Now that the full Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule has been (finally) officially released, we will make our way-too-early predictions for each Buccaneers game of the 2022 season, and see what we come up with for the Bucs’ regular-season record.
We’ve known every team the Buccaneers will be playing during the 2022 NFL regular season for quite a while now, we just didn’t know when. As is now customary, the NFL has drawn the release of the official schedule out to almost gratuitous and ridiculous portions, even releasing random games separately.
It is ok though. Now that we know exactly what the schedule looks like, we have a little more clarity when it comes to making predictions for each game. The time of the season games occur matter, especially with bye weeks, so that makes this job easier. Is it early? Absolutely. However, football is king and we’re starving for it so we might as well wet the beak. Here’s how we think the first season of the Todd Bowles era (and hopefully not the final of the Tom Brady era) in Tampa Bay will go. Let’s get to it.
Week One – Buccaneers @Dallas Cowboys – W
The Buccaneers kick off their 2022 season in almost an identical fashion as they kicked off their 2020 season, by squaring off with the team that was once known as “America’s Team” the Dallas Cowboys. This time, the Bucs travel to Jerry World for the game and will start the season on the road. However, much like last year, the Buccaneers come out with a win over Dallas, who certainly did not get better this offseason, and start the season 1-0.
Week Two – Buccaneers @New Orleans Saints – L
Coming off of the win in big D, the Bucs hit the road once again to play their hated rival New Orleans Saints. For whatever reason, despite rolling them in New Orleans in the 2020 playoffs, the Brady and Buccaneers have struggled against NOLA in the regular season. They should split with them this season (spoiler alert) since they probably won’t be going 17-0. Jameis Winston and the Saints get their Super Bowl win out of the way early by downing the Bucs, but since Sean Payton ain’t walking back through the door, there isn’t much to worry about down the road in Tampa Bay.
Week Three – Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers – W
The Buccaneers’ home opener comes with the marquee quarterback matchup pitting Tom Brady against Aaron Rodgers, because of course it does. The two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks have met once before for these two teams back in the 2020 NFC Championship, and we all know how that turned out. Fast forward to 2022, and the results should be more of the same. Rodgers usually takes a few weeks to find his groove, and now without Davante Adams, it may prove to be a tougher task. The Bucs should win this home opener.
Week Four – Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday Night Football) – W
Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. Primetime Sunday Night. This one pretty much sells itself, especially when you consider it’s a Super Bowl rematch. However, in Super Bowl LV, Todd Bowles’ defense made Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs’ offense lives a living nightmare. Now that they’re without Tyreek Hill, it makes the defense’s lives easier. Brady won’t lose this “dream matchup” at home in primetime.
Week Five – Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons – W
There really isn’t too much to read into this with this one other than the fact that it’s the Buccaneers’ first home game against a division opponent. The Atlanta Falcons are dangerously close to tank mode (if they aren’t there already) and the Bucs, as previously stated, are home. This should be a dub.
Week Six – Buccaneers @Pittsburgh Steelers – L
They say that the two things that could survive a nuclear holocaust are cockroaches and twinkies. You might as well throw the Pittsburgh Steelers in that unholy trinity because no matter how bleak things look, they’re always hanging around. There are almost always games every year that good, even great, teams lose that they shouldn’t. After three straight emotional wins, the Bucs come back down to earth in the steel city and fall to the Steelers in what is a frustrating affair.
Week Seven – Buccaneers @Carolina Panthers – W
Just what the doctor ordered. After the reality check that was the Steelers game, the Buccaneers hit the road once more for a date with their division rival Carolina Panthers. Fortunately, the Panthers are in a similar spot as the Falcons and aren’t exactly a wagon. The Bucs get back to their winning ways with a rather comfortable victory.
