Tough Opening Isn’t So Tough

May 15th, 2022

The dissection of the Buccaneers’ challenging schedule drew a lot of attention from the national experts.

Joe has listened to much of the scrutiny and a lot of it concludes that the Bucs’ brutal opening slate — at Dallas, at New Orleans and home for Green Bay and Kansas City — isn’t as ugly as it sounds.

Former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland was barking on ESPN TV about how the Bucs are a more talented football team than Dallas, and how the searing heat of Tampa in late September is the worst possible spot for Aaron Rodgers and a Green Bay offense that will need more time to be clicking with new targets.

Ex-GM Mike Tannenbaum isn’t seeing the Bucs in trouble early on paper, noting that Dallas and Green Bay will be late-blooming teams because of roster changes and injuries on their offense.

Joe will add that it’s unclear how much rust will be on America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, as he tries to come back from knee surgery (ACL). He’ll be just 10 months out from under the knife when the Bucs head to the Saints.

The timing of the Bucs’ schedule indeed smells good for Tampa Bay. Tannenbaum added that the Bucs offense should go from good to great when Chris Godwin returns later in the season, which is an ideal scenario for the Bucs to get easier stretches in their schedule.

Joe tuned into Dallas sports radio on Friday, and the Bucs are not the team Dallas-loving media and fans wanted on opening day.

Remember, in last year’s Bucs-Cowboys matchup, Amari Cooper racked up 13 catches for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Michael Gallup added four receptions.

Cooper is now on the Browns and Gallup won’t be back from a knee injury on opening day.

If the Bucs are the hit-the-ground-running stud team they should be, they’ll find their way to at least a 3-1 start. Opening 2-2 might be acceptable, depending on how the games look.

Joe is not writing off 4-0.

33 Responses to “Tough Opening Isn’t So Tough”

  1. Swampbuc Says:

    The NFL is the NFL. Competitive. Without Suh and JPP leadership, a 1-3 start isn’t off the screen either. Headless chicken JTS and a rookie pass rusher…..scary.

  2. Allen Lofton Says:

    Another year under their belt the offense and defense will be better – believe the spread will be 7 for the Bucs

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Stop messing around and get Suh in the house. The guy can still get it done and, who knows, he may have a better year with an all around healthier defense

  4. SufferingSince76 Says:

    And can someone explain why Ryan Griffin is still on the team? It’s wasted salary.

  5. RPK Says:

    Agree 100%

    3-1 or 4-0

  6. #8 Says:


  7. Buddha Says:

    If you are the best, you must beat the best. We beat Green Bay, New Orleans with Brees, and KC in succession to win Super Bowl. Dallas was not a good team at the end of last year. New Orleans was a 7 win team, and KC will have many new and young players. Bring them on.

  8. Bird Says:

    Didnt know about gallop. Yeah cee dee is their only guy from last year. No clue who they drafted at receiver?

    And want to see how chiefs are without tyreek. You had to have 2 guys on him and stretched the field so much for kelce to get his numbers.

    Saints are loaded but we play them better in NO. I think we split series this year.

    Packers without their best receiving weapon and lost other receiver so going with guy they drafted?

    Tough stretch no question. Our defense makes me nervous for sure though
    Hope bucs get this right cause we still need edge rusher / d tackle possibly in FA

  9. Stone crab sam Says:

    ‘Stop messing around and get Suh in the house’.

    Ten four dat.
    That dude is a rock and has always been healthy. If the Bucs are serious about stopping the run, suh will get signed. If not, just bring back ‘smitty’ ’, make him dc. And see what that brings ya.😂

    Of coarse the Bucs can always return to their ways of old, and look for another rod ‘toast’ jones….or perhaps another throwin Samoan. Or make a trade for a seventh round draft in 2024 for Brady, evans, and fournette.😬

    Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone…..

  10. adam from ny Says:

    if we start 4-0 we are going like 13-4…

    so no way to that…

    if we pull off a 3-1 start we are sitting pretty and before you know it we could be like 6-1…

    i have us dropping the baltimore game in a big upset, as a prelude to the rams game at ray jay

    2-2 is deal-able…nothing more

  11. adam from ny Says:

    i think we max out at 12 wins this year…

    a bad season would be 10 wins…

    and realistically with this schedule we go 11-6

  12. adam from ny Says:

    ok so lets say we start out 2-2

    after that i have us losing to:


    and probably one divisional loss at some point = 11-6

    if we start 3-1 we are most likely blazing to a 12-5 record

    and yes i said it…we are going to cleveland for our only potentially cold weather game of the year, and we are getting thumped like 26-16…as if we were never even there

  13. BucsFan81 Says:

    Would feel a lot more comfortable if we had Gronk and Suh back. I think we will be fine without JPP and all his injuries. SUH never misses games though and would be a quality starter.

  14. SB Says:

    @adam: Could you e-mail me the winning powerball numbers please?!

  15. bucfan34 Says:

    Sign no. 93!

  16. SB~LV Says:

    Suck it up !

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We can still restructure D. Smith….and perhaps some with S. Mason…..look forward to cutting R. Succop and there you have $15 mil or so.
    Enough money to bring in Suh & perhaps one other FA OLB or CB.

