Bucs Strength-Of-Schedule Not That Strong

February 12th, 2011

Joe hopes the Bucs find a pass rush so that after playing the Cowboys, Tony Romo will have to call paramedics, which will make his TV reporter/fiancee cry.

Joe alluded to this earlier, now Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune writes about it extensively.

The Bucs’ schedule this coming season isn’t all that difficult.

Part of the reason the Bucs won 10 games in 2010 is that the team took advantage of playing the putrid NFC West. Combined with a winning record and getting the NFC West off this season’s schedule, it sure appeared the Bucs’ slate for 2011 would drastically stiffen.

Well, not really, but marginally, writes Cummings.

The Bucs’ schedule ranks 18th on the strength-of-schedule table, up seven spots from a year ago. Yet, their 2010 opponents compiled a 123-133 record and .480 winning percentage in 2009 and their 2011 opponents compiled a 127-129 record and .496 winning percentage in 2010.

While the Bucs improved markedly, going from 3-13 and last in the NFC South in 2009 to 10-6 in 2010, they finished third in the division behind Atlanta and New Orleans. That means their non-division opponents include third-place finishers such as Houston, Dallas and San Francisco.

The only team of the three third-place finishers cited in the previous paragraph that concerns Joe is Dallas. San Francisco will be going through a transformation process (Jim Leavitt as an NFL assistant???) and Houston is always beatable.

Joe isn’t sweating bullets over the 2011 opponents.

39 Responses to “Bucs Strength-Of-Schedule Not That Strong”

  1. Amar Says:

    Houston is always beatable? No, definitely not. Is that what you said in 2007? You never know about that team.

  2. Joe Says:


    A team that cannot stumble its way into the playoffs is always beatable, Joe knows that much.

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    If Freeman’s game improves as much this year, as it did last year, it won’t matter.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Houston and Dallas are both very good teams with star caliber players all over. Both of them just had disappointing years last year. Don’t underestimate either team.

    San Francisco is not too far away from beating a playoff team. If they just get a good QB, then that solves a lot of problems right there.


    It baffles me how people can bungle the EASIEST thing in sports, the NFL scheduling process.

    Why mention Houston? We aren’t playing Houston because they finished third. We are playing Houston because the rotation calls for us to play the AFC South.

    This is a major reason why there shouldn’t be an 18 game schedule. How do you plan on filling in those other two games? Cross conference?

    Every team plays:
    Their own division twice = 6 games
    One Same Conference Division (on rotation) = 4 games
    One Cross Conference Division (on rotation) = 4 games
    The 2 teams that finished in the same spot (3rd for the Bucs this year) that don’t play in your division or play in the Same Conference Division that you are in rotation to play anyways. = 1

    That’s how the NFL schedules each team. You should know who you’re playing after the last game on week 17.

    Why is this so hard for people?


    ****The 2 teams that finished in the same spot (3rd for the Bucs this year) that don’t play in your division or play in the Same Conference Division that you are in rotation to play anyways. = 2

    Of course I made a typo, while pointing out the flaws of others…

  7. espo Says:

    I could care less about strength of schedule. I believe in the words ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. Besides, last year’s strength of schedule doesn’t usually mean squat.

  8. Jonny Says:

    Records can be deceiving Joe. Our secondary will be facing the best Qb of all time and also Rodgers, Cutler, Schaub, Garrard and Stafford over Max Hall, Joke Delhomme, Troy Smith, Charlie Batch and Drew Stanton. All the QBs we played last season were somewhat responsible for our statistically good pass defense.

  9. Joe Says:

    HIRE GREG OLSON! with some serious rage on a lazy, non-football Saturday afternoon! 🙂

  10. Leighroy Says:

    This is all wonderful Joe but…

    Let’s look at this year’s schedule from last offseason’s perspective. Anyone think this time last year that Cincinnati and San Fransisco would fall flat on their faces this season? San Fran was EVERYONE’S favorite to win the West. Maybe no one had the Panthers pegged for the playoffs, but I doubt anyone thought Carolina would tank from 8-8 to 2-14.

    Also, I doubt anyone foresaw St. Louis to jump out of the cellar, and I doubt anyone really had Seattle pegged for going into the divisional round of the playoffs either.

    Biggest case in point… EVERYONE THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO WIN 5-6 GAMES TOPS. and what did we do?

    Point being, we have no idea how teams will change next year. This may be a great fluff story to keep us occupied on a slow weekend. But to actually pick apart the schedule at this point is simply just a waste of time. In fact if anything, I’d be interested to know what our strength of schedule for 2010 looked like this time last year, compared to what it ended up being.

