The NFL schedule leaks are coming fast, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneer released half of theirs on their own.
The 2018 NFL regular season schedule is set to be fully released on Thursday night. But the annual leaks have started, with the London dates out there and some other notable games leaked as well.
Reporters’ desire to be first can lead to inaccuracy, followed by a backtrack or a correction. But NFL schedule leaks seem to be a little more calculated, to inspire interest and borderline hysteria from fans and foster coverage of it.
After being anointed as a preseason sleeper last year, partly driven by being on “Hard Knocks”, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell flat with a 5-11 record and a clear last place finish in the NFC South. But they, relatively speaking, can hang their hat on a 4-4 record at home last year.
A team can be considered a credible source of general information, by and large. On that note, the Buccaneers’ team website “accidentally” leaked the 2018 home schedule.
UPDATE: The entire Buccaneers’ schedule is now out there.
A Week 2 home opener against the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles is daunting, followed by a Monday night Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Three divisional home games are obvious, against the Panthers (Dec. 2), Saints (Dec. 9) and Falcons (Dec. 30), with another interesting home game against the San Francisco 49ers (Nov. 25).
The way the schedule is framed, the Buccaneers would have three straight home games from Week 12-Week 14, but would finish the season with two of their last three games on the road. Week 17 would be the home game, against the Falcons.
The Buccaneers have to win more games this year, or head coach Dirk Koetter will be on his way out. But the early, on paper view shows they will not be favored in at least five and possibly six of their home games, and even getting four wins at Raymond James Stadium will be difficult.