Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate on Wednesday.

The Bucs get a rare home opener in Week 1 when they host the Washington Commanders at 4:25 p.m. ET, as they've only had three season openers at home since 2015. Tampa Bay also gets four primetime games after having just two last season, signifying that the Bucs have re-emerged as a big-ticket item after quarterback Baker Mayfield's career-reviving season last year.

They'll play at the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night in Week 5, they'll host the Baltimore Ravens on "Monday Night Football" in Week 7, they'll host the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9 again on "Monday Night Football" and they'll play the Dallas Cowboys on "Sunday Night Football" in Week 16. And unlike last season, when the Bucs had a super early bye in Week 5, their bye doesn't come until Week 11.

Here's what's in store for the Buccaneers:

Buccaneers 2024 regular-season schedule

Week 1: Sept. 8: vs. Washington

Week 2: Sept. 15: at Detroit

Week 3: Sept. 22: vs. Denver

Week 4: Sept. 29: vs. Philadelphia

Week 5: Oct. 3: at Atlanta (TNF)

Week 6: Oct. 13: at New Orleans

Week 7: Oct. 21: vs. Baltimore (MNF)

Week 8: Oct. 27: vs. Atlanta

Week 9: Nov. 4: at Kansas City (MNF)

Week 10: Nov. 10: vs. San Francisco

Week 11: Nov. 17: BYE

Week 12: Nov. 24: at New York Giants

Week 13: Dec. 1: at Carolina

Week 14: Dec. 8: vs. Las Vegas

Week 15: Dec. 15: at Los Angeles Chargers

Week 16: Dec. 22: at Dallas (SNF)

Week 17: Dec. 28 or 29: vs. Carolina

Week 18: Jan. 4 or 5: vs. New Orleans

Strength of schedule: .478 (tied for fifth easiest)

Over/under: 10.5

Biggest takeaway

The Bucs play the defending AFC, AFC West and Super Bowl champion Chiefs, the defending NFC and NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers, the NFC North champion Detroit Lions, the AFC North champion Ravens and the NFC East champion Cowboys. Yet, they are tied for the fifth easiest schedule (0.478) based on opponents' win-loss records last year. It's largely because the NFC South was so weak last year, as shown by the Falcons and New Orleans Saints being tied for the league's easiest schedule (0.453).

Revenge game

The Bucs lost to Jared Goff and the Lions twice last year, losing 20-6 in Week 6 and in the divisional playoff, 31-23, after being tied 17-17 going into the fourth quarter. Many of the changes they made this offseason were in areas they fell short during that postseason loss: inability to affect Goff and failure to protect Mayfield. Between the draft and free agency, the Bucs brought in four new interior offensive linemen, including first-round draft pick Graham Barton, two edge rushers, including second-round draft pick Chris Braswell and veteran Randy Gregory, and four defensive backs in addition to re-signing Antoine Winfield Jr.

Bold prediction

The Bucs will suffer three divisional losses in 2024, largely because they'll have three divisional matchups in a span of four weeks sandwiched between games against the Eagles, Ravens, Chiefs and 49ers. Those early divisional games feature two contests in four weeks against the Falcons, whom many have pegged as the NFC South favorite this year, with not only Kirk Cousins at the helm, but former Bucs head coach Raheem Morris, who worked with Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen on the Rams' staff.