- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a daunting road trip in 2019 – a seven-week stretch that features games against four elite teams on the road, a trip to London, and a bye week.
- All told, the Bucceneers will have 49 days between home games at Raymond James Stadium.
- Mike North, NFL senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling, told SiriusXM that he would like to “take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” if he could.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
On Wednesday NFL teams released their schedules for the 2019 season.
The travel demands of any NFL team can be gruelling, but for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2019 is looking like an unlucky break. After a home game in Week 3 against the Giants, the Buccaneers will not play again in Raymond James Stadium until Week 10.
During that stretch, Tampa Bay will spend 49 days away from their home stadium, flying tens of thousands of miles across the country and the Atlantic. Not only will the travel be brutal, but their opponents include some of the best teams in football, starting with two away games against the Rams and Saints, a “home” game in London against the Panthers, a bye week, and then finishing with two more road games against the Titans and Seahawks.
While some teams chose to have fun with their schedule reveals,channeling “Game of Thrones” or classic video games to make their announcements, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were simply left to wonder who put them in such a scheduling bind.
The man responsible was Mike North, NFL senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling, and even he admits that he could have probably done a better job of easing the travel load of the Buccaneers.
Speaking with SiriusXM NFL Radio’s “Late Hits,” North said he knows he left Tampa Bay in an unenviable position.
“If we had to do-over, if we had a redo, I’d love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” North said. “I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans. I’m hopeful that we didn’t do something to the Buccaneers that they feel like was really unfair.”
North added that while as an NFL official, he wasn’t supposed to be rooting for any one team, that he would be pulling for the Buccaneers through their tough stretch in October.
The Oakland Raiders will face a similar 49-day stretch that includes four road games, one London game, and a bye week. That said, the Raiders have less room to complain about their schedule, as the team didn’t even know where it would be hosting its home games until mid-March.
But for the Buccaneers, the seven-week stretch represents one of the more daunting challenges that any team will face this NFL season.
If they can get through it without falling apart, they will have plenty of home games to close out the year.
Read more from Tyler Lauletta:
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