Bucs schedule analysis — Week 9

BucsBlitz's daily schedule breakdown continues as Matthew Postins looks at the Week 9 matchup between the Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals.

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.

Arizona at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., FOX, Nov. 4

The Cards beat the Bucs in the season finale in 2004.

Arizona has busily, and quietly, attempted to upgrade its roster this offseason, signing OL Mike Gandy, S Terrence Holt, C Al Johnson and CB Roderick Hood, along with retaining RB Marcel Shipp and DB Hank Milligan. The most significant loss in free agency was OT Leonard Davis to Dallas.

One of these years the Cardinals will finally live up to the hype. The big wild card is how new head coach Ken Whisenhunt will affect the offense. He has a plethora of weapons (QB Matt Leinart, RB Edgerrin James, WR Anquan Boldin, WR Larry Fitzgerald) and Whisenhunt proved in Pittsburgh that he can be creative and versatile in his play calling. Still, I'm not sure the offensive line got that much of an upgrade in Gandy and Johnson, and the defense is still suspect. This is one of the more difficult games on the schedule to gauge, but I'll take the Bucs in a close one. If that defense makes no progress, I believe the Bucs can exploit it offensively.

Final score: Tampa Bay 20, Arizona 17. Record: 5-4

— Matthew Postins


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