Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2024 Schedule Point-Counterpoint: Most Anticipated Game

The Bucs have both Super Bowl LVIII teams on their 2024 schedule, as well as dates with the reigning league MVP and both teams they met in the playoffs last year…Out of all that, which game are we looking forward to the most?


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2024 schedule of games is intriguing, to say the least.

For instance, the Buccaneers will play both of the teams that competed in last year's Super Bowl…in the span of seven days. That's pretty wild. We're months away from knowing how the Bucs will fare against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 4 or the San Francisco 49ers on November 10, but it's hard to imagine that week lacking in excitement.

The Buccaneers will get to see what the Los Angeles Chargers look like with Jim Harbaugh running the show. They will be the first time to discover how hard it is to defend the Washington Commanders' rookie cornerback, Jayden Daniels. They might see another rookie quarterback, Denver's Bo Nix, under the tutelage of old NFC South pal Sean Payton. The reigning league MVP is on the Bucs' slate. The question of whether or not the addition of Kirk Cousins makes Atlanta the team to beat in the South, rather than the three-time defending division champs in Tampa, will be answered in the course of one month, with Bucs-Falcons games on October 3 and October 27.

Which single game is most intriguing? That's a tough question, and the answer will vary from person to person. And that happens to be the question we're focusing on today as we continue our week-long series of debates regarding the Bucs' recently-released 2024 schedule. Staff Writer/Reporter Brianna Dix and I have already hashed out three such topics, including some of the things we like most and least about the schedule, in our Point-Counterpoint series, and today our task is to pinpoint the one game out of 17 that each of us is anticipating the most. Frankly, it isn't easy to choose.

This is the fourth in our series of five schedule-related debates. Here's the run-down for the whole week:

Thursday, May 23 What is your most anticipated game on the Bucs' 2024 schedule?

Friday, May 17: Who is the most interesting rookie the Buccaneers will face on their 2024 schedule?

Brianna and I are not going to duplicate answers, so the order of our debate is important. I've got the first pick today.

View the top pictures of Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. from his career thus far.

Scott Smith: at Dallas, Week 16

I'm making this pick at the risk of making my colleague angry. She has reason to want this one for her own, as she hails from the Dallas area, most of her family is still there and she used to cover the Cowboys. For reasons both personal and game-related, I'm guessing she would have chosen this game if she was going first today.

But I'm sorry, I have to speak the truth and this is the one game that, without any foreknowledge of what is going to happen over the first 15 weeks of the season, I am most looking forward to attending. I'm prepared to take the Brianna backlash.

This Week 16 trip to Dallas is giving me serious Bucs-Rams circa December of 2000 vibes. Tampa Bay fans who have been around long enough to have witnessed that game will know what I'm talking about. The Buccaneers' thrilling 38-35 shootout win over the Kurt Warner-led St. Louis "Greatest Show on Turf" squad is considered by many (myself included) to be the greatest regular season game in franchise history, and it had enough twists and turns to be an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

That game late in 2000 also had serious playoff implications for both teams, and the Bucs actually clinched a postseason berth with the win. Like the upcoming game in Dallas, that one was on the Monday Night Football stage and it was also in Week 16, albeit in a 17-game schedule back then. And it had a copious amount of offensive stars making big plays throughout the night.

My hope as I anticipate this game that is still almost seven months away, is that it too will have serious playoff implications for a pair of teams fighting in different divisions. It certainly will have a similar host of star playmakers, from Dak Prescott and Baker Mayfield to Mike Evans, CeeDee Lamb, Chris Godwin, Brandin Cooks, Ezekiel Elliott and Rachaad White.

Let me rewind once more to that 2000 game. Despite being in different divisions and having no long-term history with each other, the Bucs and Rams had built up a pretty engaging rivalry prior to the game in question, as both teams started to get very good after many seasons of struggles. In this case, that really came down to one game, the 1999 NFC Championship Game in St. Louis in which the Bucs' swarming defense shocked the league by completely containing Warner and company for most of the night, only to have the Rams rally at the end for an 11-6 win. The Bucs-Rams rivalry continued on past 2000 into high-profile meetings in 2001 and 2002.

Something similar has happened with the Bucs and Cowboys in recent years. The Buccaneers won a pair of Week One showcase games in 2021 and 2022, after Tampa Bay had won Super Bowl LV at the end of the 2020 season. The one to kick off the NFL's 2021 season, a 31-29 nailbiter that saw Tom Brady lead the game-winning drive in the final minute, was particularly exciting. Dallas, however, got revenge at the end of the 2022 campaign with a Wild Card win over the Bucs in Tampa. In the old days, Bucs-Cowboys was a mismatch, particularly in two playoff meetings. Now, it's a budding rivalry between two teams that know how to put on a good show. I can't wait.

Brianna Dix: At Detroit, Week 2

While I am certainly counting down the days until the Week 16 matchup and ensuing reunion with my family in Texas, I have had another NFC powerhouse matchup in mind. The Week Two contest with Detroit at Ford Field will be a rematch of the Divisional Round playoff game that abruptly ended the Bucs' postseason run in 2023. The Bucs fell 31-23 and will be out for revenge on September 15 in hostile territory.

Tampa Bay rallied three times from behind to tie it up in the aforementioned clash. The score was even heading into the final frame at 17, but Jared Goff led back-to-back touchdown drives of 75 and 89 yards that became an unassailable mark. The Lions punched their ticket to the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers and the Buccaneers will strive to get the bitter taste out of their mouths. Nothing would make Bucs' fans more elated than a road victory against the team that knocked the Bucs out of the playoffs in January. This marquee matchup against two 2023 division leaders will feature several star-studded names including, Aidan Hutchinson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Penei Sewell, Brian Branch, Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Lavonte David. In addition, Carlton Davis III will play against his former team, upping the stakes and viewing pleasure. Even though this matchup did not receive prime-time treatment on the grand scale, the afternoon battle will certainly be an intriguing showdown in Motown.

I am looking forward to this matchup and reversing the narrative. Detroit fans have become the modern-day Philly-fanatics, brimming with animosity to outsiders. The intense atmosphere would make a Bucs' victory all the sweeter in Week Two. Like Dallas, a rivalry is brewing with the Lions, and I am ready for the spectacle to commence.

Related Content

Latest Headlines