Yardbarker Horiz

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Upcoming Schedule Strength: Week 2


Week #2 versus the NFL.com expert consensus rankings (Buccaneers rank #20):

WIN 17-14 Cleveland
WIN 20-7 Carolina

Pittsburgh2-0  #5 =L?
BYE
@Cincinnati1-1  #12 =L?
New Orleans2-0  #2 =L?
Saint Louis0-2  #31 =W?
@Arizona1-1  #27 =W?
@Atlanta1-1  #13 =L?
Carolina0-2  #29 =W?
@San Francisco0-2  #23 =W?
@Baltimore1-1  #8 =L?
Atlanta1-1  #13 =L?
@Washington1-1  #14 =L?
Detroit0-2  #28 =W?
Seattle1-1  #25 =W?
@New Orleans2-0  #2 =L?

Remaining Schedule:  13-15


Based on the expert rankings, at this point, the Buccaneers appear to be headed to an 8-8 record -- which usually indicates being a factor in the NFC Wildcard Playoff run!

Obviously some serious games ahead for the Buccaneers.  With two of three at home (and two of three against the AFC), the games are a mixed bag.  Winning, of course, solves everything.  But the "really extra big one" is the home game against New Orleans.  New Orleans is the lone NFC team as well as a divisional rival, so playoff implications (tiebreakers, division standing, division records) are immense for that game.  The other two would be nice to have, but do not make or break the season.  If Tampa Bay can win at least one of the next three a 9-7 record is suddenly in reach -- which would bring with it a spot in the playoffs.  More than one win in the next three provides cushion for unexpected injuries or poor performances (young team can mean a roller coaster from week to week) later in the season.

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