Why a schedule is never as easy as it looks
Remember back in April when the 2007 NFL schedule was announced and message board junkies and morning radio show hosts spent hours of their lives they would never get back, poring over the Bucs’ schedule and pronouncing it was too easy or too hard?
Even just before the season opener in Seattle, people were commenting that the Bucs could easily start 0-5 based on the apparent strengths of the Saints and Rams, and the three road games faced in Seattle, Carolina and Indianapolis.
And in the same breath, they made Buccaneer winning assumptions for the games against perennial door-mats Detroit, Arizona and Houston. Not so fast my friends, to quote Lee Corso (doesn’t he look like Mel Brooks by the way?).
The Saints are currently winless and hopeless, as are the Rams. Both were handled in Tampa by a resurgent Buccaneer defense. And the powder-blue pansies in Carolina weren’t exactly the dominant force that had the Bucs’ number seven of the past eight times.
But if you now look at the remaining 12 games on the Bucs’ 2007 schedule, there are only two teams that currently have losing records, the Saints and Falcons. Everyone else is either at 2-2 or posting a winning mark.
Does the arrival of the Tennessee Titans in 10 days’ time now look an easy home with for the Bucs? How about the road trip to Detroit, or the consecutive home games with Jacksonville and Arizona?
And by the time December rolls around, you can expect the Panthers and perhaps even the 49ers to be playing at a better clip than they have done the past two weeks. Which basically goes to prove that making any comment about the difficulty of a schedule before you actually play the games is complete baloney.
Paul Stewart TBO.com 4 October 2007