The Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 opponents are set, and while teams will certainly look at least a bit different than they did in 2021, it is always fun sizing up the schedule and where Bruce Arians’ crew might end up record-wise.
Besides the usual two games each against NFC South foes Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans, Tampa Bay will face off against the rugged clubs from the AFC North and the NFC West. That means both of the Super Bowl LVI teams face the Bucs next season.
Tampa Bay, as well as the rest of the NFC, will get an extra home game to complete the 17 – game schedule. The lucky team coming to Raymond James Stadium will be Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, who most certainly still have bad memories from the last time they tangled with the Buccaneers in Tampa.
None of the three NFC South teams competing with the Bucs look to be serious challengers for the division title if Tampa Bay shores up the quarterback position post-Tom Brady.
Matt Ryan of Atlanta is clearly on the downside of his career, and New Orleans’ Taysom Hill experiment was a bust. Carolina’s vacillation between Cam Newton and Sam Darnold got the results expected for a team that couldn’t decide who they wanted to be the number one.
Outside of the division, the Bucs will owe payback to the Rams and will need to actually prove they can beat Los Angeles before being considered a real threat for the Super Bowl. Jimmy Garoppolo may be out in San Francisco and Trey Lance could be running the show when Tampa Bay visits Levi Stadium. The same could be said for Seattle’s Russell Wilson, which could benefit the Bucs if the Seahawks are in full rebuild mode.
The Arizona Cardinals will host the Bucs in Glendale, and a big question might be which uniform quarterback Kyler Murray be wearing if he is playing that day.
Green Bay visits Tampa Bay, perhaps with or without Aaron Rodgers. Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will be looking to avenge their loss in the 2021 Season Opener when they host the Bucs.
Overall, it should be a very competitive and entertaining schedule for Tampa Bay in 2022. Eight playoff teams will face the Bucs, so by season’s end there should be no question as to what kind of team they will be. It will either be a competitive playoff squad with hopes of another Super Bowl win or one that fell short of postseason play without the leadership and talent of the departed Tom Brady.