It's a remarkable streak, really: tied for the longest absence with the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars. The only team to have been absent from Sunday night's game for longer is the Buffalo Bills, who haven't been on that show since 2007. Thankfully, every team has had at least one game on NBC since they took over Sunday Night's games from ESPN back in 2006.
Incidentally, the Oakland Raiders had a longer streak of absence than the Bucs, but return to Sunday Night Football in week nine this year, taking on the currently quarterback-less Denver Broncos. How that's worth a prime time slot is beyond me.
To be fair, Sunday Night Football's slate is incredibly conservative, dominated by high-profile rivalries and well-established playoff teams. The Bucs haven't been part of either category since the mid-2000s, so their absence isn't entirely surprising -- but that doesn't make it less disappointing. If only because I want to see what Jameis Winston and Kwon Alexander will say on their introductory videos.
All is not entirely lost: there's a chance the Bucs get flexed to a Sunday night game starting in week five. They'd have to be doing very well for that to happen, though.
So Sunday Night Football schedule people, whoever you are, give the Bucs a game. You won't regret it. Or maybe you will, I don't really care, I just want to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play on Sunday night for once. Can you give me that for 2017? Thanks.