Wishful Thinking: The Perfect 2013 Schedule for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL schedule is set to drop tonight at 8:00 PM. We’ve known the Buccaneers’ opponents since the final day of the regular season, but we’re all anxious to see how they will be lined up.  Also, is this the year the Bucs get back on national TV? And I mean real national TV, not Thursday Night Football.

In this article I post the perfect schedule if I had the opportunity to lay it out for Tampa Bay. Obviously I can’t change the opponents, but I can choose when we play them. I’ll  keep it as realistic as possible in regards to road trips and national TV appearances. Clearly this is NOT the official schedule.

Week 1 – Carolina Panthers – Home – 1:00

I’d love to see the Bucs open up again at home with the Panthers. It worked out so well last year, let’s try it again. Cam Newton and the Panthers are a beatable team, but one that can always use a bit of extra prep time to figure out. What I’m really looking for is first off a home game, that’s big, and secondly a beatable team, but not one of the so called patsies on the schedule. Don’t give me the Jets, Bills, or Cardinals. Those teams should be bad, let’s wait til they know they’re bad before we run into them. Panthers is ideal, I’d settle for Dolphins or Rams.

Week 2 – New York Jets – Away – 1:00

2-0 would sound awfully nice wouldn’t it. Jets are likely to be bad. I said I don’t want them in Week 1, but give me a week for the scouts to get a hold on them, and even if they find a way to win the Bucs would be favored in Week 2.

Week 3 – Atlanta Falcons – Home – 4:25

Late game, big game, two 2-0 teams. Would love to see Raymond James fill up and get behind the Buccaneers to get them to 3-0. Wouldn’t expect Tampa Bay to come out on top of this one, but early game, at home, gives the Bucs the best chance they could have.

Week 4 – New Orleans Saints – Away – 1:00

Hate the trips to New Orleans. Let’s get it out of the way early. Worst case scenario the Bucs are 2-2 but still with their heads well above water.

Week 5 – Seattle Seahawks – Away – 4:25

This one is pretty much a death trap. I want it out of the way. Yes, it could mean the Buccaneers fall to 2-3, but there are worse fates than that. Puts a lot of pressure on games one and two, but if you can grab just one of the next three, your are in good shape. I like multiple tough games in a row early. Solid teams don’t go on losing streaks, this would be a good way to will the Bucs to a big win.

Week 6 – Miami Dolphins – Home – 1:00

Back to an easy one. Turns into a big game for the Bucs because of the recent tough ones. Dolphins might be better, but still a winnable one at home.

Week 7 – St. Louis Rams – Away – 1:00

Not as easy as it may seem. But still gettable. Right before the bye, the Buccaneers can really focus and go for this road win.

Week 8 – Bye Week

Smack dab in the middle. Best time to have it.

Week 9 – Buffalo Bills – Home – 1:00

Wanted a cupcake. And didn’t want to waste the bye. The Buccaneers are historically good off the bye week. You stick the Patriots, Falcons, or 49ers off the bye, the extra time might not matter. Give me an easier one so that’s a sure win. Not many of those in the NFL.

Week 10 – Arizona Cardinals – Home – 1:00

Another easier game at home. Nice to get back to back wins in the middle of the year and start rolling.

Week 11 – Carolina Panthers – Away – 1:00

This one could be tough. But I trust the Bucs can get three in a row. They were able to do it last year at this same time.

Week 12 – Philadelphia Eagles – Home

After a possible loss at Carolina, I wanted another winner. This seems to be the one. Revenge from last years debacle seems inevitable.

Week 13 – Detroit Lions – Away – 12:00 – Thanksgiving

Would be so great to see the Buccaneers on Thanksgiving again. Those games are always toss-ups and I think the Bucs could sneak out a win on a short week. Lions was tabbed as a loss to me when looking over the schedule, this is a good way to get us a win. Plus I’m selfish and would be so happy to see this game.

Week 14 – San Francisco 49ers – Home – 1:00

Bucs off a long week. 49ers traveling all the way across the country. Early game to make it even more difficult on them. Still a whale of a tough game, but more possible than any other scenario I could come up with.

Week 15 – Atlanta Falcons – Away – 8:20 Monday

This game had to come at some time. I like the tough ones late when the Bucs need to step up. And putting it on a Monday makes the Buccaneers even more amped up. In years past they haven’t been successful in the late season tough games, hopefully this year is different. If they are going to get in, let’s feel real good going in knowing there are some good recent wins under the belt. Plus we get a fun Monday Night game that could propel the team in the postseason.

Week 16 – New England Patriots – Away – 1:00

There’s no good time to play this team. The hope is that they are in the playoffs already and this game won’t have the same meaning to the Pats as it will to the Buccaneers. I would have preferred this as Week 17, but the NF:L’s new deal is they want all division matchups in the final week.

Week 17 – New Orleans Saints – Home – 4:25

This game is later for two reasons. Number one is because we want everything on the table. We know if it’s a win and you are in situation. Also, hopefully the Saints are out by then. Or in I guess but I never hope for the Saints to be in. This is a winnable game, the more on the line for the Bucs the better, just hope it really matters.

So there you have it. A schedule that is as perfect as it can be for the Buccaneers based on reality and opponents. This is a year the Bucs could conceivably get into the playoffs, let’s hope the schedule makers are kind, read this, and make it happen.  Of course, it’s more likely I’m 0 for 17. Happy schedule day everyone!!!