and that’s okay with me.
The Buccaneers have a very winnable 4 game stretch coming up after this weeks bye. What do you think the Bucs record will be? Biggest surprise in the next 4 weeks? Please feel free to put your thoughts and comments in the space provided below. Also if you like what you read give the blog a follow, makes it easier to find when we put up new content.
As always thank you for reading and Go Bucs!