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Instant Reaction: 2018 Schedule Prediction

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How many games do you think the Bucs win in 2018?

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 schedule is out! Let’s make an early wild guess on how many games the Bucs will win. This table was pulled from Buccaneers.com:

2018 Bucs Schedule

Day Date Opponent Time Network
Day Date Opponent Time Network
-- Preseason --
Thurs. Aug. 9 at Miami 7:00 PM TBA
Sat. Aug. 18 at Tennessee 7:00 PM TBA
Fri. Aug. 24 DETROIT 8:00 PM CBS
Thurs. Aug. 30 JACKSONVILLE 7:30 PM TBA
-- Regular Season --
Sun. Sept. 9 at New Orleans 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Sept. 16 PHILADELPHIA 1:00 PM FOX
Mon. Sept. 24 PITTSBURGH 8:15 PM ESPN
Sun. Sept. 30 at Chicago 1:00 PM FOX
Bye Week
Sun. Oct. 14 at Atlanta 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Oct. 21 CLEVELAND 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Oct. 28 at Cincinnati 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Nov. 4 at Carolina 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Nov. 11 WASHINGTON 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Nov. 18 at New York Giants 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Nov. 25 SAN FRANCISCO 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Dec. 2 CAROLINA 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Dec. 9 NEW ORLEANS 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Dec. 16 at Baltimore 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Dec. 23 at Dallas 1:00 PM FOX
Sun. Dec. 30 ATLANTA 1:00 PM FOX

I prefer to use win shares, which is to assign the Bucs their percent chance to win each game and then add them up. I believe it makes for a much more accurate prediction. Here’s my way too early predictions:

Way Too-Early 2018 Win Shares

Opponent Estimated Win Percentage
Opponent Estimated Win Percentage
at New Orleans 0.5
PHILADELPHIA 0.35
PITTSBURGH 0.45
at Chicago 0.6
Bye Week
at Atlanta 0.4
CLEVELAND 0.6
at Cincinnati 0.55
at Carolina 0.4
WASHINGTON 0.55
at New York Giants 0.55
SAN FRANCISCO 0.5
CAROLINA 0.5
NEW ORLEANS 0.55
at Baltimore 0.55
at Dallas 0.5
ATLANTA 0.5
8.05

So I have Tampa winning 8 games. I’m actually a little surprised by my results, because my early thoughts had the Bucs around 6-10 this season. It’s hard to go too far from coin flips on some of these. Vegas usually adds 2-3 points for home field advantage so I tried to factor that in. We still need to see more of San Francisco and Garoppolo, but we know Kyle Shanahan is an elite offensive coordinator. Cleveland has a really good and young front seven but is still searching for a QB and appears to be just as dysfunctional as ever; but they do have two top four picks in the Draft. Cincinnati needs a ton of help on their offensive line and Dalton doesn’t seem to be good enough to take them deep in the playoffs. Washington needs to rebuild their defense and find an identity post-Kirk Cousins. What will the Giants look like, and how much does Eli still have in the tank? Will Roethlisberger’s heart still be in it? Flacco is still stealing money in Baltimore, and I’m assuming Carson Wentz will be healthy enough to play in Week 2. Dallas is still very dangerous, but we saw issues with Dak Prescott’s ball placement last year. All three NFC South rivals made the playoffs in 2017, so the Bucs are probably still in the most difficult division in the league.

Some more odd notes and reasons for my shares:

  • The Bucs have split the season series with the Saints each of the last three seasons, with the home team winning the last four games.
  • The Panthers won six in a row vs Tampa from 2013-2015, then the Bucs swept them in 2016 and the Panthers returned the favor in 2017. In fact, the Bucs and Panthers haven’t split a season series since 2008.
  • The Bucs and Falcons have split the last six games going back to 2015, with the Bucs winning three in a row and the Falcons winning the last three.

Poll

How many games will Tampa Bay win in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    4 or less
    (26 votes)
  • 24%
    5-7
    (170 votes)
  • 16%
    8
    (118 votes)
  • 28%
    9
    (198 votes)
  • 27%
    10 or more
    (191 votes)
703 votes total Vote Now