For the second time in three years, the Bucs will not be playing a nationally televised game. They also have a pretty tough schedule for a team with a rookie Head Coach and a lot of young players. Here's a look at the 2009 schedule for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Week One: vs Dallas Cowboys
Only once in the last six years prior to this have the Bucs opened up their season at home. This year they draw the Cowboys on opening week in their own building.
The last time Tony Romo played the Bucs was Thanksgiving 2006 and he threw for five touchdowns, that likely won't happen, but the Bucs have their hands full on opening day. They've lost opening day two years straight and overall have a poor opening day record, that will likely continue.
Prediction: Loss (0-1)
Week Two: at Buffalo Bills
For the first time ever...the Bucs will be playing in Buffalo. These two have played each other eight times, all eight in Tampa. Marshawn Lynch will be suspended for this game, so it's a winnable road game early in the season. Good to avoid Buffalo in the cold too.
Prediction: Win (1-1)
Week Three: vs New York Giants
Another toughie. Derrick Ward will go up against his former team, but the Giants are probably just too good for the Bucs. Our only hope is we can show up and catch them sleeping in our building.
Prediction: Loss (1-2)
Week Four: at Washington Redskins
The Bucs have played three (four including playoffs) straight games against the Redskins in Tampa. But now the Pewter Pirates will go to DC to play Albert Haynesworth and the 'Skins. This is another winnable road game, but I'm not so sure we can do it.
Prediction: Loss (1-3)
Week Five: at Philadelphia Eagles
Ah, the Bucs/Eagles rivalry that was pretty darn good in the early 2000s. This has died down since we've not played each other much anymore. But this will be my upset pick for the Bucs of the year, they will show up to play Philly and get a surprise win.
Prediction: Win (2-3)
Prediction: Loss (2-4)
Week Seven: vs New England Patriots
Instead of Tom Brady and the Patriots coming to Tampa, both teams make the long overseas trip to London. I really do not like this, our only slim chance of an upset was having home field advantage But now that it's in London, this is likely going to be ugly.
Prediction: Loss (2-5)
Week Eight: Bye Week
After the London trip, the Bucs will get their week off. They've had a Week 10 bye week the last two years, so it's not unusual to have a later bye week.
Week Nine: vs Green Bay Packers
Last year when Aaron Rodgers came to Tampa, he threw three interceptions as the Bucs beat Green Bay. Don't expect another awful showing from Rodgers, but I think the Bucs will be able to win this game on their home turf.
Prediction: Win (3-5)
Week 10: at Miami Dolphins
The Bucs will make a rare regular season trip to South Beach to play their instate buddies. Their pass game doesn't scare me, but Ronnie Brown should eat up our awful defensive tackles on the ground. But it will be a low scoring game, which unfortunately the Bucs lose.
Prediction: Loss (3-6)
Week 11: vs New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and the Saints come into town for their annual visit. Brees is 1-2 in Tampa as a starter, his offense will likely have a good day. But the Bucs show up at home for this one.
Prediction: Win (4-6)
Week 12: at Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan combined for 0 touchdowns and four interceptions last season against the Bucs. But this defense has changed and Ryan will grow up. I don't think the Bucs will stand much of a chance in the Georgia Dome.
Prediction: Loss (4-7)
Week 13: at Carolina Panthers
The Bucs for some reason always seem to end up in Carolina at this time of the year. We will try to avoid the season sweep. But it's going to be tough in Carolina. Hopefully we don't get destroyed as badly as we did on Monday night last year...that was embarrassing.
Prediction: Loss (4-8)
Week 14: vs New York Jets
Uh oh! On-line rivalry with me and NYSR, hah. These teams are real similar on offense, and it should be a fun game. But it's in Tampa, so NYSR's boys will go home with an L...
Prediction: Win (5-8)
Week 15: at Seattle Seahawks
It's so weird, the Bucs hardly ever played the Seahawks in their first 30 years. But this is the fourth straight year playing Seattle, three of the year have been in Seattle. It's likely going to be colder in December, and a loonnng trip which the Bucs hardly win. Not a good sign.
Prediction: Loss (5-9)
Week 16: at New Orleans Saints
Luke McCown had a game to remember in the Superdome back in 2007, he led the league in passing yards that weekend and led the Bucs to a huge victory. Will he be the starter at the time? Who knows, but Bucs/Saints have produced some fun games over the last few years. Should be another good one.
Prediction: Loss (5-10)
Week 17: vs Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons for the most part struggle in Tampa. It's the final game of the year so you never know, but the Bucs will want to end their season on a good note playing against their rivals.
Prediction: Win (6-10)