Buccaneers Off to a Slow Start

By: Ben Rosen

The Buccaneers held a 3-3 record through the first six weeks, which is not as good as expected based on preseason predictions. However, the Buccaneers are currently in first place in the NFC South thanks to holding the tiebreaker with the Atlanta Falcons for the moment after a head-to-head victory against them in Week 5. 

The Buccaneers started the season with wins against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints on the road but have since lost three of their last four games with two of those losses being at home against the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs in consecutive weeks and the other loss being on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

During these games, the Buccaneers were missing some key players between injuries and suspensions. Star wide receiver Mike Evans was suspended for the game against the Packers due to his involvement in a fight during the Saints game. The Buccaneers also were without wide receivers Julio Jones and Chris Godwin against the Packers due to injuries. 

Star Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has also caused some controversy for the team. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Brady opted to skip the team’s Saturday walk-through before  the game against the Steelers to attend the wedding of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft that took place in New York City. 

During his Oct. 20 weekly media availability leading up to their Week 7 matchup with the Carolina Panthers, Brady also has reiterated that he has no plans to retire. This comes after a ProFootballTalk Live discussion where Mike Florio and Chris Simms floated the idea of Brady retiring during the middle of the season.

What may help the Buccaneers is that the rest of the NFC for the most part is not doing so well either. Through the first six weeks, only three teams in the NFC and only one team in the AFC have either no losses or only one loss. The Buccaneers are also one of six teams in the NFC along with four AFC teams to have a 3-3 record through six weeks.

Of the next four opponents for the Buccaneers leading into their bye week, three of the four are at .500, the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, and one, the Carolina Panthers, is below .500. None of the teams remaining on the Buccaneers schedule currently have a record above .500 as well. 

The game against the Seahawks is a historic first for the NFL. It will be the first time that the league has played a regular season game in Germany. They will be playing in Munich on Nov. 13 during Week 10 of the regular season. The following week the Buccaneers will have their bye week.

After the bye week, the Buccaneers will have seven games remaining, including matchups against all three of their NFC South rivals. They also finish the season with two of their last three games on the road and both of their last two games are against division opponents, the Panthers at home in Week 17 and visiting the Falcons in Week 18. 

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