Tom Brady retired with just about every single imaginable NFL record under his belt in the offseason. Then, 40 days later, he unretired – claiming the record (shocker!) for the shortest retirement in the NFL.
The ripple effects of Brady’s unretirement were instantly felt at the sportsbook exchange as books were quick to react to the return of the undisputed GOAT. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went from moderate to legitimate Super Bowl LVII contenders in the blink of an eye. As well, they were pegged as the top favorites in the NFC and odds-on to win the NFC South at -325 odds, all while projected to an 11½ win total.
So, how will the Buccaneers fare in what is quite possibly Brady’s swansong season in the league? Will Brady, at 45 years of age, deliver according to both market and betting expectations?
If you’re a forward-thinking NFL bettor, as we are, then read on for our way too early game-by-game predictions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We dive into their NFL schedule, examine the NFL odds and take into consideration the latest NFL news, trades, injury reports and more before delivering our NFL predictions.
2022 NFL Futures – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Super Bowl LVII +750
- NFC Conference +350
- NFC South -325
- Regular Season Win Totals O 11½ (Ev) / U 11½ (-130)
Todd Bowles Era Begins
The Bucs enter 2022 with new head coach Todd Bowles, who was promoted from defensive coordinator to the top job after former head coach Bruce Arians paved the way by stepping back.
Bowles inherits a team that’s a legitimate Super Bowl contender, spearheaded by the greatest quarterback to have ever played the game. The Bucs finished with a league-best 13-4-0 record that was matched only by the Green Bay Packers, and Brady had an MVP-caliber season as he smashed all remaining NFL records that he didn’t already own.
One could wax lyrical about Brady, but there’s really no hyperbole to describe Brady’s achievements. Or what he continues to achieve as he hits 45 years of age. Or what he means to the Bucs. It’s unprecedented.
So, best just to get on with it and start our way too early predictions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Week 1 at Dallas Cowboys – Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, 8:20 p.m. ET
This is a rematch of last season’s home opener, a game the Buccaneers won 31-29 on a last-gasp drive capped off by a field goal at Raymond James Stadium. Going into Jerry’s World makes this a tougher prospect this time around for Brady and the Bucs – on paper. But, then again, the Cowboys didn’t get better this offseason.
Week 2 at New Orleans Saints – Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, 1 p.m. ET
The Saints have been a thorn in Brady’s side since he moved to Tampa Bay in 2020. They have the 4-1 head-to-head edge during this period, winning all four regular season encounters. The Bucs did win the only postseason game on the way to Super Bowl 55 glory. Now, with Sean Payton gone and new head coach Dennis Allen in charge, the balance could finally tip the way of the Bucs in this regular season series.
Week 3 vs Green Bay Packers – Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, 4:25 p.m. ET
Brady vs Aaron Rodgers – can it get any better than two of the best quarterbacks over the last two decades in the league? Get the popcorn ready because this should be a right cracker of a game. Home advantage tips the balance in favor of the Bucs, so we’re chalking it as a home win. But, let’s be real: Nobody will be surprised if the Packers deliver the upset.
Week 4 vs Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, 8:20 p.m. ET
The Goat vs. The Kid in prime-time Sunday Night Football action – maybe it does get better. Brady and Patrick Mahomes enjoyed some of the most absorbing contests when both dominated their respective divisions in the AFC. However, their last meeting in Super Bowl 55 was one-sided. Bowles’ defense stuffed Mahomes and the offense in the 31-9 victory. It was one of Mahomes’ worst performances in his fledgling career, so he could be out for atonement. It’s a coin toss.
Week 5 vs Atlanta Falcons – Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, 1 p.m. ET
Brady has the Falcons’ number. He’s swept this series two years in a row, including last season as the Bucs outmuscled and outscored the Falcons 75-42 combined.
Week 6 at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, 1 p.m. ET
Mike Tomlin’s Steelers are never an easy out at Heinz Field. For that reason, this game is likely to be a lot tougher than most expect it to be. It could even be a trap game – one of those where a team that has no business winning actually wins. Having said that, do we really see Brady losing to Mitch Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett? Believe it when it happens.
Week 7 at Carolina Panthers – Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, 1 p.m. ET
The Bucs have swept this series in each of the past two seasons and there’s nothing about the Panthers that suggests the balance is going to tip in their favor in 2022.
Week 8 vs Baltimore Ravens – Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, 8:15 p.m. ET
Brady vs Lamar Jackson on Thursday Night Football is another stellar prime-time game that is going to be must-see TV. Jackson lost his only career meeting against Brady (in New England), though he left an indelible impression on the veteran signal-caller and earned his respect. Jackson will be motivated, He’s in his contract year and he’ll be eager to prove his worth if no contract is signed before the season starts. It’s still going to be a big ask. Short weeks are tough, but they’re tougher for the road team
Week 9 vs Los Angeles Rams – Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, 4:25 p.m. ET
The Rams beat the Bucs twice in 2021. They defeated the Bucs 34-24 in SoFi Stadium in Week 3. Then, they beat them in the Divisional Round 30-27 as Matthew Stafford led a last-gasp drive to set up the game-winning field goal. Sean McVay appears to have the inside track on Brady and the Bucs.
Week 10 vs Seattle Seahawks – Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, 9:30 a.m. ET (Munich, Germany)
As far as matchups go, this is a lopsided one for the first-ever NFL game in Munich, Germany. The Bucs simply outmatch the Seahawks in every facet of the game. Color the world shocked if Brady and the Bucs don’t beat either a Geno Smith-led or Drew Lock-led Seahawks. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about!
Week 11 Bye
Week 12 at Cleveland Browns – Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, 1 p.m. ET
The Browns’ performance will vary whether Deshaun Watson or Jacoby Brissett is at the helm of the Browns. By that we mean the former is likely to make the Browns more competitive than the latter. But that’s all. Ultimately, the Bucs are the better team and should win this game.
Week 13 vs New Orleans Saints – Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, 8:15 p.m. ET
The Bucs sweep the series for the first time in the Brady era, doing it under the lights on Monday Night Football.
Week 14 at San Francisco 49ers – Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, 4:25 p.m. ET
Is anyone buying what Trey Lance is selling? Yes? No? Maybe? Perhaps, Lance proves the Niners were right to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo (not so sure about that tbh) and plays better than many believe he will. To do it against Brady is asking a lot of the kid, especially in the final weeks of the season when the Bucs play their best football.
Week 15 vs Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, 4:25 p.m. ET
Fireworks could go off in this game. The defending AFC Champion Bengals will be up for this matchup. Burrow and Co., proved last season that they could take on just about any team in the league and make a fist of it. Their confidence belies their youth and limited experience in the league.
Week 16 at Arizona Cardinals – Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, 8:20 p.m. ET
Sunday Night Football on Christmas Day in Glendale could be a tough out if the Cardinals live up to their perceived potential and Kyler Murray proves he’s worth his big payday. But the Cardinals can be unpredictable and Murray can blow hot and cold.
Week 17 vs Carolina Panthers – Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, 1 p.m. ET
Who will be the quarterback for the Panthers in Week 17? Baker Mayfield? Sam Darnold? Matt Carroll? The water boy? Does it matter? Only a diehard Panthers fan would predict a win for the Panthers at Raymond James Stadium right now.
Week 18 at Atlanta Falcons – Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, TBD
Brady owns the Falcons. That’s not about to change.