The Must-Watch Bucs Game This Fall

May 28th, 2023

Bucs QB Baker Mayfield.

The last three years the Bucs have had a total of 15 primetime games. Long-time Bucs fans never would have guessed that would happen.

But that’s what happens when you have an international superstar playing quarterback, Tom Brady.

Now the Bucs have Oklahoma’s star at quarterback, Baker Mayfield. Eyeballs will be harder to come by, even though Mayfield is a Heisman Trophy winner.

The first of the Bucs’ two primetime games comes in Week 3. And veteran NFL scribe Dan Pompei, typing for The Athletic, notes this game could be a harbinger of how the Bucs’ season plays out.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: vs. Eagles, Week 3

A skeptic might say there are no must-watch games for the Bucs in their first year after Tom Brady. The NFL schedule-makers acknowledged Brady’s absence by scheduling the Bucs in only two prime-time games. In each season of Brady’s three-year reign, the Bucs had prime-time slots the maximum number of five times. The Bucs’ first prime-time game in 2023 will tell us everything we need to know. After opening up at Minnesota and hosting Chicago, they play the defending NFC champions on a Monday night. If the Bucs can give the Eagles a game, it will be an indication that the obituaries were premature.

Pompei has an excellent point. Minnesota is a winnable game, though the Bucs aren’t favored (Vikings are favored +6.5). Chicago is a winnable game (and that game is the lone game in which the Bucs are favored, so says our friends in the desert).

Philadelphia will certainly test the Bucs. Can Tampa Bay pass the test? Can they hang with the Eagles? If the Bucs get blown out hosting Philadelphia and say, the Bucs’ record is 1-2 (or worse) after three weeks, it might become time to double down on scouting quarterbacks.

33 Responses to “The Must-Watch Bucs Game This Fall”

  1. D-Rok Says:

    I’d say those first 3 games will be a good litmus test for the team, and us fans should have a decent idea of the team by then.

    So, I’ll wait until about then before getting too pumped or too low about this team. Anything’s possible, I reckon.

  2. Dre Bucsfan! Says:

    This will definitely be an exciting game, but it will be too early in season to measure what Bucs will truly look like. Last year we beat cowboys first game of year and i thought that was what we’d be the entire season and by gollie was i wrong lol

  3. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Week 6 will be the must watch. After a 1-4 record, Mayfield will be benched and Trask will get the start.

  4. Allen Lofton Says:

    Everything is conjecture – it’s blah blah blah until the season starts

  5. lobsterman Says:

    Wowza! Mayfield sure looks fat in that photo! He must be eating at Bern’s every night. LMAO.

    BTW, did y’all see that video making the rounds of our three QBs throwing at OTA? When Trask walks by Mayfield and Wolford those two look like little kids. Why do we have two QB who clearly lack NFL size?

  6. lobsterman Says:

    “it might be time to double down on scouting quarterbacks”

    Because for this website it’s never time for Kyle Trask.

  7. ATLBuc Says:

    After Kyle Trask lights up the Vikings and Bears everybody will be tuning in to see us play Philly. Both teams will probably be undefeated at that time. Tat will be a key matchup if we are to get home field throughout the playoffs. IF Philly is as good as the writers say they are

  8. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Now remember Joe, the game is not in Philly, it is in RayJay. Although we tend to stink at home from time to time, I think the home schedule is the season. If we can develop a swag with Mayfield on Dale Mabry we have a shot at an under the radar year. We can’t start predictions before our cleats hit the turf, but it sure makes for an exciting post Tom Brady story.

  9. Voice of Truth Says:

    That video was scary and proof of what most are acknowledging- we have one of the weakest qb rooms in the league

    We need the vets to carry us and hope several rookies and 2nd yr players blossom quickly all while covering for a weak spot under C

    You know, kind of like hoping for a miracle

  10. dmatt Says:

    I’m more concerned about our defense than the offense. JMcCown,Winston, Fitzpatrick,or Brady, it doesn’t matter, Godwin, Evans or both will make plays. I really want to know if Kancey n Ya Ya will make a difference for the better on defense. We need pressure up front n players that are relentless with a true grit type demeanor. I’m at wits end with JTS, I watched his game against the Bengals last year n I was dumbfounded on the int he just literally denied from Joe Burrow. I’m even flabbergasted about how he figuratively n literally layed on the ground during a live play against the panthers. It was like he felt one of the other 10 players would make the play. While fighting for a playoff spot in that game, he used a cunning move to purposely fall down on the ground n layed there for 2-4 seconds to give up on the last play of the game against the hard fighting and determined panthers. While laying on the ground watching his teammates fight to make a tackle, the ball was fumbled n somehow rolled to him while he continued to lay on the ground. Am I the only person who watched him give up on a play? If no one else calls him out then I will. He’s been a lazy bust since being drafted. I hope this guy Ya Ya can move him out.
    As for Kancey, he’s a natural true grit type player. He has the “It” factor.

  11. BucU Says:

    When u start the off-season being 56 Million over the salary cap you probably shouldn’t have many lofty expectations.

  12. JTHV Says:

    “Blown out at Philadelphia” ??? That’s a home game. Tighten up.

  13. HC Grover Says:

    On any given Monday

  14. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Eagles game will deff be a game in to measure how the Bucs are doing and where to go from there. Looking to see how physical the Bucs will be and Philly is pretty physical. Can’t wait for the season to start

  15. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Just got this feeling we are going to be great, I don’t think Canales is going to fail with the tools we have.

