Buccaneers 2018 Game By Game Predictions

Training camp is very near and the Buccaneers are going to be heading to New Orleans to play the Saints before you know it. When the NFL releases it’s schedule for the season, many fans look at their team’s schedule and try to predict wins and losses. I decided to wait on doing that this year and I took a look at all the teams the Bucs will be playing, their strengths, their weaknesses, where the game will be played. All of those will factor into whether or not I think the Bucs win enough games to get into the playoffs so here we go.

Week 1, @New Orleans Saints, 1PM EST

The Buccaneers open up their season with a division rival. Last year the Buccaneers split the season series with the Saints, they did it by beating the Saints in Tampa in the final game of the 2017-18 Season. The Buccaneers hope that continues as they head to New Orleans to play in a very tough atmosphere. New Orleans is one of those teams that truly are a different team when they are playing at home and the Bucs have to expect the super dome to be very loud. One thing the Buccaneers have riding for them is that the Saints typically do not start off the season so hot, Jameis Winston’s first career win came in 2015 as the Buccaneers beat the Saints 26-19 in week 2. Speaking of Jameis Winston, that is one thing the Bucs do not have going for them. They will be without QB Jameis Winston for the first 3 games of the year, so Ryan Fitzpatrick has to step in. The Saints are also missing a key piece in Mark Ingram due to suspension, however the Saints still have offensive rookie of the year Alvin Kamara. This game will not be easy for the Bucs and I do not see a way this team beats Drew Brees and company in their own house. Bucs lose, 0-1

Week 2, Vs Philadelphia Eagles, 1PM EST

Last year the Bucs played the defending Super Bowl Champs in Tampa which ended in the Patriots winning 19-14. This year it is in the same place and the defending champs are coming to town, only difference is the team that is coming is not the Patriots. That team is the Philadelphia Eagles, the team with star power all over the roster. They have everything in place to be a super bowl contender again, franchise QB, solid run game, good offensive line, great defensive line. This is going to be Tampa’s home opener and what better way for the Bucs to please their fans than to beat the champs in RayJay? See, there is the problem, this is going to be another tough game. Philly is built very well in the trenches and this may be a game that shows people if the Bucs have actually improved in the trenches or not. The biggest question mark the Eagles have is if Carson Wentz will be healthy enough to play in the game, but they have super bowl MVP Nick Foles to step in if needed. Out of the 3 games without Winston, I think this is the one the Bucs are least likely to win. Sorry Bucs fans. Bucs lose, 0-2

Week 3, Vs Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:15 PM EST (MNF)

The Bucs have their first and last prime-time game of the season here vs the Steelers. This is a Pittsburgh team that is stacked on the offensive side of the ball. They have Big Ben along with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, not to mention Juju Smith Schuster. The biggest weakness the Steelers have is their defense. Their defense is very up and down and when it is down, it is very bad. This is the last game that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting QB for the Bucs so why not work some Fitzmagic? The Steelers always seem to have a game or two every year that they should win, but lose. The Bucs will win this one with the whole world watching. Bucs Win, 1-2


Week 4, @ Chicago Bears, 1 PM EST

The Bears are one of those teams this year that were labeled as “winners” this offseason, a label Bucs fans are familiar with. What’s not to like about the Bears? They have a young QB in Mitch Trubisky, underrated RB in Jordan Howard and a revamped receiving core that added Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton. Mix that in with a new, flashy head coach and you got a big time season on your hands, right? The Bears are still a team that is in a rebuild and they are not out of it yet. This week 4 game will be highlighted by the return of QB Jameis Winston and he will not disappoint Bucs fans with his performance. This is a much better Bears team now than it was last year when they were demolished in Tampa, but this is a game the Buccaneers should be able to handle. Bucs Win, 2-2

Week 5, Bye Week (Bucs finally get theirs)

Week 6, @ Atlanta Falcons, 1PM, EST

The Buccaneers get to play their division rival yet again. The last time these two teams met, Jameis Winston played possibly his best game in a Buccaneer uniform but just came up short in a heartbreaking Monday night football loss to the Falcons. This year I think Winston continues his success against Atlanta. The only problem is that Winston does not play defense. The Falcons trio of Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones always seem to give the Bucs fits, combine that with the fact that the Falcons are a different team at home, this may not be a fun afternoon for Mike Smith. Bucs lose, 2-3

