Bucs Schedule Analysis — Week 3

Matthew Postins' look ahead at the 2007 schedule has the Bucs facing the St. Louis Rams at home.

Each day for the next 16 days, BucsBlitz.com's Matthew Postins will take a quick look at each game on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2007 schedule. Some things to keep in mind:

Tampa Bay opens on the road for the fourth time in the last five years. The Bucs are 3-1 in that situation.

The Bucs have the third-easiest schedule in the NFL in 2007, by winning percentage.

The Bucs have just one prime-time game scheduled, Dec. 23 at San Francisco. That start time could change if NBC chooses to exercise its "flex scheduling" option for that week.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., FOX, Sept. 23

The Rams and Bucs haven't played since that loss in St. Louis in 2004 with Brian Griese controlling the offense, a game that exposed the Bucs for the inconsistent team it would be the rest of the season.

The Rams have had an interesting offseason. They've lost WRs Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald, LB Dexter Coakley and G Adam Timmerman. To shore up the offense they signed WR Drew Bennett and TE Randy McMichael. To boost the defense, the Rams grabbed CB Mike Rumph, S Todd Johnson and LB Chris Draft (a player the Bucs had interest in).

I think the losses and gains for the Rams are a wash, really. This game will come down to how well the Bucs can stop RB Steven Jackson, who will be THE focal point of the offense in 2007. He's a possible MVP candidate. The Rams were ranked below the Bucs in total defense last year, and I don't see real improvement in the personnel. With a second straight home game and some improved offense by the Bucs, this is their first real winnable game.

Final score: Tampa Bay 23, St. Louis 20. Record: 1-2

— Matthew Postins

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