  16. Tackleblockwin Says:

    No no no. You can’t say the Bucs are 10000 to 1 to win the SB and then say Eagles vs Bucs might be interesting. Eagles are a SB team and we are just the love able losers without Tom Brady, remember?

  17. sasquatch Says:

    3 games into the season and people think that’s a sufficient time to start drawing conclusions… First off, the offense is a totally new system and a new QB, as well as a re-arranged offensive line. Secondly, the defense is being tweaked. Two of our 3 DL starters will be new. If things aren’t going well after 3 games and the Philly game is ugly, I’m not panicking.

  18. D-Rok Says:


    Oh, I won’t be “panicking” either. But let’s face it, if they play Tony the Tiger Great, we might have something. If they play average but lose, meh. But if they stink up the joint, especially with pre-snap/mental errors, we might be in for a long season.

    At least 3 games of tape is MUCH better than all we have right now: Idle speculation, chit-chat, hopes, rumors, and in some commenter’s case…doom n gloom.

    We shall soon see, but not soon enuff.

  19. Buc1987 Says:


  20. Cobraboy Says:

    Expect nothing, and you won’t be disappointed.

    I just want to get through 2024 and out of cap hell.

  21. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Mayfield won the starting gig? Breaking news I guess

  22. Mike C Says:

    Wait, with a record of 1-2 and like 2 or 3 playoff caliber opponents left on the entire rest of the schedule the Bucs should start looking at college QBs??? Are you for real Joe? In 2020 the team looked like a mess until after that KC game. Maybe we should have a eye on calling it a season after week 3.

  23. Mike C Says:

    Shouldn’t *

  24. BillyBucco Says:

    Even with Brady, because he was learning a new offense they said week 8.
    Now the whole team is learning a new offense and you say week 3?

    Come on man.
    It might not even be this year.
    Next year WILL be better though.
    And the year after that, if we get a new QB, everyone says it’s them.
    Guys take time to develop.
    Unless your name is JTS.
    YaYa you s already better.

  25. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “After Kyle Trask lights up the Vikings and Bears everybody will be tuning in to see us play Philly”

    This is fanasty land…..

    Kyle Trask has an absolute 0.1% chance of being the opening day starter, the only way Trask sees action is if Mayfield gets hurt or sucks….

    But I GUARANTEE you the Bucs are highly curious to see if Baker can reform to his early career form where he led the Browns to and nearly won the AFC championship game in 2020….so dont fool yourselves here, theres no QB competition here, not in the offseason at least.

  26. View from 132 Says:

    They each count 1/17th. That must win stuff is always hype. The must win games are in the playoffs.

  27. David Says:

    Once a gain you assume Baker will be the starting qb and ready to start scouting qb’s after 1-2 record. Wow, such a short leash.

    Did you forget Trask as usual being on this year rostern? Why would you even consider scouting so early in the season for qb’s without replacing Baker at the time with Trask and evaluating him in real games before considering 2024 draft qb prospects ? You assumed Trask as a bust in his first year even when we all knew he will be on side lines as long as Brady was around. You considered him as a bust based on a few picks he threw to the third and forth strength prospects who are now competing for higher minimum wages working at the food chains or as truck drivers.

    No real writer or football experts can truly evaluate a player under so inferior conditions rather playing in real meaningful games.

    I can’t wait to read your articles when Trask take over and plays well enough to be 2024 qb1 with a bigger contract.

  28. adam from ny Says:

    joe i keep perusing the schedule — and i swear we gotta try to go 5-5 thru the first 10…

    if we can sort of go one win, one loss…or something along those lines, for the first 10, we might then have a shot to catch fire…

    i started with us hopefully pacing for a 2-2 start, and as i went down the schedule i bumped that to hopefully 5-5…

    there are a lot of tough games thru week 11

  29. Ed McSherry Says:

    Of course it could depend on how the Buccaneers play, not so much on the W-L record @ week 3.

    It seems very similar to the Raiders’ total season last year: their losses were all, or almost all, by “one-score-margins.”

    What if the Buccaneers win the division this year, are in the playoffs, but had another 8-9 season.

  30. Ed McSherry Says:

    (Hit the “submit” button by mistake)

    But, they played well all year, only with a lot of ” bad beats?”

    I’d feel petty good about possibly going deep in the playoffs in that case.

    More so, without Byron and with a seriously improved O-line.

    Instead of 1st n’ up the middle, Mayfield is hitting screen passes to Rachaad and Godwin all over the place, Otton seams, and “deep biscuits” to Mike Evans. I like it.

  31. mark2001 Says:

    Don’t fall asleep on the Bears. They have added quite a bit of talent on that team. And though we should win, it isn’t close to a sure thing.

  32. garro Says:

    Did I stumble on to the by mistake?
    Pompei? Come on man.

  33. garro Says:

    “If the Bucs get blown out hosting Philadelphia and say, the Bucs’ record is 1-2 (or worse) after three weeks, it might become time to double down on scouting quarterbacks.”

    So in three games we are gonna see Trask and Mayfield? We wil know all we need to know about both by then? If we get blown out by Philly it should not be a huge surprise.

    The Bucs are already working overtime scouting QBs! You really want us to tank this season and it shows. Sad for any real Bucs fan to prefer tanking to competing.