  11. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    The reason the 2010 shedule was so weak was not just related to the teams: the bucs got an usual number of marginal teams also with their second or third string qb:

    Jimmy clausen; max hall; troy smith; charlie whitehurst etc. That wont happen again

  12. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Also had two third string qb’s in home losses with Batch and Stanton. That equates to virtually 1/2 of the schedule against teams without their starting qb. Two of the wins were narrow against a rookie: Bradford; and a Freeman fourth quarter comeback against Delhomme who was later benched in favor of the rookie McCoy.

    The point: it was not just the teams they played but other factors. For example, the Texans with Schaub and Cowboys with Romo will be formidable but the Texans with Matt Leinart or Cowboys with Kitna or Steven MCGee obviously less so.
    I am not sure who the bucs will get in week 17 but two years in a row they have caught the saints at home with their priority being to not get guys hurt. That will probably not be the case again.

  13. Capt.Tim Says:

    Welcome back, Thomas. And congrats on your new celebrity!! Sooo,you’re saying Qbs won’t get hurt or benched next year?? Wow- that’ll be great. Knowing that, teams don’t even need to keep backup Qbs!! You are still razor shape, buddy- keep up the good work! “SUPERSTAR!!”

  14. gitarlvr Says:

    Yeah Capt. Tim. Thomas is a superstar alright. Like the kind of superstar Molly Shannon was on SnL. I could just see him vigorously inhaling his own pitt sweat in victory after reading the article devoted to him the other day. Right before dropping trou and turning to his trusty Gruden poster so that the real celebration could begin.

  15. eric Says:

    You never realy know in this NFL who will be good, or who will be injured.

    The bucs did ride some fortuitous circumstances in quite a few games last year. Cinci, Rams, Skins, Cards, Browns, etc.

    But, that type of thing usually happens when you win.

    They wont be sneaking up on anybody, thats for sure.

  16. Mr. Lucky Says:

    So Joe isn’t worried about Houston next year?

    Funny but I remember that Joe wasn’t worried about the DETROIT LIONS in 2010 – the team that kept the Bucs out of the playoffs and allowed the Green Bay Packers to win the SuperBowl!!!!

    Go figure

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Thank you HGO, I’ve tried to explain that to people on numerous occasions, but people just don’t get it. According to Thomas, you play 4-6 different games than teams in your own division, LOL! The NFL has the simplest and most fair schedule, and I totally agree that having 18 games will mess it all up (but at least the owners will get more money from it).

    Thomas, you and Eric are competing for the next JBF article I see. It’s a close race, but I’m betting on the defending champion. Yeah we really lucked out getting Clausen. We would have been killed with Moore (you know, the guy we hurt in the game). It’s also great we didn’t get a full game out of the Cardinal’s perrenial All-Pro Derek Anderson. They would have beat us by at least 30. Troy Smith can’t even hold the jock strap of the one and only Alex Smith. Whitehurst is a bum compared to Hasselbeck, you know, the guy we beat 24-7 the year prior in Seattle (which is the only place they can win). As a matter of fact, they should just change our record to 6-10, due to all those All Star QB’s we lucked out on not facing! Thanks for enlightening us Thomas!

  18. Pruritis Ani Says:

    For whatever reason, Houston always seems to play well against the Bucs… I remember the great Sage Rosenfels throwing 3 touchdowns a few years back causing me to have take a lot of s#@t from my co-workers the rest of the season. Although I live here now, I have not been able to develop a like or dislike for the Texans. I m ambivalent I guess… I can say, as a Bucs fan, there are many other teams I d rather face. I would think San Francisco is more of a “definite win” No offense to the Pelosi bootlickers out there.

  19. Pete 422 Says:

    The schedule is what it is. Some argue the ’72 Dolphins had. Weak schedule. As it has been said many times, there is no easy schedule in the NFL.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    I don’t think the 18 game schedule is going to fly. I think the Owners will give that up as a bargaining chip. If they do go 18, I think they should add 4 expansion teams to 36, realign to 3 divisions in each conference of 6 teams. Rather than play every team in your division twice, you’d only play them once, and split the other 12 games up 6 AFC & 6 NFC. I think it would make it more interesting playing 18 different teams every year. It would pretty much do away with easy schedules. I would like to see new teams in places like LA(of course), San Antonio, Las Vegas and Orlando.

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    Hawaii would also be a cool place to have a Team. Aloha.

  22. eric Says:

    Could be incredibly easy if they do not play anyone!

    Be nice if we got a Monday night game, I always like those. Might sell it out.

  23. Tuggz Says:

    Joe – lay off of Jim Leavitt.

  24. gitarlvr Says:

    Eric always likes Monday night games? I thought the only criteria Eric had for liking a game was for the Bucs to lose.

    Tuggz- Im as flabbergasted as Joe at Leavitt being hired to coach in the NFL. This aint college and NFL players aren’t going to put up with Leavitt doing his Bobby Knight imitation.

  25. Pete 422 Says:

    @BigMacAttack; 4 expansion teams would deluge the talent making the quality of play suffer. There just isn’t that many guys who belong in the NFL to make up 4 more teams.