    I think we can succeed with, and will have, a better running game this year. Some long drives for TDs eating up clock will save our defense which is suspect.

  18. Tye Says:

    coaches and players will tell you, No team is the same from one season to the next… Many changes have happened on many of the Bucs opponents… That’s why history shows many Super Bowl winning teams struggle the year after…

    I Think this would have been a tough schedule with Trask, Gabbert or any other QB running the team..

    If the Bucs stay healthy, they are as good of a team as any!

  19. dbbuc711 Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a big pass rush makes Jameis skittish

  20. firethecannons Says:

    Yeah someone said it more time on offense spent running the ball and more time with defense resting on the bench

  21. GOB Says:

    3-1 would be a huge victory. The saints actually have a better roster this year. The secondary is impressive and they still have a ferocious front 4. They can get home without needing to blitz, something that befuddles all QBs, even Brady. I’m less worried about the Packers and cowboys. Rodgers has nobody to throw to. He got what he really wanted, which was money. I’m not really concerned with Dallas. Aside from draft picks, it’s essentially the same group minus Cooper. To me the chiefs game is a toss up.

  22. SPARKY Says:

    I think we can go 4-0 to start the season. I’m know we can beat anybody in the NFL. But I will go 3-1 the first 4 games just because it’s very hard to win 4 games in a row in the NFL. Actually, last year we had more trouble beating the bad to average teams.

  23. Maniac Buc Says:

    I wish people would let the Suh and JPP crap go. I don’t want either back. If they come back, fine. But let the young boys play. 1st round draft picks should be starters by the start of their 2nd year. So I’m not thinking twice about JPP. And realistically, 1st round picks should come out the gate starting, and Hall is essentially a 1st round pick. I have faith in both. In fact, I prefer the young blood. If Suh comes back, it should be as a backup or “just in case” scenario.

  24. Mort Says:

    Man y’all in the comments are some chicken little types eh? 11-6? Get out. We hit 13-4 last year with a revolving door in the secondary, starting dudes who have no business starting. Our WR corp was decimated late, with CG blowing a knee and AB going AWOL. And y’all out here saying they’re winning 10 or 11 games…. Nope. 14 wins.

  25. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    I think we are built to win it all this year. The coaches know more than me but I’m worried about our defensive line. I don’t know why you wouldn’t resign suh and jpp if we are all in.

  26. steele Says:

    Bucs faithful will always hope for an undefeated season and SB, and find any excuse to think this way. Get real. The 4 playoff teams during the regular season, plus the Saints, a bunch of traps, and if they survive all of that, the p-p-playoffs? The physical toll itself is going to be daunting before the season hits halfway. NFL wants Brady and the Bucs buried.

    The hope is that you have a surprise season in which all of these teams have regressed. I don’t see it.

    And how have the Bucs improved? How have they solidified and toughened up? Major holes across the roster.

    I’d love it if they go 4-0 to start. Even that won’t be enough. It’s rigged.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    It’s still a really tough opening schedule.

    The Bucs have a new HC, and even if it’s the same system, not everything is going to be the same. The Bucs will likely be without Godwin. If Gronk does sign late, like I expect, he’s still going to be working himself into shape. Rookie TEs are generally pretty awful early on, which could mean you’re starting Brate?!? Yikes. Do you really want Brate blocking for Brady? I don’t.

    With that said, other teams will also have their problems, so hopefully it all events out.

  28. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Without Suh and JPP who’s going to eat up blocks in the running game. Basically you have Vea and Gholston with a rookie and 2’nd year guy in Tryon-Shoyinka. Sack Barrett on the other side can hold his own against the run. Is Vea going to start playing every down? Sounds to me like the Bucs are “hoping JTS and Logan play great against the run and provide a pass rush, but hope isn’t a strategy. It’s a terrible gamble in the last year that Brady will be here (our last chance at a title for awhile). I know JPP was injured last year and Suh wants too much, but they better pay at least one of them. We can’t rely on hope if we really are trying to win a Super Bowl.

  29. Brandon Says:

    You guys pining for Suh and JPP need to give jt a rest. JPP looked completely done in the Washington playoff game en route to the Super Bowl. He somehow managed to push it and get three more good games. Last season be was washed even when he was healthy. Suh was very average. Just a name. Nothing more. Both of these guys were no better than average last season and will only be worse this year. Give it a rest. You’re probably the same Neanderthals that wanted Leveon Bell and Richard Sherman last season. How did that turn out for us? They were done.

  30. dmatt Says:

    Mort u meant AB blew a head gasket

  31. Oviedo Jim Says:

    Please….that the bucs have an advantage at home during hot temps in Sept and early Oct is still a giant myth. Someone check the stats.

  32. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m focused on 1-0.

  33. DEEEMO Says:

    AGREE with Cobraboy…Play one game at a time! Only need to focus on the 1st game at the Jerry World Complex…Start at 1-0. As far as Suh and Gronk…I think Gronk will be in camp at the start…Suh not so sure. JPP? Seeeeeeee Ya!