We have decided to take a 100% “tongue in cheek” look at how fans can perceive that the NFL hates their team because of what they did or did not schedule for the 2018 season that was released Thursday night.
And now, the Buccaneers edition.
Coming off a 2017 preseason that had expectations everywhere, the Bucs fell flat. Big time. And their 5-11 season had most fans leery of what the NFL might do with their schedule being released last night.
And, with the fact that teams like the Eagles, the Steelers, and the Redskins are coming to Tampa, plus, division rivals Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina all made the playoffs last year, you knew there would be some tough patches.
But. What. Was. That. Last night?!?
Who in the name of Lombardi, Parcells, Ditka and any other sideline ranting angry coach, put together a start to the season with three playoff teams out of the gate?
Well, that’s what the Buccaneers got. They open against the NFC South champion Saints at the Superdome, then, in week two, it’s time to host the Superbowl champion Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. Now, will QB Carson Wentz be fully healed and back in the lineup or might we still be seeing last January’s reserve turned playoff conqueror Nick Foles? We shall see.
What we do know, is that QB Jameis Winston and the Bucs get their only scheduled prime time game the next week (September 24th) on Monday Night Football against the Steelers. And if you are not keeping track, they open with three games against teams who won their division last season.
Look. Some years you have tough teams to play, but all of them at once at before the calendar reads October? Wowsers.
Next, just like on the Jaguars gauntlet that includes their London game, the Bucs will have an extremely long stretch away from RJS and home turf. As in, from the Bears game week four, until they host the Skins week 10, the Bucs are only at home, once. That’s October 21st with Cleveland.
Four other road games (Bears, Falcons, Bengals, Panthers) and a bye week in that stretch will make it tough on Tampa Bay to be above .500 at that juncture.
Can’t you just see the Buc fans blowing up on Twitter this November, already?
Oh, and another thing: how did that little office/bunker in New York where the master computers spit out the schedule, (you know, the one that Peter King of SI.com writes glowingly about every year?) not give the Buccaneers a single division home game until December 2nd?
That’s right. Tampa Bay must wait until the final month of the season and week 13 to play Carolina in an NFC South home game. They then, host the Saints the following week and finish with the Falcons rematch on December 30th.
32 teams in the NFL. One team doesn’t get a division home game until December 2nd. That’s not “Buc-paranoia.” It’s “a fact, Jack.”
So, much for the NFL being equitable and fair with the scheduling.
Does the NFL just not like the Bucs, or did it just work out this way? (*wink*wink)
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