  26. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Expansion teams? Please there isn’t enough fans going to the games NOW.

    However 18 games – I’m all for that one!

    Scheduling with 18 games is easy:

    Play own division twice = 6 games
    Play 2 division in your own conference and 1 division in the opposing conference = 12 games. More parity

  27. mike wesley56 Says:

    Those second string quarterback was being defended by third and fourth string secondary,isnt it great how thomas forget that those second string qbs had more expierce than 3/4 of our defensive players,hes right about one thing it wont happen again because just like the romo and others will be there so will t.jack,grimm,mccoy,benn price and so on

  28. thomas 2.2 Says:

    t jack will be where he typically is: on drug suspension. the team was better without mccoy and who knows about price.

    Benn only missed a game and 1/2 I believe (both wins). so mike your argument is flawed as usual.

    Hawaiian: Jim Harbaugh certainly knows more than you and it appears Alex Smith is his guy, not Troy. Did you see the first series in the Seattle game? Hasselback drove downfield like he was playing against air and scored but hurt himself and yes Whitehurst was and is terrible – big difference between those two – ask Pete carroll who played 50% hasselbeck vs the bears.

    Max hall was the worst nfl starter ive seen behind jimmy clausen. Every year you will get one gift where a teams starter goes down, but it is not typical to have nearly 1/2 of the schedule against teams without the established starter.

  29. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Do you really believe the BS you type? Are you proud of yourself for having an entire article devoted to your stupidity?

  30. mike wesley56 Says:

    thomas you as usual are flawed how about the players that were there were second or third stringers,and had less expience than smith ,delhome, stanton,batch and about mccoy he looked to be coming around to me

  31. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Mike Wesley,
    Thomas hates McCoy and will never give him credit for anything (sounds a whole lot like his feelings for Raheem, hmmm). As for the QB’s, that is all he’s got, lame excuses. Alex Smith, what a joke! He also conveniently forgets Derek Anderson played the majority of the Cardinals game, and even when they got the lead, we still won. It really doesn’t matter what facts we point out, he and Eric will still argue at no end to how much more they know than the rest of the world.

  32. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    And BTW Thomas,
    It wasn’t Hasselbeck’s first drive, and the TD was set up by a long run. Get your facts straight moron!

  33. thomas 2.2 Says:

    I stand corrected, it was the second drive where Hasselback was 3 for 4 and scored on a rushing TD to cap the drive where he got hurt with a few minutes left in the 4th quarter.

    The Seahawks had a 7-3 lead when Matt went out, in comes Charlie predictably the seattle O is stuck in neutral.

    Anderson may have played a little more in the game but only came in after Hall had put the Cards significantly behind – and if I remember correctly Anderson almost brought them back from behind for the win but for a Talib pick in/near the endzone with the Cards in FG position where a FG would have tied it and sent it to OT.

    If Anderson had played the whole game – I doubt that the Cards are behind like that early.

    The point: the bucs had SO MANY crazy breaks, like the Redskins game with a dropped pick six and x-point snap needed for the win.

    Dont give me this injury baloney (EVERY TEAM has injuries) look at the Packers 15 players on IR, many starters.

  34. thomas 2.2 Says:

    meant first quarter above

  35. BigMacAttack Says:

    Pete. thanks for response. I think it would right itself in a couple years. Two new teams may be better, but I couldn’t get the math to work on the spur of the moment.

  36. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Dont give me this injury baloney (EVERY TEAM has injuries) look at the Packers 15 players on IR, many starters.”


    Then what exactly are you doing by blaming our wins on the injuries to other team’s QB’s? I find it hilarious that you can actually force your fingers to type that you think the Cardinals would have beat us if Anderson played the entire game. They were down a whopping 7 points when Anderson came in, by the way. They went up by 17 after Anderson came in (kind of blows holes in your theory, don’t you think). Hasselbeck had 3 completions, the longest for 9 yards. Yeah, boy, he really tore us up. We are so lucky we didn’t get more of his greatness! And now you have stooped to blaming a dropped pick 6 for another win. I guess there is no level you won’t stoop to to be known as the town fool.

  37. Capt.Tim Says:

    That article has really kicked Lil Tommy into a higher gear. It really is hard to ignore the Lil goofball! He’s kinda like a splinter under your fingernail, or a papercut! Or meybe a Hemorrhoid- lol. That would explain the “inspiration” of a lot of his post!! Lol

  38. mike wesley56 Says:

    Man,is there any limits this idiot wouldnt go through to bring down his own team!He praises greenbay for overcoming injuries but not his own team,congrats to the fudgepackers but buck them dont like them,too many battles against them when we were in their division.ALL HAIL THE GREAT RAHIEM,HES THE MAN

  39. Pete 422 Says:

    Plus we ran all over the Seattle defense. The QB doesn’t play D.