Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Predictions for the “revenge tour” 2019 season

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in prime position for a breakout season. Led by an experienced new coaching staff and a talented roster, there is much to be excited about in 2019.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a unique opportunity this coming season. They have a talented and hungry team desperate to win. They have a new fiery, experienced coaching staff looking to make their mark. However, in addition to that, they have a chance along the way to create or prevent the “revenge” narrative for many of their games. On route to hopefully returning to the post-season for the first time since 2007, the 2019 season could become the ultimate “revenge tour.”

    Week 1 49ers @ Buccaneers

    Finally, the Buccaneers have a home season opener, something they haven’t had since the 2015 season. It will be a revenge game for former Buccaneer MLB Kwon Alexander if he can return in time from the torn ACL he suffered in 2018. San Francisco will also have QB Jimmy Garoppolo recovering from his ACL injury, who may or may not be 100% ready for the opener.

    Even if Garoppolo is prepared to go, he may need some time before he is entirely comfortable playing and taking hits. The 49ers are at a disadvantage offensively in this matchup. A starting quarterback at less than 100% and an offense that doesn’t boast enough firepower to keep up with that of the Buccaneers, should make it a tough start for the 49ers. Tampa Bay should be able to handle business. 

    W 1-0

    Week 2 Buccaneers @ Panthers

    Another week and another revenge game for the Buccaneers. This time it’s their former face of the franchise in DT Gerald McCoy facing his old team for the first time. Coincidentally, it is also in primetime on Thursday Night Football. Carolina’s defense is stacked up front, as McCoy joins a defensive line loaded with talent. New additions include first-round pick DE Brian Burns, DE Bruce Irvin, along with established veteran DT’s Kyle Love and Kawaan Short.

    However, a lot of uncertainty surrounds QB Cam Newton and his shoulder. The new scheme on defense for the Buccaneers also will require opposing QB’s to be extra accurate against press coverage and exotic blitz packages. The Buccaneers would be at an advantage as Newton may be due for a couple of turnovers against a much better defense than he faced last season when he threw four interceptions.

    W 2-0

    Week 3 Giants @ Buccaneers

    Saquon Barkley torched the Buccaneers last season with 142 rushing yards and three total touchdowns. Luckily, there is not much else the Giants offer to pose a threat on their roster. The Buccaneers defense should improve under Todd Bowles, and Barkley will have to deal with Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, Lavonte David, and Devin White this time around.

    W 3-0

    Week 4 Buccaneers @ Rams

    This kicks off a brutal stretch where the Buccaneers don’t play in Tampa for a ridiculous six straight weeks. The entire league and the Buccaneer fans may be in total disbelief that Tampa Bay is currently undefeated. However, the Buccaneers roster and coaching staff will not be. The Buccanneers are more than talented enough, players and coaching wise to be undefeated at this point. All good things must come to an end though. On the road against the defending NFC Champions will be the toughest test yet for Tampa Bay.

    Newly acquired DT Ndamukong Suh will face off against his former team. Sean McVay and Bruce Arians face off in a battle of exceptional offensive minds. But in the end, it is the youth of the Buccaneers defense that goes through it’s first growing pain. Jared Goff and the Rams will create problems in the Tampa Bay secondary, but they will be better for it.

    L 3-1

    Week 5 Buccaneers @ Saints

    Tampa Bay has played New Orleans very well the past few years, splitting the last eight contests. On the road in one of the loudest places to play will be a new learning curve for the young Tampa Bay secondary. Drew Brees should get the best out of them this time around, and the back and forth struggle between these two teams continues.

    L 3-2

    Week 6 Panthers @ Buccaneers (London)

    Gerald McCoy gets his second shot against his former team, but no home reunion will be in store as Tampa Bay’s “home game” will be in London. Much of the same matchups will be exploited again as they were just four weeks prior. The offense of the Buccaneers should be too much for Carolina to hold off. The key in a long distance trip like this comes down to coaching and getting their teams mentally ready. Bruce Arians should have the edge over Ron Rivera here.

    W 4-2

    Week 7 BYE

    After a trip across the pond, the Buccaneers get a much-deserved bye week at a perfect time in the schedule. A nice change, as Tampa Bay has had terrible luck with bye weeks recently. This season’s bye will be the latest they have had since 2014. However, at least this time they have a bye week, unlike in 2017 when Hurricane Irma wiped their’s out.

