Happy June! The NFL season is still a few months away and the offseason fun of free agency and the NFL Draft have long since dwindled. Tampa Bay Bucs fans do have a new talking point— The team’s preseason schedule.
Week 1 - Tampa Bay’s preseason will begin with a familiar opponent from last season. The Pittsburgh Steelers are Tampa’s week one matchup. Last season’s week six game against the Steelers represented a fairly major turning point in the season. Many felt that when a healthy Buccaneers team couldn’t defeat a beat-up Steelers roster, the season may not unfold as originally expected.
This preseason game is likely to also represent a major turning point for the Bucs. In any quarterback competition the team has to balance getting each passer as many reps as they can, against dragging the competition out too long and hindering the eventual starter. If camp displays a clear winner, then that clear winner goes out and outshines his competitor in week one of the preseason that may present an opportunity to, “call it early." Ending the competition sooner, rather than later, will give the winner all the starter’s reps for the remainder of the summer.
Week 2 - The second week of Tampa’s preseason schedule has them going up, up, and away— jetting up to New Jersey to play the New York Jets. The extent of in-game action Aaron Rodgers is set to receive in the preseason is unclear. The Jets may want him to gain the extra reps with his new receivers. They may also not want him exposed to any potential injury, as they’ve already had an injury scare. The Jets are a very talented team offensively and should they decide to play all 11 starters that will provide an excellent test for Todd Bowles’ defense.
Week 3 - The conclusion of the preseason will be another rematch from last season. Tampa Bay is finishing the preseason against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are star-studded, though the preseason finale does not normally represent an opportunity for stars to shine. The Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, and Odell Beckham Jr. Level stars would be very unlikely to see the field, still an interesting note— The Ravens are impeccable in the preseason. The games may not count, but Baltimore takes them seriously. They are currently riding the longest preseason win-streak in NFL history. The Ravens haven’t lost a single preseason game since 2016. No matter what players they have on the field, they are clearly playing to win, so the Buccaneers should get a good test in their preseason finale.
What preseason game are you the most excited for?
This poll is closed
I don’t get excited before week one!
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