Mike Evans

Mike Evans


Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans.

There will be 272 scheduled regular-season games in the NFL in 2024 — only 9 of those will be games featuring teams who faced each other in the playoffs the previous season.

Two of those 9 rematches will feature the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; the Buccaneers travel to play the Detroit Lions on Sept. 15 in Week 2 and host the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 24 — the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

The NFL regular-season schedules for all 32 teams were released on May 15.

The Buccaneers defeated the Eagles, 32-9, in the NFC Wild Card Round on Jan. 15 in Tampa before the Lions defeated the Buccaneers, 31-23 on Jan. 21 in Detroit.

“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,” wrote ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “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 (Baker) Mayfield.”

Wild-Card Win Defined Season For Buccaneers

The Buccaneers’ win over the defending NFC champion Eagles in the NFC Wild Card Round was the highlight of last season — and perhaps led to a massive contract move by the franchise.

Signed to a 1-year, $4 million contract by the Buccaneers before the 2023 season, quarterback Baker Mayfield surprised the NFL by leading his team to the NFC South Division title then put an exclamation mark on the year with the win over the Eagles.

Mayfield was at his very best in the playoff win over Philadelphia, going 22-of-36 passing for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns.

“Everybody was on the same page, knowing what we were going to do offensively, schematically,” Mayfield told the Associated Press following the win.

Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, was playing for his fourth team in 3 years with the Buccaneers after stints with the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams.

Mayfield made his first Pro Bowl in 2023 and Tampa Bay responded by rewarding him with a 3-year, $100 million contract in March 2024, including $50 million guaranteed.

What Else to Know About Bucs’ 2024 Schedule

Laine was particularly optimistic about the Bucs’ chance in 2024, setting their over/under win total at 10.5 — ESPNBet has that over/under win total at 7.5 wins as of May 15. The Buccaneers have the fifth-easiest schedule in the NFL based on opponents’ win-loss records from the previous season.

“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,” Laine wrote.

The four primetime games are at the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night in Week 5 in an NFC South matchup, hosting the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football in Week 7 and hosting the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Week 9.

Tampa Bay’s final primetime game is at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Week 16. The Buccaneers also face the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers at home in Week 10.

The Buccaneers don’t have their bye week in 2024 until Week 11.

Tony Adame covers the NFL for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Commanders and Cincinnati Bengals. A veteran sports writer and editor since 2004, his work has been featured at Stadium Talk, Yardbarker, NW Florida Daily News and Pensacola News Journal. More about Tony Adame

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