The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be one of the most fascinating teams to watch during the 2022 NFL season.
All eyes will be on Tom Brady in what could be his final season before he heads to his lucrative broadcasting career.
After claiming victory in Super Bowl LV in February 2021, the Buccaneers took a step forward in the regular season win column but fell to the eventual Super Bowl LVI champion Los Angeles Rams in the postseason.
This offset all of the steps forward that took place throughout the season, including those from Tom Brady, who somehow one-upped his brilliant Buccaneers debut season in 2020. He threw three more touchdown passes (43), the same number of interceptions (six) as the season before, which had one less game on the schedule, and an excess of 5,300 passing yards for the first time in his career. He achieved these feats at the age of 44.
Whether Brady stays or goes will haunt the Tampa Bay fanbase all season, but will that directly correlate with their win totals?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule prediction
Here is a breakdown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2022 schedule, including an analysis for all 17 games:
Week 1: at Dallas Cowboys
In the equivalent of a home-and-home series in college football, the Buccaneers are traveling to Dallas this year for an opening-night collision with the Cowboys. Like last year, the Buccaneers will prevail.
Week 2: at New Orleans Saints
Tom Brady will be taking on the man he replaced in Tampa, Jameis Winston, in the first NFC South showdown of the season for the Buccaneers. It'll be a successful one down on the Bayou.
Week 3: vs. Green Bay Packers
Tom Brady owns the head-to-head matchup against Aaron Rodgers, taking three of the four matchups, including the lone Buccaneers-Packers matchup he was in Tampa Bay for in 2020. He'll run that record to 4-1 and Tampa Bay's to 3-0.
Week 4: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
In an ode to callbacks, the Buccaneers will knock off the Chiefs in a Super Bowl LV rematch, which happens to be at the same venue (Raymond James Stadium) as their title game. Speaking of callbacks, Tom Brady reigns supreme over Pat Mahomes once more.
Week 5: vs. Atlanta Falcons
There may not be a more significant gap between the division's best and worst teams as there is in the NFC South. Atlanta will not be competitive often in 2022, but they definitely won't be against the Buccaneers on the road.
Week 6: at Pittsburgh Steelers
It will continue to be smooth sailing for the Buccaneers by the time Week 6 rolls around, and the momentum built through the season's first five games should parlay into a triumph in 'Steel City' against a middling Pittsburgh.
Week 7: at Carolina Panthers
Only slightly ahead of the Falcons, the Panthers will be a punching bag in 2022 after waiting until the No. 94 pick to draft a quarterback. Matt Corral likely won't start, and Carolina will die on the Sam Darnold hill, which will include a loss to Tampa Bay in Week 7.
Week 8: vs. Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson will have his hands full with a Buccaneers defense with enough talent in the secondary and a linebacker room to contain him in a Cover 3 formation, known as the Ravens quarterback's Achilles' heel. Tampa Bay will win a statement game to move to 8-0.
Week 9: vs. Los Angeles Rams
It won't be another perfect regular season for Tom Brady, who achieved the feat 15 years ago with the New England Patriots. The defending Super Bowl champions will hand them their first loss of the 2022 season.
Week 10: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle will likely drown in a sea of struggles in 2022 after trading Russell Wilson away for future draft picks and a replacement in Drew Lock, who's in over his head as an NFL starter. Mark the Munich matchup a win for Tampa Bay in the standings.
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: at Cleveland
The Browns could see Deshaun Watson work his way into elite NFL shape by Thanksgiving, giving Cleveland momentum in late-season matchups after a potentially slow start. Tampa Bay is bound to lose at least one or two shockers this season.
Week 13: vs. New Orleans
With Tampa's last quarterback before Tom Brady returning to the city that drafted him, Jameis Winston will not be walking away with a tasty 'W' after the Saints visit Raymond James Stadium.
Week 14: at San Francisco 49ers
This will be another somewhat unexpected loss for the Buccaneers, this time to a 49ers squad that may be fighting for postseason position at this point in the season. This has trap game potential with the Bengals visiting Tampa the week after.
Week 15: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
With a man many are deeming the 'next Tom Brady' (Joe Burrow) in town, the current version will show the third-year signal-caller that there's plenty of tread left in his tires.
Week 16: at Arizona Cardinals
On December 25th, Buccaneers fans will be getting a 12th win underneath the Christmas Tree when Tampa Bay travels to the desert to knock off the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.
Week 17: vs. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers will have probably replaced Sam Darnold by the time they face the Buccaneers a second time, meaning they'll probably be more competitive come January 2023. They'll still lose in Tampa Bay.
Week 18: at Atlanta Falcons
It was tempting to scribble in a Falcons upset in Week 18, with Desmond Ridder possibly playing the hero against a Buccaneers team in no dire need of a victory and perhaps resting starters. But Atlanta has no guarantees of winning any game this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers record prediction: 14-3
Poll : Will this be Tom Brady's final season in Tampa?