The bye week is always a good time to reflect on the start of the season, but it also serves as a reset. For the Buccaneers, this year’s bye came pretty early in the year. Even still, the team has plenty to reflect on and improve upon before the next time it takes the field.
Over the last decade, Tampa Bay hasn’t been particularly successful as a whole. But in most of the last 10 seasons, the bye week hasn’t served as much of a reset at all. There has been far more failure than success after the off weeks. Let’s take a look at how the Bucs have fared after the bye since 2008:
Tampa Bay went into its bye week with a record of 6-3 in 2008. After the week off, the Bucs came out with three straight wins to get to 9-3. Hot streak, huh? Well, they went on to lose their next four games to miss the playoffs. Jon Gruden was fired after the collapse.
Post-bye record: 3-4
The 2009 season was the beginning of a new era for the Bucs, but it didn’t start out all that well. They were 0-7 heading into the bye week. The team did something right in the week off as it came out and picked up win No. 1 on the year the following week. Unfortunately, the winning didn’t last. The next five games ended in defeat and the Bucs finished 3-13.
Post-bye record: 3-6
Raheem Morris and the Buccaneers turned the corner a bit in 2010, just barely missing out on a playoff berth. There was an early bye for Tampa Bay that year, coming in week four after a 2-1 start. From week five on, the Bucs won five of their next seven. Overall, the team finished 10-6 in Morris’ second year. Early bye weeks can cause trouble for the final stretch of the season, but it wasn’t too much of a problem in 2010.
Post-bye record: 8-5
The 2011 season was a mess all around. A 4-3 start before the bye was promising, but going 0-9 the rest of the way led to the firing of Raheem Morris.
Post-bye record: 0-9
Greg Schiano took over as head coach before the 2012 season and got his new team out to a 1-3 start. It was another early bye week for Tampa Bay, but the rest of the season wasn’t so bad. The Bucs played to a .500 record the rest of the way to finish 7-9, which wasn’t all that discouraging after the previous year’s struggles.
Post-bye record: 6-6
Schiano and the Bucs had another week five bye in 2013 and approached that break with an 0-4 record. It didn’t get much better immediately after, as the team dropped to 0-8 before finally picking up its first win of the season. Going 4-4 over the final eight games isn’t awful by any stretch, but it wasn’t enough to save Schiano’s job.
Post-bye record: 4-8
The Lovie Smith era began in 2014 with a thud. The Bucs were 1-5 going into their week seven bye and won just one game after it. The continuous losing was enough to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, which was spent on current quarterback Jameis Winston. There were winnable games down the stretch, but Tampa Bay failed to come through. That landed Smith on thin ice after just one season.
Post-bye record: 1-9
With Winston under center from the start, the Bucs got out to a 2-3 start in 2015. They went on a little run after the bye week, winning four of seven, but then lost four straight to end the season. A 6-10 record wasn’t enough to keep Lovie around. Dirk Koetter got the promotion to head coach after a huge year from the offense.
Post-bye record: 4-7
A 2-3 start in 2016 wasn’t all that promising, but the bye week shot some life into the Buccaneers, even if it took a while to translate to victories. They lost two of three following the week off, but then won five straight to get into the playoff conversation. Losing two of three to finish 9-7 kept Tampa Bay out, but it was still a pretty strong finish for Koetter in his first year as a head coach.
Post-bye record: 7-4
Last season is an exception, as Hurricane Irma postponed the Bucs’ week one game at Miami and took away the team’s bye week. Not playing in the season’s opening weekend doesn’t exactly count as a bye, so this won’t be included in our overall breakdown.
Since 2008, the Bucs are 36-58 after their bye weeks.
Since 2008, Tampa Bay is 5-4 in the week immediately following a bye. The Bucs won three straight post-bye games from 2008-2010, then lost three straight post-bye games from 2013-2015.
What do you think comes next for the Bucs after their 2018 bye week?