The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have set high expectations for themselves this season, especially after signing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. With a stacked offense and rising defense, Tampa could have its best season in years, but there are still a few games that could trip them up.
There are a few opponents on Tampa's slate that could pose problems despite their recent records. Some of them were even beaten by the Bucs in the past few years. That won't stop them from pulling the rug out from underneath Brady and his new squad.
Here are four trap games on Tampa's schedule this season:
Week 4 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers were an unfortunate team last year, going 5-9 despite having a top-10 offense and defense in total yardage. The Bucs could even empathize with one of the underlying reasons for LA's struggles: quarterback turnovers. Philip Rivers had the third-most interceptions of any quarterback last year with 21.
Unfortunately for Tampa, Rivers is gone and the Chargers could very easily turn their fortunes around this season. Their offensive skill players rival the Bucs' own impressive collection, and the defense added defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Chris Harris this offseason.
The tipping point could be the potential rise of their first-round pick, QB Justin Herbert, or really, any rookie quarterback. Last year, the Bucs let Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones throw for 336 yards and score four touchdowns. If Herbert is starting by Week 4, the Bucs could get blindsided by some rookie magic again.
Week 7 vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden's first game against his old team could end with sweet vindication. For him.
The Raiders may not have a great defense, but they have a great offense in the making. Running back Josh Jacobs rolled for 1150 yards and seven touchdowns last year. First-round pick Henry Ruggs III could be the next Tyreek Hill. Together and with their formidable offensive line, the Vegas offense has the potential to explode on their opponents this season.
Gruden's last tenure with the Raiders also took a little time to hit its stride. After two 8-8 seasons, he had them in the playoffs. Getting his team for four wins to seven since resuming coaching, Gruden could have this team ready to make some noise this season.
Week 8 vs. New York Giants
Daniel Jones might be a name that haunts the Bucs for some time. Squeaking out a victory over Tampa Bay was one of New York's few highlights last season, a feat they could repeat this season.
Overall, Jones was not a good quarterback last year, but he certainly had his moments. His tendency to have random, big games makes him difficult to predict and thus pretty dangerous.
This game is also on Monday Night Football, a week before a very big matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The added attention and looming divisional game could have the Bucs distracted against a New York team that knows it can beat them.
Week 16 vs. Detroit Lions
Tom Brady was naturally going to face former Patriots head coaches after joining Tampa Bay. While he has often defeated them in the past, Brady and the Bucs face a possibly challenging game late in the season at Detroit.
The biggest challenge facing Tampa will be QB Matthew Stafford. Before a fractured spine cost him the second half of the season, Stafford was on track to have one of the best years of his career. If he kept pace with his stats from the first half of the season, Stafford was on track to throw for 5000 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The Bucs may have crushed the Lions last season, but that was without Stafford under center. Tampa could find themselves on the other side of the win-loss column if Stafford outduels Brady in this late season game.