Week Eight – Buccaneers vs. Baltimore Ravens (Thursday Night Football) – L
After a short week, the Buccaneers host the Baltimore Ravens, another AFC North team who seems to never just go away. The Ravens were banged up everywhere with injury and stayed competitive anyway. The middle of the season is where Brady will sometimes hit a lull, causing some panic, before turning it back on late-season and in the playoffs. Here’s where that starts.
Week Nine – Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Rams – L
Not exactly an ideal opponent for the Brady mid-season lull. Perhaps the only NFC team standing in the Bucs’ way (other than maybe Green Bay) are the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, who look every bit like the wagon they were a year ago. Full-scale panic amongst Buccaneers fans and the usual jubilation from national trolling talking heads, sets in as the Bucs drop two straight to fall to 5-4.
Week Ten – Buccaneers @Seattle Seahawks (Munich, Germany) – W
Once again, just what the doctor ordered. The Bucs head across the pond, only not to England, this time to take part in the first NFL regular-season game in the country of Germany. The Seahawks’ legion isn’t exactly booming these days, and the Buccaneers put on a show to find their groove for the Germans as Brady becomes the first player in NFL history to win a game in four different countries. Another day another accolade for the GOAT.
Week Eleven – Buccaneers Bye Week
Week Twelve – Buccaneers @Cleveland Browns – W
After a perfectly timed bye week following their trip overseas, the Buccaneers travel away from home once again to take on what is very possibly the DeShaun Watson-lead Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately for the Land, this is when Brady goes into psycho mode and is rounding into playoff form. The Buccaneers get a surprisingly solid win on the road.
Week Thirteen – Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (Monday Night Football) – W
Brady and the Bucs finally slay the dragon, or, maybe a really big lizard? Anyway, the point is the Buccaneers beat the Saints in the regular season, who find themselves in a bad spot with Dennis Allen rather than Sean Payton leading them late in the season. Things aren’t breezy in the Big Easy, and the Buccaneers are about to start rolling.
Week Fourteen – Buccaneers @San Francisco 49ers – W
We honestly have zero idea who the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers will be by this point. However, whether it’s Trey Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo, the Buccaneers will stay on their hot streak and get the win in the bay area, and start to look like the team nobody wants to face.
Week Fifteen – Buccaneers vs. Cincinnati Bengals – W
The team nobody wants to face faces last year’s team nobody wanted to face in the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. Fortunately for the Bucs, the Super Bowl loser’s hangover is real, and while the Bengals are still a solid team, the Buccaneers get a big win at home to secure another double-digit win season.
Week Sixteen – Buccaneers @Arizona Cardinals (Christmas Night) – L
They had to lose at some point down the stretch, and unfortunately, it comes at the expense of everyone’s Christmas. The silver lining here though is everyone gets to bed around midnight on Christmas night after the game, so in reality, it’ll probably just make everyone’s already miserable December 26th all the more annoying. That’s a future problem though. The Bucs are still 10-5 and have a comfortable division lead.
Week Seventeen – Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers – W
Why a comfortable division lead? The Panthers and Falcons are both in free fall, not that they had that far of a fall anyway. The Buccaneers won’t be resting any starters, what with seeding on the line and everything, and win their home finale rather easily.
Week Eighteen – Buccaneers @Atlanta Falcons – W
Staying with that theme, the Bucs hit the Hotlanta with dreams of the highest seed possible in mind. They make light work of the once dirty birds to secure a 12-win season. Will it be enough for the bye and home-field advantage? It’s pretty much impossible to say, but we’ll take it.
FINAL RECORD: 12-5
At the end of the day, the NFL is the most unpredictable league, and this offseason exacerbates that point. Certainly, opinions will change in the coming months. Five losses may seem like a lot to some, and 12 wins may seem like a lot to some. The reality is, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a tough schedule and a new head coach. Fortunately, Bowles has experience and a solid roster to work with, including a little ballplayer by the name of Tom Brady. Fans can expect a successful 2022 season, and this is our first prediction of it so we’re sticking to it. For now.