Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Projecting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2013 Win-Loss Record: Weeks 1-9

Buccaneers’ fans, we have entered the equivalent of the Dead Zone of the NFL year. Moving the draft to May will only help modestly with the horrible period from the end of the free agency frenzy until the start of training camp. So the other day when I sat down with some friends, one of whom I have not seen for a long while who is an avid Bucs’ fan, he asked, “How many wins do the Bucs get this year?” We tried to predict our best gut instinct picks as to which side Tampa Bay would end up on in every game this season. Here is what we came up with:

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 @ New York Jets: This is a must win for the Bucs. If you cannot beat a team coached by a Rex Ryan and led by a QB who runs into his right tackle’s butt, it is going to be a long season. Revis Bowl I goes to Tampa.

Bucs’ Record: 1-0.

Week 2 vs. New Orleans Saints: Winnable game. Last year, the Bucs gave this one away in a second-half explosion by Brees. This will be a major litmus test for the Bucs to see how their offseason has helped them stack up in the division. I think this year they sneak away with one. The Saints’ revamped defense will probably not yet be gelled, and the Bucs pass defense should be much better than last year.

Bucs’ Record: 2-0.

Week 3 @ New England Patriots: This is another measuring stick game. Can the Bucs compete against a perennial contender and an elite opponent? Let’s be honest, I don’t think we’re ready to climb that mountain yet. Tom Brady and Company at home take this one.

Bucs’ Record: 2-1.

Week 4 vs. Arizona Cardinals: They always say you have to win the games you should win, whatever that means. This is a “should win” game. Arizona has no QB. Don’t talk to me about Carson Palmer. As I was saying…

Bucs’ Record: 3-1.

Week 5 BYE

Week 6 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: This split the group. In the end it was decided that this game was early enough in the season that Chip Kelly’s offense and defense, both of which are completely revised, expanded, refurbished, and up-tempo, will not be fully in sync. And if Mike Vick is running the read option every other play he will probably be in a full body cast by Week 6.

Bucs’ Record: 4-1.

Week 7 @ Atlanta Falcons: Tampa plays the Falcons hard. Being a divisional opponent they are not worried about the record of the once-Dirty Birds. To me, Atlanta did not do much this offseason. Losing Michael Turner was not a huge blow but I do not think that Stephen Jackson will run the rock in this game. However, we gave the edge to the Falcons:

Bucs’ Record: 4-2.

Week 8 vs. Carolina Panthers: Carolina is not very good. They will not be able to run the ball on Tampa’s defense, and they will find it much harder to move the ball through the air than they did last year.

Bucs’ Record: 5-2.

Week 9 @ Seattle Seahawks: This is a tough assignment. I do not think this years’ team can travel to the west coast and beat a very good Seahawks team.

Bucs’ Record: 5-3.

At the mid-season mark 5-3 is not bad, folks! But much like last year’s team, it will be how Josh Freeman does in crunch time, and how well the team can survive the injuries that are inevitable in the NFL that determine how the Buccaneers will finish the year.

So what do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know how you think the Bucs will do in their first eight games!


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  • RussMillerWY

    agree with the full body cast assessment. This is the year when several
    teams will try to gain “routine” yards with the qb option play and have
    those qbs hunted down and slaughtered like so many mastodons. The qb
    option works in college because those qbs’ careers only have to last for
    two seasons and a couple of dozen games, and because college defenders
    are often as slow as dirt. Not a good year to be an Eagles fan. My
    prediction? If the Bucs are for real they’ll have built this year’s team
    to beat the Saints and Falcons and they’ll start out 6-2, losing only
    to the creative geniuses who coach the Seahawks and Patriots. If they’re
    only marginally talented, over-rated boy scouts who were drafted
    because they never got a traffic ticket and always finished their
    homework on date night, they’ll be 4-4. They’ll also looking for scapegoats in all
    the wrong places (Freeman), the hallmark of a mediocre team that is not
    run by geniuses. A team like that might even lose to the Jets and the

  • Tony Brown

    Pretty good analysis, but don’t act like the Patriots are on a whole another level. They are beatable too.
    I feel like we pull off either the Patriots or the Falcons game. Seattle is I think the favorite in that game, so yeah… I say by week 9, we’re 6-2.
    After that, the only teams that are really a threat to beat us are the Saints, Falcons, and 49ers. Worst case scenario: we end up 11-5.

  • Russell Kowal

    I agree with your picks, though we may pull out the Atlanta game, they won a lot of nail biters last year which made them look better than they were. I think we may sweep them and the kittys, then split with the ‘aints . For a 11-5 or 10-6 we may flub a winnable game…

  • wmcritter

    Sounds good. The hardest games to predict are the division games.It’s very possible we could win both or lose both, so predicting a split is reasonable. We should have a much better record this year. Many people forget that we held the lead in the fourth quarter in 4 or 5 games last year and blew it with our terrible defense. That should not happen this year. Assuming (I know) that we are not devastated by injuries, 11 wins should be well within reach of this team.