Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2014 NFL Nation season predictions

Tampa Bay Bucs game predictions

September, 2, 2014
ESPN.com Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas makes his game-by-game picks for the 2014 season.

Week 1: Carolina Panthers

The overhauled offensive line is going to get a huge early test from Carolina's pass rush. That could make for a rocky start to the season. Prediction: Loss

Week 2: St. Louis Rams

This is a good chance for Lovie Smith to get his first win as coach of the Bucs. It's important to at least split the first two games. Prediction: Win

Week 3: at Atlanta Falcons

This Thursday contest is the only prime-time game on Tampa Bay's schedule. It also marks the start of three consecutive road games. Prediction: Loss

Week 4: at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bucs need to come out of these three straight road games with a win. The Steelers might represent the best opportunity for a victory. Prediction: Win

Week 5: at New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay's defense should be in midseason form by this game. But I have a tough time seeing the Bucs score enough to beat the Saints. Prediction: Loss

Week 6: Baltimore Ravens

Getting back home could provide a lift for the Bucs. But Baltimore's not an easy foe. Prediction: Loss

Week 8: Minnesota Vikings

I've got a hunch Tampa Bay's defense is going to be very good. But Adrian Peterson will provide a big challenge. Prediction: Win

Week 9: at Cleveland Browns

It doesn't matter if Johnny Manziel is playing or not. The Browns aren't going to be very good. Prediction: Win

Week 10: Atlanta Falcons

As long as Roddy White and Julio Jones stay healthy, Atlanta's going to put points on the board. I'm not sure the Tampa Bay offense can produce similar results. Prediction: Loss

Week 11: at Washington Redskins

This could be a cold-weather game and, historically, the Bucs haven't fared well in those situations. But this will be an exception. Prediction: Win

Week 12: at Chicago Bears

The Bucs will be highly motivated because it's no secret Smith wants to beat his former team. But doing it on the road might be too big of a task. Prediction: Loss

Week 13: Cincinnati Bengals

These aren't the bad Bengals of old. But this is a very winnable game. Prediction: Win

Week 14: at Detroit Lions

The Tampa 2 defense is going to have its hands full with Calvin Johnson. The pass rush needs to show up or this game will be trouble. Prediction: Loss

Week 15: at Carolina Panthers

By this point in the season, Tampa Bay's offensive line should be as good as it's going to get. I'm guessing the line isn't going to be that good and Carolina's pass rush will exploit it. Prediction: Loss

Week 16: Green Bay Packers

As is always the case when the Packers come to town, there will be a lot of Green Bay fans at Raymond James Stadium. But the Bucs are going to show up for this one. Prediction: Win

Week 17: New Orleans Saints

Yes, I'm picking two potential upsets to end the season. The reason for that is I believe Smith will have this team getting better as the season goes on and the Bucs will finish on a high note. Prediction: Win

Predicted Record: 8-8