Much like the NFL Draft or Selection Sunday, the announcement of the NFL schedule has become one of the biggest non-events in sports. ESPN talking heads furrow their brows in a vain attempt to predict the ten biggest NFL games of next season, despite the fact we still have no idea how good any of the teams will be. But that's what you get when your league is the king of the hill.
My biggest complaint with the schedule is that the Bucs got screwed over with their nationally televised games. I'm not one of these people who complains that the Bucs got too few national games (they will most likely get a Sunday night game or two). Instead, both of the national games are AWAY games. Nationally televised home games are great opportunity to show off the local community to the rest of America. It would be better for the Bucs to not have any nationally televised games than the two away games they currently have.
Anyway, on to what you came here for, the schedule...
Sept.10: Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Sept.17: at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Sept.24: Carolina, 1 p.m.
WEEK 4: Bye
Oct.8: at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Oct.15: Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Oct.22: Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Oct.29: at New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Nov.5: New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Nov.13: at Carolina, 8:30 p.m. (MNF)
Nov.19: Washington, 1 p.m.
Nov.23: at Dallas, 4:15 p.m. (Thanksgiving)
Dec.3: at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Dec.10: Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Dec.17: at Chicago, 1 p.m.
Dec.24: at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Dec.31: Seattle, 1 p.m.
The NFL made a mistake frontloading the Bucs division schedule this year with three division matchups in their first four games. Last year the Bucs played almost all their division games in the last eight weeks which made for some exciting football down the stretch.
Their bye comes in Week 4? Might as well have your bye in Week 1.
Four of the Bucs last six games are away, and three of those are December games above the Mason-Dixon line. I've always argued the Bucs dismal cold record is misleading (since they were an abysmal franchise until ten years ago) but they don't play as well in the cold. I don't know if it's mental or because they aren't designed for the cold (since they rely on speed and precise route running) but the Bucs rarely bring their A game for cold, away games.
Enough of my ranting, what are your thoughts?