Last year's scheduling quirk saw the Bucs travel to California twice and win at both San Diego and San Francisco -- amazing, considering they'd been 4-24 in their history in regular-season games played in California before 2016.
This year's challenge? Can they beat both the New York Giants and the New York Jets in the same season? Both come to Tampa to play the Bucs -- the Giants in Week 4 on Oct. 1 and the Jets in Week 10 on Nov. 12.
(PRINTABLE 2017 BUCS SCHEDULE)
The Bucs have lost eight in a row to the Jets and five in a row to the Giants -- they're 1-10 all-time against the Jets. And yet, somehow, they've beaten both teams in the same season before. The 1984 Bucs, who went 6-10, beat the Giants 41-21 and the Jets 20-17, both in Tampa.
What's more, it's actually pretty common for an NFL team to double up and beat the Giants and Jets in the same season -- each team has four games in the other conference, so there's plenty of potential for shared opponents. It's happened at least once every year for the last eight seasons -- the Steelers in 2016, Eagles and Patriots (both cheating a bit with three shots at the two teams) in 2015, Lions in 2014, Panthers in 2013, Steelers in 2012, Eagles in 2011, Packers in 2010 and Saints in 2009.
The Bucs are one of five teams that have a shot to beat the Jets and Giants this year, as both New York teams play the entire AFC West as part of their schedules.
So much like California a year ago, you have something obscure that's very difficult for the Bucs statistically -- 1-10 vs. Jets all-time, 6-14 vs. Giants -- but certainly feasible as part of a successful 2017 season. We'll see ...