Week 7, Vs Cleveland Browns, 1PM, EST

The Browns head down to sunny Tampa to take on a Buccaneer team that really needs this win to keep the fans interested and keep confidence high. Now, the Browns are not the joke that many think of when they hear their name. They actually were in the position to win a few games last year, and they may have added the most impact players out of any team this offseason. Tyrod Taylor is expected to be the starting QB when the Browns hit the field and the Bucs struggles against him last season as they let him do whatever he wanted in a game that resulted in a 30-27 loss. This season I expect the improved defensive line to get after Taylor and not allow as many gaps for him to run through. On the defensive side the Browns have some real talent. Myles Garrett is a budding star, rookie corner Denzel Ward expects to make an impact and they added Damarious Randall from the Packers. In order to have a successful season, the Buccaneers have to win the winnable games and this is one of them. Bucs get a much needed win at home. Bucs Win, 3-3

Week 8, @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1PM, EST

The Buccaneers are back on the road and in Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. This Bengals team is not very good, to say the least. Andy Dalton is inconsistent, the running game is still a question mark, John Ross has not proven to be worth the number 9 overall selection. This offense features AJ Green and the rest is meh. On defense, they have some talent in William Jackson, Vontez Burfict and end Atkins, but at his the end of the day, this is another game the Bucs should win. The Bucs go into Cincinnati and take care of business. Bucs Win, 4-3

Week 9, @ Carolina Panthers, 1PM, EST

The Panthers are the Bucs opponent in week 9 and this means the Bucs will have faced every team in the NFC South once, unlike last year when they played their first division game in week 8. The Bucs go on the road and take on a Panthers team that has the potential to be a playoff contender but because of the crowded NFC they may not have that chance. Carolina is a tough and gritty team, that is what the Bucs preached this offseason. The trench play in this game will be important, but like last year in Carolina, the Bucs make one too many mistakes. Bucs lose, 4-4

Week 10, Vs Washington Redskins, 1PM, EST

The Redskins are a team that is going to look much different this year and it is hard to determine if that is a good thing or a bad thing. They acquired veteran QB Alex Smith and let Kirk Cousins walk. They took a chance and signed WR Paul Richardson to a big deal, and they draft former LSU RB Derrius Guice. If the Bucs want to win this game it will be up to the play of the offense. This Redskins offense could give the Buccaneers defense some trouble. Alex Smith is a guy that has seen it all and does not turn the ball over much, TE Jordan Reed is a force to be reckoned with when healthy and Derrius Guice will lead an improved run game. It is up to Jameis Winston and Ronald Jones to carry the Bucs to victory. This game will go back and forth, but a key run by Ronald Jones leaves the Redskins with not enough time and the Bucs take this one. Bucs Win, 5-4

Week 11, @ New York Giants, 1PM, EST

The Giants are another team that had a big offseason, including trading Jason Pierre-Paul to the Bucs. They added a solid tackle in Nate Solder and their 1st round pick, Saquon Barkley, can play some football also. The last year the Bucs barely squeaked by the Giants, this year will be a bit different. The Giants are better, how much better are the Bucs? This game is going to be played in New Jersey mid November so the conditions may not be in the Buccaneers favor. This is going to be a really close game and is tough to predict because it could go either way. Give me the home team in these situations. Bucs Lose, 5-5

Week 12, Vs San Francisco 49ers, 1PM, EST

This game is one of the more interesting games on the schedule because like the Giants game, this game could go either way. Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers come into town to take on the Bucs. This is going to be a back and forth game as both offenses find success early and often. The Niners offense is very lethal because they have a number of interesting players and a great offensive mind in head coach Kyle Shanahan. On the defensive side, Mike Evans going to match up with Richard Sherman for the 2nd time in his career. The first time was in 2016 when Evans caught 2 first-quarter touchdowns and that helped the Bucs squeak out with a 14-5 Win against the Seahawks. Evans is going to have even more success this time, Sherman just is not the same player he was 2-3 years ago. He is coming off a torn ACL and some players never recover from those. Especially players that are 30 years old. This one is a tough game to predict but like last game, give me the home team in games like these. Bucs Win, 6-5


