2017 Buccaneers Schedule Predictions

Week Opponent Prediction Analysis
 1  @Dolphins 21-17 Dolphins (0-1)  I don’t know what to make of the Dolphins, but I do know they have a nasty defense, and I could see them wreaking serious havoc on the Buccaneers’ questionable interior offensive line. The Dolphins played particularly well at home in 2016 (6-2) and mark a tough road opponent to start the season. I’m expecting a defensive battle in which neither Winston or Cutler are able to find their rhythm.
 2  Bears  31-20 Bucs (1-1)  The prodigal son Mike Glennon returns home, and in my alternative universe he throws a billion touchdowns and throws a javelin into Jason Licht’s throat for daring to let him walk in free agency. He then burns the city of Tampa to the ground. But in my not alternative universe, being reality, I think the Bears have a pretty incomplete roster on both sides of the ball. Expecting a good game from Jacquizz Rodgers and the Bucs offense wakes up after a bad week 1 against the Dolphins.
 3  @Vikings  24-17 Bucs (2-1) I predict the Buccaneers defense stifles the Vikings offense here, but the Vikings defense will reciprocate and keep Jameis from having an explosive game. Winston has struggled against complete secondaries in the past, and between Rhodes and Harrison Smith, this could be a difficult one for him. Side note: but I think Trae Waynes has a breakout year for the Vikings this year. Bucs come out on top, narrowly.
 4  Giants  28-20 Giants (2-2) This one is tough to predict, but I think Eli Manning is the deciding factor here. If the Bucs defense can force him into some stupid turnovers, they come out on top; but conversely, this Giants defense is spooky good and could force Jameis into stupid turnovers too. I’m expecting some face palm worthy plays from both teams, but Giants win this one.
 5  Patriots  34-13 Patriots (2-3) I’d love to be more optimistic about this one, but the Patriots took their Super Bowl roster and made it even stronger (this time without our players). If there’s one consistent thing Belichick has done throughout his career, it’s make an ass out of young quarterbacks. This is a game that could be a potential demoralizer.
6  @Cardinals  27-17 Cardinals (2-4) I really hope our run game is ready to take the load and produce, because if last year was any indication, the Cardinals are not the kind of team you want to make Jameis throw a ton of passes against. Winston threw a whopping 4 picks against them last year on 54 passes (and lost a fumble). While surrounded by better targets this year, this is a game that will hopefully limit Jameis to no more than 30 passes. Cardinals may be regressing at the QB position, but this is still a great roster, top to bottom.|
 7  @Bills  31-13 Bucs (3-4) After a three game slide, Bucs get a much needed victory on the road against the Bills. This is a game I could see the Bucs taking over both offensively and defensively.
 8  Panthers  20-17 Bucs (4-4) In terms of defensive talent, Panthers are still as good as they come. Love the addition of McAffrey on the other side of the ball too and think he’s going to break out for some big plays early on in his career. Jameis has gone an even 2-2 against Carolina in his career so far. I like his odds at home here.
 9  Saints  41-27 Bucs (5-4) Expecting a shootout here and for our offense to finally have that explosive game where their potential is realized. I also hate the Saints more than I hate ISIS, so would love this result to actually happen.
 10  Jets  30-10 Bucs (6-4) Right now, Jets would be my early candidates to get the #1 overall pick in the 2018 draft. They have just enough defensive talent to keep them competitive (particularly their front four), but I could see their offense looking similar to our 2014 dumpster fire when McCown was our QB. Expecting a relatively low scoring game with Tampa coming out on top at home.
 11  Bye  N/A  Someone’s going to get arrested. I just know it.
 12  @Falcons  34-27 Falcons (6-5) I don’t know if the Falcons go through your typical Super Bowl hangover or not, but what I do know is that the Bucs still can’t stop Julio Jones. Fun facts: nearly 15% of his career receiving yards have come against Tampa. He averages 111 yards and a TD against us in his career. He is good at NFL football. Bucs-Falcons matchups have been very exciting as of late. I think the Falcons take the first one in ATL.
 13  @Packers  28-24 Bucs (7-5) This is the game I’m most excited for and could be one of those career defining games for Winston, going head to head with the league’s best in Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau. Packers might be my early NFC pick for the Super Bowl, but for some reason my biased gut tells me that Jameis will pull some of his magic here on the road in a statement game.
 14  Lions  34-17 Bucs (8-5) Expecting another big offensive performance for the Bucs, namely from our rushing attack. Home stretch here, and this is a must win at home to squeak into the playoffs.
 15  Falcons  41-27 Bucs (9-5) Jameis stepped up bigtime last year against the Falcons, throwing for 542 yards, 7 TD’s, and 1 INT in two outings. I think he blows up for one more big game at home here.
 16  @Panthers  31-24 Panthers (9-6) We end a three game win streak on the road against Carolina, who we’ve gone an even .500 against in the Jameis Winston era. I think we split the series here.
 17  Saints  37-24 Bucs (10-6) The division and playoff hopes may very well come down to this game, and the Bucs have the advantage of playing all three division rivals the last three games to take the lead (or squander it). Bucs win Week 17 to take the NFC South and get our first playoff berth in 10 years. There, I said it. Fight me.