Flynn's Focus: 2001 Predictions

September 5 – The preseason is over and the regular season is almost upon us. What will the Bucs' regular season record be? Who will they win and lose to? What teams will make the playoffs? Which two teams will play in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans? Will the Bucs be one of them? Find out the visions Buccaneer Magazine staff writer Jim Flynn received when he glanced into his crystal ball for this installment of Flynn's Focus.

We are only four days away from Kickoff 2001. Tampa Bay will be opening up the regular season in Dallas when they take on the Cowboys at 1:00 p.m. ET. Find out how I see not only this game turning out, but the entire season as well.

Week 1 Tampa Bay at Dallas Sept. 9 BUCS 31 DALLAS 6
The only things that can beat Tampa Bay in Dallas are the Bucs themselves. Tampa Bay should easily win in Dallas.

Week 2 Philadelphia at Tampa Bay Sept. 16 BUCS 10 EAGLES 6
This will be a defensive war. Tampa Bay will avenge their 21-3 playoff loss the Eagles one year ago in a close one.

Week 4 Tampa Bay at Minnesota Sept. 30 BUCS 27 VIKINGS 25
I might be going out on a limb here, but Tampa Bay is due for a win in Minnesota. The last time the Pewter Pirates won in Minnesota was in the 1997 season, where they came away with a 28-14 victory.

Week 5 Green Bay at Tampa Bay Oct. 7
BUCS 23 PACKERS 13

The Packers have come close to winning two of the three games they have lost at Raymond James Stadium. The fourth time will not be the charm for the Cheese Heads.

Week 6 Tampa Bay at Tennessee Oct. 14 TITANS 20 BUCS 10
The Titans have only lost to one team in their home stadium, and that was to the Ravens, who beat them twice in 2000. If Tampa Bay can bring their A game, they might have a chance of winning. The crazy atmosphere and talented Titans' squad will prove to be too much for the Bucs to overcome.

Week 7 Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay Oct. 21 BUCS 28 STEELERS 10
The Steelers could upset the Bucs, but Tampa Bay should be able to care of business at home against Pittsburgh.

Week 8 Minnesota at Tampa Bay Oct. 28 BUCS 31 VIKINGS 21
The Vikings try to avenge their Week 4 loss to Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers are too determined to end the eight year split streak by sweeping Minnesota in their final meeting in the NFC Central Division.
Week 9 Tampa Bay at Green Bay Nov. 4 BUCS 17 PACKERS 16

Determined to win in Green Bay for the first time since 1989, Tampa Bay sneaks away with a victory on a last second kick by Martin Gramatica. This time, the kick is good.

Week 10 Tampa Bay at Detroit Nov. 11 LIONS 17 BUCS 10
Tampa Bay has nothing left in the tank after an exhausting effort in Green Bay. The Lions always play the Bucs tough at home.

Week 11 Chicago at Tampa Bay Nov. 18 BUCS 21 BEARS 9
After losing to Detroit, the Bucs can't and will not lose to another division opponent. Tampa Bay comes away with a win at home against the Bears.

Week 12 Tampa Bay at St. Louis Nov. 26 RAMS 33 BUCS 28
In another shoot out on Monday Night Football, the Rams go into this game with the revenge theme this time around and come away with a victory in another close game.

Week 13 Tampa Bay at Cincinnati Dec. 2 BUCS 27 BENGALS 9
For the first time in their history (21 games), the Buccaneers will win a game when the temperature at kickoff is below 40 degrees.

Week 14 DETROIT at TAMPA BAY Dec. 9 BUCS 34 LIONS 3
The Buccaneers will stick it to the Lions at home in their second meeting of the season. This is the time of the season where the Bucs start playing their best football of the season and the Lions start playing their worst.

Week 15 Tampa Bay at Chicago Dec. 16 BEARS 20 BUCS 6
This will be the game where Tampa Bay lays an egg. They have traditionally done it in the Dungy era and in a freezing Windy City, the Bucs will fold fast and save their energy for their last two games of the season, which are at home.

Week 16 New Orleans at Tampa Bay Dec. 23 BUCS 21 SAINTS 14
This game will be a tight one and the Bucs will find themselves struggling not to look ahead at the defending Super Bow Champion Baltimore Ravens. Tampa Bay sneaks out of Raymond James Stadium with an early Christmas present.

Week 17 Baltimore at Tampa Bay Dec. 29 BUCS 17 RAVENS 14
On the final Monday Night Football game of the year, the Bucs and Ravens will clash on a Saturday night in Raymond James Stadium. The Ravens will look to pick up where they left off the last time they were in RayJay (Super Bowl XXXV) with a win over the Bucs, but the Pewter Pirates will not let the opportunity to secure home field advantage with a win over the Ravens slip away.

BUCS RECORD 12-4; Win the NFC Central Division and secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

AFC PLAYOFF TEAMS
DENVER, TENNESSEE, OAKLAND, BALTIMORE, INDIANAPOLIS and MIAMI

NFC PLAYOFF TEAMS
TAMPA BAY, ST. LOUIS, PHILADELPHIA, GREEN BAY, MINNESOTA and ATLANTA

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Denver 21 Tennessee 19

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Tampa Bay 31 St. Louis 21

SUPER BOWL XXXVI Tampa Bay 21 Denver 13


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