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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2024 Schedule Point-Counterpoint: One Thank You to the Schedule-Makers

There's a lot to like in the Buccaneers' recently released 2024 schedule, and Brianna Dix and Scott Smith are here to offer up their appreciation for two specific facets of that 17-game slate


Each year, the construction of NFL's season schedule is an arduous task overseen by six NFL executives, including Vice President of Broadcasting Michael North. It takes countless hours spread across roughly four months to complete, but this isn't just a matter of a half-dozen people in a boardroom scribbling ideas on notepads. According to the description of the process provided by NFL Football Operations, "It takes thousands of cloud-based computers to produce thousands of possible schedules — a process that sets the stage for the schedule makers to begin the arduous task of picking the best possible one."

So if there are some aspects of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' freshly-minted 2024 schedule that we are particularly happy about, perhaps we should reserve some of our thanks for our AI overlords. Looks like even computers love football. Anyway, whoever and whatever is responsible, there is a lot to like about the 17-game slate the Buccaneers found in their inboxes on Wednesday evening.

And that's the topic Staff Writer/Reporter Brianna Dix and I are here to discuss today as we begin our annual series of post-schedule-drop Point-Counterpoint articles. Each day this week we're going to debate some aspect of the Bucs' new schedule – the good, the bad and the intriguing. We're going to start out on a positive note by each deciding one thing in particular we would like to thank the schedule-makers for this time around.

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

Monday, May 20: What one thing would you most like to thank the NFL schedule makers for this year?

Tuesday, May 21 What is the toughest stretch of games on this year's schedule?

Wednesday, May 22: What is one thing you would change about the Bucs' schedule if you had the power?

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 cede the floor to Brianna for our first Point-Counterpoint.

View the pictures & people of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2024 schedule release.

Brianna Dix: Bye Week Placement

Last year, Tampa Bay had an early bye in Week Five. The Bucs had four games prior to the slotted break and a grueling 13-week stretch after. In 2024, the Bucs were granted optimal placement with a mid-season, Week 11 bye. On the heels of a challenging two-game stretch against the Super Bowl LVIII opponents in November, the Bucs will get a 'rest and refresh' period.

Following the bye, the Bucs have seven matchups, including three intradivision contests and a road battle against the defending NFC East champ Dallas Cowboys. Time will tell if the actual placement of the bye week proves to be beneficial to the team in regard to injuries, but as of now, I salute the schedule-makers on this topic. Scott, what are you grateful for?

Scott Smith: Kansas City, Dallas Prime-Time Dates

If I could, dear reader, I would like to draw your attention to an evening just over four months ago. It was January 13, 2024 and a plucky team from the sunny state of Florida was beginning its postseason run on the road. The place: Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The visiting team: the Miami Dolphins. The kickoff time: 7:10 p.m. CT.

The temperature: -4 Fahrenheit, -27 with wind chill.

No thank you.

The Buccaneers' supposed struggles in cold weather games is overblown, mostly because they almost never happen. Over the last 10 seasons, the Buccaneers have played exactly one game in which the kickoff temperature was 40 degrees or lower…and they won that one! Still, there's cold games and there is Antarctic hell, and I'm very glad that Florida team that had to brave -27 last January was the Buccaneers and not the Dolphins.

Which brings us to the two prime-time games the Buccaneers will play on the road in the second half of the 2024 season. One is in Kansas City and one is in Dallas. The Kansas City game is scheduled for Week Nine, on November 4, while the Dallas game was slated for Week 16, on December 22. Obviously, it doesn't get down to -27 degrees in Kansas City very often, but it's certainly more like to happen in late December than early November. That Week Nine trip to Arrowhead might be downright pleasant. Maybe a mild chill. Football weather, if you will. Meanwhile, the late December game in Dallas is in a dome, so even if it gets cold in Texas this year, it won't really matter.

So thank you, schedule-makers, for taking those two showcase evening games and putting them in the right order. We Floridians appreciate it.

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