There is plenty to like about the Buccaneers 2023 as they seek to defend their NFC South Title

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (29) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis (56) covers late in the second half of an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. The Buccaneers won 17-16. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

NFL.COM – As the winners of the NFC South, the Buccaneers will draw games against the first-place teams in the NFC East (Philadelphia), the NFC West (San Francisco) and the AFC East (Buffalo). That fleshes out a schedule that also includes the usual six intradivision games in the NFC South plus matchups with the four teams in the NFC North and the four teams in the AFC South.

To be more specific, here are the opponents for the Bucs’ 17 games in 2023:

HOME

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Tennessee Titans

AWAY

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • New Orleans Saints
  • San Francisco 49ers

The Buccaneers play nine games on the road because it is the AFC’s turn to host all of the “17th games” that were added to the schedule in 2021. Each year, that game is an interconference matchup for every team with the two conferences alternating from year to year as the home teams. The Buccaneers played at Indianapolis in 2021 and had a home game against Kansas City this season as their first two 17th games.

The Buccaneers’ 2023 schedule will be loaded with quarterback intrigue, both in terms of teams that will be sporting new starters and teams that have rising stars at the position.

All three of the Bucs’ division opponents are likely to have new opening-day starters. The Atlanta Falcons have turned over the reins to 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder and could either continue developing the former Cincinnati star or seek another option high in the 2023 draft. Carolina’s 2022 Week One starter, Baker Mayfield, is now with the Rams and the Panthers could press on with Sam Darnold or look elsewhere for their answer. Jameis Winston was the Week One starter in New Orleans but has since ceded that spot to Andy Dalton; the Saints may look for a younger candidate moving forward.

Houston, Tennessee and Indianapolis all figure to be exploring their options at quarterback over the offseason, while San Francisco could go back to 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance if Jimmy Garoppolo moves on. Brock Purdy, who beat the Buccaneers in his NFL starting debut in Week 14, is another interesting option. And there will surely be plenty of speculation about whether or not the Green Bay-Aaron Rodgers marriage will continue.

Alternately, the Buccaneers will be facing a pair of MVP candidates in Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts. Three-time MVP Rodgers could be on that list as well, and it’s possible that Chicago’s Justin Fields and Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence could emerge as future MVP candidates, too.