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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Things to Know About the Bucs 2024 Schedule 

The full 2024 schedule has been released and here are a few noteworthy topics

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The Bucs Have a Week 11 Bye Week

The Buccaneers had an early bye during the 2023 slate in Week Five and faced a grueling second-half schedule. In 2024, the team's bye falls during an optimal mid-season range in Week 11. Heading into the allotted break period, the Bucs will be coming off a hellacious two-week stretch against the Super Bowl LVIII opponents: The AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs and NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. The 'rest and refresh' period will be much needed for the Bucs, as a seven-week slate awaits to conclude the year. In the final stretch, the Bucs have both matchups against the division rival Carolina Panthers and a home matchup against the New Orleans Saints in Week 18.

The Bucs are Slated for Four Prime-Time Games

The Buccaneers may not have been given the maximum number of prime-time games in 2024 (five), but the club sure came close with four. After the Bucs' brass managed to re-sign critical impending free agents including Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Lavonte David, the club will strive for its fourth-straight division title in 2024. Tampa Bay has two Monday Night contests – Ravens (Week Seven) and Chiefs (Week Nine) - lining the 2024 docket and one Thursday Night clash in Week Five at Atlanta. In addition, the Bucs face the defending NFC East champ Dallas Cowboys on the road in Week 16 at AT&T Stadium. The aforementioned clash will mark the first time the two teams have met since the Cowboys defeated the Bucs in the 2022 Wild-Card clash, ending the team's promising run in the final year of the Tom Brady-era.

The Bucs Face Super Bowl LVIII Opponents in Back-to-Back Games

Arguably the toughest two-game stretch in the Bucs' 2023 schedule, Tampa Bay has to face the two teams that appeared in Super Bowl LVIII in back-to-back weeks in November. The Bucs will take on the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs in Week Nine on November 4. The matchup will be given a national audience via Monday Night Football (ESPN) and will kick off at 8:15 p.m. The Chiefs concluded the 2023 season with an 11-6 finish, conference title and eighth-straight AFC West crown. Kansas City's offense did not live up the juggernaut-status that spectators have grown accustomed to viewing as turnovers and penalties plagued the unit, but their defense grinded out victories – only team in the NFL to hold opponents under 30 points in every single game. The following week, the Bucs will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10 at Raymond James Stadium on November 10 (1:00 p.m. kick). The 49ers have become a powerhouse in the NFC under the direction of General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan and once again, the club took sole possession of the NFC West with a 12-5 record. The team fell short of the coveted yet elusive Lombardi Trophy, but the Niners' veteran nucleus returns in 2024, garnering hope.

The Bucs Play the NFC East and AFC West

The Bucs will play six games against teams that earned a spot in the 2023 postseason field: Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco at home, Dallas, Detroit and Kansas City on the road. On the 2024 slate, Tampa Bay will face the NFC East, including matchups against the Commanders and Eagles on its home turf, and contests against the Giants and Cowboys on the road. Both of the aforementioned matchups at MetLife Stadium and AT&T Stadium will take place during the Bucs' second-half stretch after the Week 11 bye week. In addition, the Bucs will take on the AFC West in this year's rotation: at Kansas City in Week Nine, vs. Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, vs. Denver Broncos in Week Three and at Los Angeles Chargers in Week 15. Other than the Chiefs with an 11-6 record to conclude the 2023 campaign, all other teams in the West finished below .500 with losing records.

The Bucs Have Two-Consecutive Road Division Battles in Oct.

For the Buccaneers, intradivision games are always chippy but also paramount matchups in terms of standings for the NFC South. In 2024, the Bucs have two division matchups back-to-back on the road against the rival Falcons (Thursday Night Football, Week Five) and Saints (Week Six). The good news is the Bucs will have essentially a mini-bye week coming off the Thursday Night matchup to prepare for the Saints and the hostile environment inside Caesars Superdome. Last season, the Falcons failed to achieve consistency and sputtered to a 7-10 finish for the third-consecutive year. Atlanta lost in several nail-biters last season (five games in the final minute), and the club will seek redemption in 2024. The Saints had a stout conclusion last season, winning four of their last five matchups as Derek Carr's health improved. New Orleans fell short of a playoff berth due to the Bucs holding an advantage in tiebreakers. Both of these battles in 2024 will be pivotal to the Bucs' contention chances.

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