    Week 8 Buccaneers @ Titans

    Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota part two. The first time these two met was their first career game in the NFL. The Titans came away with the victory that time, as Mariota looked like the better draft pick following a terrible outing from Winston. This should be another stop on the revenge tour as Winston outplays Mariota in this showdown. Tampa Bay overall have a much more talented team, and the Titans don’t have enough weapons to keep up with the Buccaneers.

    W 5-2

    Week 9 Buccaneers @ Seahawks

    The last game of a long road trip so it is reasonable to expect Tampa Bay to be exhausted. For almost two months, the Buccaneers would have been on the road, and not many teams can handle that kind of strain. Not to mention the Seahawks are no slouch. Russell Wilson and company are a talented team and well coached. No consolation prizes here for the Buccaneers and the Seahawks will not give them any pity.

    L 5-3

    Week 10 Cardinals @ Buccaneers

    The Buccaneers finally end their road trip and another stop on the revenge tour awaits them. Bruce Arians gets the chance to go up against his former team, as Tampa Bay hosts the #1 overall pick in Kyler Murray. Murray may become a star in the league, but Arizona has a roster lacking depth right now. The Cardinals have holes all over the defense, an offense with limited weapons and a shaky offensive line. Tampa Bay should have no problems handling the Cardinals and securing a home victory.

    W 6-3

    Week 11 Saints @ Buccaneers

    The Buccaneers get another shot at the Saints, this time in a defensive battle. A fight for sole possession of the top spot in the division could be on the line. Drew Brees gets the edge over Winston in this match-up, and the Saints sweep a series between these two teams for the first time in five years. New Orleans is the prototype to what the Buccaneers hope to become or are currently growing to become.

    L 6-4

    Week 12 Buccaneers @ Falcons

    The revenge tour continues as the Buccaneers face their former head coach Dirk Koetter, who returned to Atlanta as their offensive coordinator. However, it is the Falcons defense that has been their let down. Injuries plagued both Atlanta and Tampa Bay on defense in 2018, and both are expecting their teams to turn it around.

    Jameis Winston has had his best career games against Atlanta and now has the extra motivation to show up his former coach. Bruce Arians will also want to show Koetter what he can do with Winston. The Buccaneers may very well hang 40 points on this Falcons defense when it is all said and done.

    W 7-4

    Week 13 Buccaneers @ Jaguars

    Luckily Tampa Bay gets a short in-state road trip for this away game. Jacksonville seems to be in disarray and far from the team that was one game away from the Super Bowl in 2017. Nick Foles being the answer at QB is questionable, and Tampa Bay’s offense should overpower that of the Jaguars. At one point a strength, the defense for Jacksonville also looks like it could be heading in the wrong direction.

    W 8-4

    Week 14 Colts @ Buccaneers

    Bruce Arians squares off against his former team and QB Andrew Luck. The Colts have drafted exceptionally well, which has helped turn a depleted roster into a competitor in the AFC. The matchup will be an excellent test for the Buccaneers, as they face another top tier quarterback. The battle at the line of scrimmage, however, is where the Colts will have the edge and ultimately prove to be the difference.

    L 8-5

    Week 15 Buccaneers @ Lions

    Every season there is always one game that makes you scratch your head. That game for Tampa Bay could easily be this game against Detroit. You can make a clear case on how the Buccaneers could win this game, but with the Lions, there is still much unknown. This could be the last year for Matthew Stafford in Detroit, and Matt Patricia is still establishing his mark on their defense. The Lions have enough pieces, however, to rattle off a few wins and keep every game close.

    L 8-6

    Week 16 Texans @ Buccaneers

    Another top QB matchup is on the docket for this game. Similar to the Colts matchup, the line of scrimmage will dictate this contest. Unlike the Colts game, however, Tampa Bay has a clear edge in that department. The Texans may have one of the worst offensive lines in the league and a defensive line which seems to pick up injuries every year.

    W 9-6

    Week 17 Falcons @ Buccaneers

    The final stop on the 2019 revenge tour for the Buccaneers. Koetter comes back to Tampa with playoff implications very likely on the line for both teams. What better way for the Buccaneers, in front of their home crowd, to clinch a playoff birth against their former head coach.

    W 10-6

    Daniel Rodriguez is a writer for PFN covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You can follow him @drod_424 on twitter.

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