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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Tough schedule awaits Bucs



In less than an hour, the NFL will release its 2009 schedule.

It's one of the more interesting days of the year because the opponents on the schedule are sometimes not as important as when you play them.

The Bucs play at Buffalo this season. Does it matter if the game is in December or September? You bet it does.

Scheduling is part of the system of competitive balance in the NFL. The Bucs already know their opponents. Tampa Bay will face the fifth-toughest schedule in the NFL if you base it on their opponents 148-107-1 mark in 2008. Seven of those teams reached the playoffs last season.

A year ago, the Bucs strength of schedule was ranked 20th prior to the season and based on 2007 records.

Tampa Bay will play its usual home and away series against NFC South rivals New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina. Packers, Cowboys, Giants and Jets are Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs Oct. 25 game against the Patriots in London is considered a home game.

The Bucs will visit Miami, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Washington and Seattle. How many wins do you see for Raheem Morris in his rookie season as head coach? Will the order of games be favorable?

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:30pm]


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