The road to the playoffs gets much tougher for the Bucs.
Finishing 9-7 and a playoff contender means the schedule next year gets a bit more tough. For the Bucs, that’s the case as their opponents for the 2017-2018 season were released this week.
The NFC North, who sent two teams to the playoffs this season in the division champion Packers and the surprise Lions, find themselves on the schedule next season. The Bucs will go on the road to face Green Bay and Minnesota and then host the Bears and Lions at Raymond James Stadium.
Much like the northern division in the NFC, the AFC East sent two teams to the playoffs, as well. The Bucs will face the Patriots and Jets in Tampa and head on the road to Buffalo and Miami.
Of course there will be the division slate facing the Saints, Panthers, and Falcons and despite the down year for Carolina and New Orleans – this is a division hat could very well improve next season. Drew Brees and Cam Newton are winners. The Falcons will still have MVP-hopeful Matt Ryan and that high-powered Atlanta offense right back in contention, as well, after winning the division this season.
Finally, the Bucs will welcome in the New York Giants who are playoff-bound this season as an 11-5 wild card team. Then they’ll head back to Arizona where they were blown out in Week 2 this season against the disappointing Cardinals who finished a surprising 7-8-1 after being Super Bowl favorites in the pre season.
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