Buccaneers schedule 2024: Every opponent ranked from easiest to hardest

The Bucs have a brutal schedule in 2024.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baker Mayfield / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' path to retaining their NFC South title won't be an easy one.

While the Buccaneers have one of the "easiest" strength of schedules, taking one look at their upcoming opponents disproves that. The strength of schedule is likely skewed by getting two games against the Carolina Panthers and matchups with the New York Giants, Las Vegas Raiders, and Denver Broncos.

Tampa Bay plays against the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and Philadelphia Eagles. It won't be easy.

But what are the toughest games on the 2024 schedule?

Ranking every opponent on Buccaneers schedule 2024

14. Carolina Panthers

The Buccaneers swept the Panthers last season, including a 9-0 win to close out the regular season. Carolina strengthened its receiving corps but remains a long way off competing in the NFC South.

13. New York Giants

New York upgraded its receiving corps by selecting Malik Nabers in the first round, but with Daniel Jones still leading the offense, the Bucs will have opportunities to force turnovers. Tampa Bay should be the favorite, even on the road.

12. Las Vegas Raiders

Was the late-season turnaround under Antonio Pierce a sign of what's to come? The Raiders still have concerns at the most important position, which will limit how much success they will have in 2024.

11. Denver Broncos

The Bucs take on Sean Payton this season. Is rookie quarterback Bo Nix ready to start? We're about to find out. Getting this game at home is ideal.

10. New Orleans Saints

Games against New Orleans are never easy, but there is a ceiling on how far this team can go. Derek Carr put up solid numbers last season, with 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions, but the Saints aren't serious contenders. They will be in the NFC South mix, though.

9. Washington Commanders

Washington could be the most improved team in the NFL this season, depending on how ready Jayden Daniels is in year one. The Commanders built an excellent draft class featuring Daniels, Jer'Zhan Newton, Mike Sainristil, and Ben Sinnott. This could be a surprisingly challenging game.

8. Los Angeles Chargers

Can the Chargers finally meet expectations with Jim Harbaugh taking over? Justin Herbert will test Tampa Bay's defense, but Los Angeles lacks the same receiving options as in previous years.

7. Atlanta Falcons

The Buccaneers' biggest competition in the NFC South comes from the Falcons. While their decision to draft Michael Penix Jr. after paying Kirk Cousins still makes no sense, Atlanta's offense should take a significant step forward with Cousins under center. Tampa Bay has had a top-five run defense in four of the past five seasons, and that must continue against an Atlanta offense featuring an excellent backfield of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.

6. Dallas Cowboys

Despite Jerry Jones doing everything to go against his "all-in" promise, the Cowboys are still one of the most balanced teams in the NFC. Before the Packers beat them in the playoffs, Dallas had won 16 consecutive games at AT&T Stadium after losing to Tom Brady and the Bucs in Week 1 of the 2022 season. Tampa Bay returns to Dallas this season.

5. Philadelphia Eagles

The Bucs crushed the Eagles in the wild-card round last January, but there's a good chance Philadelphia will bounce back after making moves to upgrade its secondary this offseason. The Eagles started last year 10-1 before losing six of its next seven. It will be a much tougher test for Todd Bowles' team this time.

4. San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco has arguably the most balanced roster in the NFL with superstars on both sides of the ball, but it got lucky in playoff games against Green Bay and Detroit. Did the 49ers do enough to keep improving, or have others in the NFC caught them up? We'll see, but this will undoubtedly still be one of the Buccaneers' toughest tests.

3. Detroit Lions

The Lions should've made the Super Bowl last season. After retaining coordinators Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn and then fixing their need at cornerback with Terrion Arnold, Ennis Rakestraw Jr., and trading with the Bucs for Carlton Davis, Detroit is as talented as any team in the NFC.

2. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore was unable to turn its No. 1 seed and home-field advantage into a Super Bowl, but this team improved in the offseason. The Ravens strengthened their run game with Derrick Henry, added a deep threat with Devontez Walker, and improved their secondary with Nate Wiggins and T.J. Tampa. The Bucs have the advantage of playing this game at home, but it won't be easy.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

The back-to-back Super Bowl champions are still the team to beat, but can anyone remember the only Super Bowl Patrick Mahomes lost?

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