Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2017 Schedule Released

Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) looks on against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have some key games on the 2017 schedule outside the NFC South, including games against the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers.

Towards the end of the regular season in 2016, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in control of their own playoff destiny before losing two key games to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. Despite winning their regular-season finale against the Carolina Panthers, the Buccaneers fell short of their playoff dreams last year with a 9-7 record, but when looking at the upcoming schedule for the 2017 season, the team seems ready to make the jump of becoming contenders.

Thanks to a successful free agency with one of the biggest signings in DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay is considered one of the teams to keep an eye on heading into 2017 when it comes to potential strong contenders in the NFC. When looking at the NFC South, the argument can be made that each of the four teams could end up making a run for the division title, which means the Buccaneers will have quite the work cut out for them if they plan on making the playoffs.

On the bright side, last year was the perfect example of how Tampa Bay made the right decision two years ago by selecting Jameis Winston with the top overall pick in the draft, as the former Florida State standout seems to get better with experience. For the second year in a row, Winston started all 16 games for the Buccaneers while throwing for 4,090 yards to go along with 28 touchdowns, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue that trend into 2017 since the team seems to have a favorable schedule this upcoming season.

Here’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers schedule for 2017:

Winston was already fortunate enough to have one of the league’s most dangerous weapons at wide receiver in Mike Evans, and now that he has a reliable deep threat in Jackson, one can only imagine how difficult it’s going to be for defenders to stop Tampa Bay’s offense. As mentioned before, the Buccaneers already have their hands full within the division, but throw important games against the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots into the mix, it makes it even more difficult.

Then again, there’s a popular saying of to be the best, one has to challenge the best, which means some of these more difficult games will be a good test for Tampa Bay. Proving to be competitive in games within the division along with important matchups against teams like the Packers and Patriots will only build a stronger case as to why the excitement surrounding the Buccaneers is at a high level.

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