Meeting C.J. Stroud will mark yet another instance on the Bucs schedule where they go up against one of the top-drafted quarterbacks this season. C.J. Stroud offers a unique challenge because on paper the Bucs should handle the Texans but Stroud is an uncontrolled variable.
Houston’s offense is also pretty decent, and the Texans seem poised for a serious bounce-back season after landing the No. 2 overall pick last year. New head coach DeMeco Ryans brings a new attitude to Houston and he’ll have a top rookie on defense to throw at the Bucs as well.
Will Anderson could give the Texans a devastating one-two combo in terms of rookies to build around and the Bucs will feel the brunt of that in this matchup.
We’ll chalk this up to a win because the Texans are still up-and-coming and the Bucs have the better roster on paper, but circle this one as a potentially disappointing upset.
Buccaneers record: 3-5
What makes the Bucs schedule so tough to predict this year is the number of seemingly winnable games that we’ve been conditioned to believe the team will lose.
Case in point: Week 10 against the Titans.
It’s a home game against an opponent with a weird quarterback situation and shaky contention status, but also one against a team that wins weirdly. Like the Seattle Seahawks, it seems the Titans never play a normal game and are always involved in strange situations that make you doubt whether they’re a good team or a lucky one.
Last year the Titans lost on a game-winning two-point conversion against the Giants, and countless games came down to a kick that Randy Bullock was never a sure thing to make. Tennessee mirrored the Bucs in a lot of ways because they should have won more games than they did but bungled chances that truly good teams take advantage of.
All of this is to say this could be an ugly one where neither team plays particularly well. One difference maker could be Derrick Henry, who might bowl over the Bucs defense and be what quite literally carries Tennessee to a win.
Buccaneers record: 3-6