With Tom Brady returning for another season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, looking at the road map to Super Bowl LVII is necessary. New head coach, Todd Bowles, and his staff will have their work cut out for them as they look to return to prominence from two years ago. With training camp right around the corner, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the most difficult (1-8) and easiest (9-17) games for each team. Let’s begin the series with the most challenging games on the Tampa Bay schedule.
Most Difficult Games on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 Schedule
1. Week 9 vs Los Angeles Rams
Even though Tampa Bay is at home, playing the defending Super Bowl Champions is never an easy task. The Buccaneers look to avenge their playoff loss in the divisional round from 2021. The Rams roster is loaded and looking to repeat as World Champions after adding several new faces including Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner.
2. Week 15 vs Cincinnati Bengals
The only thing tougher than facing the Super Bowl champions is facing the runner-up. The Bengals will come to Raymond James Stadium with an upset on their mind in the first meeting between Brady and Cincinnati franchise quarterback, Joe Burrow. The Bengals totally revamped their offensive line to better protect Burrow and have a sneaky good defense that gave plenty of teams problems last season.
3. Week 4 vs Kansas City Chiefs
The much-anticipated matchup between Brady and Patrick Mahomes will happen at home for the Buccaneers in Week 4. The Tampa Bay defense and first-round draft pick, Logan Hall might play an important role in this game in providing pressure on Mahomes. The secondary will also be tested often in hopes of slowing the potent Chiefs offense in what may be a high-scoring affair. Converting drives with touchdowns instead of field goals will be crucial to victory.
4. Week 3 vs Green Bay Packers
The Buccaneers also have the good fortune to play the Packers at home and it will prepare them for the following week against Kansas City. Aaron Rodgers will bring his high-powered offense into town coupled with a defense that can provide pressure and also covers the backend well with recently signed cornerback Jaire Alexander.
5. Week 8 vs Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson and his electric running style will be on full display in yet another home contest for the Buccaneers. Baltimore was decimated by injury last year and when healthy, they boast one of the best defenses in the NFL. Brady will need to make quick reads to tame the Ravens pass rush if the Buccaneers are to be successful.
6. Week 1 at Dallas Cowboys
The home opener for the Cowboys will provide a tough test for the Buccaneers. Dallas is a true Jekyll or Hyde team where you never know which version will show up. When they are firing, they are difficult to beat, especially at home. They have lost some potency on offense with the departure of Amari Cooper and their running game also struggled to get going at times last season. The defense is the strength of the Cowboy in they have an excellent pass rush led by Micah Parsons and a solid secondary headlined by cornerback, Trevon Diggs.
7. Week 16 at Arizona Cardinals
Playing in Arizona is never easy and despite the drama surrounding Kyler Murray, the Cardinals are a tough late-season test for Tampa Bay. If the Buccaneers offense can score early, they should get out of town with a win and some much-needed momentum for their final two games before the playoffs.
8. Week 6 at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 6 might usher in a new era of football in Pittsburgh in the form of quarterback, Kenny Pickett. The Steelers defense is always strong and plays sound football under head coach, Mike Tomlin. The Buccaneers should employ the blueprint needed to beat the Cardinals. If Tampa can score early they should keep the Pittsburgh defense at bay and limit momentum in the possible debut of Pickett. Ultimately, the eighth most difficult game on the Buccaneers schedule is one they should handily win.
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