2015 schedule highlights for Jameis Winston, Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2015 schedule holds some intriguing matchups that await quarterback Jameis Winston. Here are some schedule highlights for Winston's rookie year in Tampa:

Sept. 13 vs. Tennessee Titans

Think a matchup of Winston vs. Marcus Mariota in Week 1 wouldn't be fun? It's a matchup that falls straight from the storyline heavens. Remember, thanks in part to FSU's pro-style offense, Winston was supposed to be the quarterback in this draft that was most ready to play right away. Winston starting the opener would signal more than the beginning of a season for Bucs fans -- for the optimistic ones, it would be the start of an era. If Mike Glennon is under center to start the season, Bucs fans will already be looking at their watches -- especially if Mariota is starting the opener for the Titans in Tampa.

Sept. 20 at New Orleans Saints

Winston is entering a division loaded with quarterback talent in Carolina's Cam Newton, New Orleans' Drew Brees, and Atlanta's Matt Ryan. But as the eldest and most accomplished of the group, and the only one to have a Super Bowl ring on his resume, Brees stands out.

Presuming Winston would be the Bucs' starter, it would also be his first road test, and Saints fans would surely make it as hard on him as possible.

Oct. 11 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Being in different divisions, not to mention conferences, this in-state matchup has never developed into much of a rivalry. But this game could feature the first quarterbacks chosen in the last two drafts meeting head to head. Jacksonville's Blake Bortles, last year's No. 3 pick, will have a bit more help around him than he did as a rookie. And Winston will be trying to avoid the pass rush of Dante Fowler Jr., whom the Jaguars took with the third overall pick.

Nov. 22 at Philadelphia Eagles

By this point in the season, if he's starting, Winston would have four road games under his belt. So a fifth road trip would be nothing new, right? Well, no. This is Philadelphia, where opposing rookies learn that some road crowds are a bit more hostile than others. Given Winston's off-field controversies, Eagles fans aren't likely to treat him much better than Santa.

Nov. 29 at Indianapolis Colts

Comparisons between the last two quarterbacks chosen No. 1 overall will be ready-made, but in this case, they wouldn't be altogether fair to Winston. The Colts' Andrew Luck, chosen No. 1 overall in 2012, has emerged as one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks and is surrounded by a playoff-caliber roster.

A common refrain about any quarterback to come out of the draft since has been, "He's not Andrew Luck." If Winston were to take down Luck head to head on the road, his rookie year would have a signature moment no matter how it turned out otherwise.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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