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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2024 Schedule Point-Counterpoint: One Thing to Change for Bucs

Any change to the Bucs' 2024 schedule would surely lead to a series of other alternations to the full NFL slate, but that's besides the point…Here, Brianna Dix and Scott Smith suggest two changes that would be beneficial specifically to the Buccaneers


The Kansas City Chiefs will play on six different nights of the week in 2024, something that would have been impossible only a handful of seasons ago, which is probably why it hasn't happened to any team in 97 years. The Chiefs will play on a Wednesday as part of the NFL's Christmas Day double-header, and they'll play on Black Friday as well. That's bizarre.

There are some other unusual quirks to the NFL schedule in 2024. For instance, neither the Chicago Bears nor the Pittsburgh Steelers will play an opponent within their own division during the first 10 weeks of the season. Then there are the usual nuisances that fall on one team or another each year, from starting out with two road games (Jets, Raiders, Rams, Steelers), or ending the season with two road games (Chargers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Panthers, Seahawks), or playing three road games in a row (Bears, Bills, Browns, Vikings).

None of those things befell the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year. They do have an eight-week stretch in their schedule in which they play only two home games, the second straight season that has happened, but overall it's hard to protest too much about how the Bucs' 18 games fell out.

Therefore, please don't consider today's discussion a complaint. It's more like nit-picking. Staff Writer/Reporter Brianna Dix and I are spending the week discussing various topics related to the Bucs' 2024 schedule in our Point-Counterpoint series, and today our task is to make one change to that schedule. Maybe we'd rather play a certain opponent at a different time of the season, or break up a particularly tough run of games. It could be anything, big or small, that we would like to have the power to change.

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

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. We've rotated back to Brianna in the pole position for this one.

View photos from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookies taking part in Rookie Minicamp Day 2 at AdventHealth Training Center on Saturday May 11th, 2024.

Brianna Dix: Week 8 and 15 Swap

As Scott mentioned above, the Buccaneers' 2024 slate does not have any glaring problematic stretches to complain about, but there are things I would like to change if given a Magic 8 ball. Who would not be able to find something to change? The Bucs have an eight-week span where they play at Raymond James Stadium only twice – just like the 2023 compilation. At least this time around, the bye week breaks up the challenging stretch. Road games create added exhaustion throughout the travel process so for today's topic, I would like to swap the Week Eight home game against the Falcons with the Bucs' Week 15 road game against the Chargers.

This shift would prevent the Buccaneers from playing only two home games in eight weeks, two road games back-to-back and would not force the Bucs to ever have a three-game road stretch at any point on the 2024 docket. Tampa Bay would then play the Chargers in the first half of the season and the Falcons post-bye week. A Week 15 home game would give the Buccaneers some reprieve before the trip to Dallas in Week 16. Granted, this change would make the Bucs face three division opponents in the last four weeks of the season – not ideal - but being able to break up the road sequence in December would be paramount.

Scott Smith: Move the Bye to Week 10

Before the season starts, a team never really knows when a bye week is going to come in most handy. Teams generally prefer their byes later in the season, but if you had a rash of significant injuries in the first month of the season you might appreciate a bye in Week Five. Still, without a crystal ball, you take the later bye with the idea that the more games there are before it, the more opportunity there is for players to get injured or simply fatigued.

So why am I taking the Buccaneers' seemingly favorable Week 11 bye and moving it one week earlier? Well, it's a strategic effort to keep the Bucs from being on the wrong end of a rest-differential issue.

As it stands now, the San Francisco 49ers will enjoy their bye in Week Nine before heading to Tampa in Week 10. Meanwhile, while the Brock Purdy and company are resting, the Bucs will be facing the daunting task of taking on the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. So, not only will the 49ers be coming off a recuperative week off, but the Bucs will lose another day in the preparation cycle due to their prime time appearance in Week 10. That's eight more days of preparation/rest for the 49ers as compared to the Bucs before their meeting on November 10.

If the Bucs instead had their bye in Week 10, thereby moving their game against San Francisco to Week 11, that advantage would flip. The Bucs would be coming off their bye week while the 49ers will have just played…somebody? Yes, I know this is a logistical nightmare for the schedule-makers. It's a domino effect in which another 49ers game would have to be moved to Week Nine, which would surely lead to other contests having to be rescheduled.

But that's not my problem. In this hypothetical exercise, the only consideration of making changes to the schedule is to put the Bucs in a better situation. And this would certainly do the trick.

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