Week 13, Vs Carolina Panthers, 1PM, EST

The Panthers come into town and the Bucs hope to get some revenge on Cam Newton and company after the Panthers beat the Bucs earlier in the year. The past few years, the theme of the game when the Panthers play in Tampa has been both defenses play well and the Panthers defense plays a bit better. Not this time as the Buccaneers finally have a rushing attack, Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber do enough on the ground to open things up for Jameis Winston through the air against a shaky Carolina secondary. The defense will do just enough to contain Cam inside the pocket and make him beat them by throwing it, the Panthers have one of the worst receiving cores in the league, but the Bucs need to watch out for Greg Olsen and RB Christian McCaffrey catching passes out of the backfield. The Bucs however, get their revenge. Bucs Win, 7-5

Week 14, Vs New Orleans Saints, 1PM, EST

This is another opportunity for the Buccaneers to get revenge on a division opponent. The Saints march into town and try to sweep the Bucs for the first time since 2014. Unlike in week 1, the Saints will be with Mark Ingram. A bigger impact will be that the Buccaneers will be with Jameis Winston. This game will play out very similar to the season finale last year, close and down to the wire. The Saints are a better team this year than they were last year and there will be no Chris Godwin moment this time. Bucs Lose, 7-6

Week 15, @ Baltimore Ravens, 1PM, EST

The Ravens are an interesting team this year. They have the potential to be a playoff team but also have the potential to be a disappointment. This game will really be decided on who plays QB for the Ravens this week. If it is Joe Flacco, the Bucs have a better chance to win. If it is not and it is indeed rookie QB Lamar Jackson, the Bucs will have a hard time containing someone as athletic as Jackson. Jackson can also sling it down the field and the Bucs have to be prepared for both. It is gonna be cold in Baltimore, the Ravens are a gritty team, I believe Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens starting QB and now the playoff dream starts to fade for Bucs fans. Bucs Lose, 7-7

Week 16, @ Dallas Cowboys, 1PM, EST

The Buccaneers head into Jerry’s world to face a Cowboys team that should be improved. This will be the highest scoring game of the year for the Bucs. While I am not a fan of Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, he still has that elite offensive line in front of him. Not to mention he also has RB Zeke Elliot to hand the ball off to. The Bucs Defensive Line is improved, but not that much improved to be able to handle the Cowboys line for most of the game. On defense, Dallas has a few players with talent like Demarcus Lawrence and Sean Lee but the Bucs offense matches up well with their defense. Winston has success, but in the end Dallas makes the one play that Tampa does not. Bucs Lose, 7-8

Week 17, Vs Atlanta Falcons, 1PM, EST

The Bucs close out their 2018 season against the dirty birds and it will be a good one. This is yet another game that the Buccaneers have a chance to get revenge in. Sitting at 7-8, the playoffs are out of the picture, but that does not mean the Bucs won’t be playing for anything. For head coach Dirk Koetter, this game could determine if he is back in 2019 or not. If the Bucs lose and fall to 7-9, 4 straight losses to end the season and to have two straight losing seasons would not bode well for Koetter. The players will fight for their coach. This game will go back and forth, then Jameis Winston hits TE O.J. Howard in the end zone for a touchdown with a minute left and the defense picks off Matt Ryan to seal the deal and send Bucs fans home happy. Bucs Win, 8-8, no playoffs

The Bucs go another year without a playoff birth but there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic. One of the biggest reasons is that Jameis Winston shows he can be a franchise QB and he has his best season of his career. Another reason to be optimistic is that it seems the Bucs have found their running back in Ronald Jones. At 8-8, the Bucs improve from the year before and Dirk Koetter and Jason Licht are both retained. Bucs fans will be disappointed that the team missed the playoffs, but the future is so, so bright.

Evan Wanish

16 year old with aspirations of becoming a writer or contributor to some form of media. I have been a Bucs fan my whole life and have followed the team's every move. My goal is to develop as a writer as this is what I would like to do as a career when I get older. I hope to become one of the best writers here, at the end of the day the WTB team is one family and we are glad to have you visiting the website. I hope that everyone enjoys the content myself and the rest of our great writers are able to put out. I would also like to thank Derek 'Old School' Fournier for giving me the platform and helping me in taking the first step to writing and covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. GO BUCS!

More Posts

Follow Me: