As the league’s 2022-2023 schedule was released on Thursday, it became clear very quickly that the Buccaneers were not done any favors with the way their schedule shakes out in the first month.
Tampa begins the season on the road against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, followed by a road test against the New Orleans Saints, and then returning home to host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers before a showdown with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Buccaneers' first month is no joke — on the road vs. Cowboys and Saints, then hosting Packers and Chiefs. Welcome back, Tom.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 12, 2022
In fact, starting the season with back-to-back road games isn’t exactly a common thing for NFL teams.
Opening with two road games as Bucs will this fall is a rare thing — it's happened only once in last 20 years for Tampa Bay, going 1-1 in 2016. It's happened just four times in the team's 46-year history — 2016, 1998, 1995, 1984. They've never opened 2-0 in such a start.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 12, 2022
Of course, the Buccaneers could also start 3-1 for all we know, given the way the league has been shaken up this off-season. Still, that’s a tough road to walk to start an NFL season and could make a difference as Tampa hopes to get back to the playoffs in what could be Brady’s actual final season before he heads to the TV booth.
For now, the NFL world certainly had some strong thoughts on the way Tampa’s schedule starts out in September.
Trying to get Brady in that broadcast booth quicker https://t.co/d4mbupKMhb
— Justin Walters (@JustinWaltersTV) May 12, 2022
One reason schedule order matters.
Also Bucs likely without Chris Goodwin for some if not all of these games https://t.co/HWb1sbqZKT
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) May 12, 2022
front-loading the bucs’ schedule just in case tom brady looks his age is a good business decision https://t.co/AWdpcKPiKp
— Harry Lyles Jr. (@harrylylesjr) May 12, 2022
— Simon Gibbs (@SimonGibbs26) May 12, 2022
Hint before the schedule madness starts: just about every game on the schedule (save 4ish) is going to be tough. Not a lot of easy stretches or easy wins
— The Pewter Plank (@ThePewterPlank) May 12, 2022
Good luck, Todd Bowles!