The Bucs season might be over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to next year and see what’s in store as Tampa marches forward with the future. This past season was a stark improvement on what we saw from the Rah-Rah Raheem helmed 2011 season, but it still wasn’t good enough.
It’s not going to be an easy road for Tampa in 2013, but as was proven this season, it’s not impossible either.
Non-Divisional 2013 Home Opponents:
San Francisco 49ers
The homes slate of games next season isn’t easy but cracking .500 in non-divisional games won’t be an impossible task. Tampa lost a heartbreaker to the Eagles this year, and they won’t be forgetting about that anytime soon. Miami isn’t anybody that strikes fear into the hearts of their opponents so we’re calling that an early win at the moment. We’re also going to say the Bucs beat the Bill at home as well because — well they’re the Bills, new head coach or not.
I love the Bucs, but they’ll need a miracle to outwit the 49ers in what promises to be a very physical game.
Non-Divisional 2013 Road Games:
New England Patriots
New York Jets
St. Louis Rams
The Bucs get a brutal road schedule next season, and in addition to the non-divisional games they have to travel to Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina. At the moment I’m hard pressed to say the Bucs can beat the Patriots or Seahawks on the road so those are early losses. The Lions might be improved next season and will no doubt be in the same proving the haters wrong mode that will be motivating the Bucs. St. Louis provides a similar challenge, in terms of teams that will be much improved next season. We’re not even going to talk about the Jets right now because history suggest they’ll be a train wreck.
So not counting the divisional games the Bucs have next season, it’s a very real possibility that Tampa can go 6-4 outside of the NFC South. That means all they’d need to do is win four games against the NFC South to post a 10-6 record.
People may be down on the Bucs right now, but with some adjustments this offseason, things are looking up in Tampa even if people can’t see it at the moment.