The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their title defense on Thursday, September 9 at home against the Dallas Cowboys, but that’s not all that Bucs fans have to look forward to. The Bucs will have five prime time games this season including the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Tom Brady’s return to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots.
The Buccaneers announced the schedule with an incredible video on their social media platforms;
The schedule is as follows for the 2021 NFL Season;
Week One - September 9: vs Dallas Cowboys - 8:20 p.m. (Thursday Night Football) - NBC/Peacock TV
Week Two - September 19: vs Atlanta Falcons - 4:05 p.m. - FOX
Week Three - September 26: @ Los Angeles Rams - 4:25 p.m. - FOX
Week Four - October 3: @ New England Patriots - 8:20 (Sunday Night Football) - NBC/Peacock TV
Week Five - October 10: vs Miami Dolphins - 1:00 - CBS
Week Six - October 14: @ Philadelphia Eagles - 8:20 (Thursday Night Football) - NFLN/Amazon
Week Seven - October 24: vs Chicago Bears - 4:25 p.m. - CBS
Week Eight - October 31: @ New Orleans Saints - 4:25 p.m. - FOX
Week Nine - BYE
Week Ten - November 14: @ Washington Football Team - 1:00 p.m. - FOX
Week Eleven - November 22: vs New York Giants - 8:15 (Monday Night Football) - ESPN
Week Twelve - November 28: @ Indianapolis Colts - 1:00 p.m. - FOX
Week Thirteen - December 5: @ Atlanta Falcons - 1:00 p.m. - FOX
Week Fourteen - December 12: vs. Buffalo Bills - 4:25 p.m. - CBS
Week Fifteen - December 19: vs. New Orleans Saints - 8:20 p.m. (Sunday Night Football) - NBC/Peacock TV
Week Sixteen - December 26: @ Carolina Panthers - 1:00 p.m. - FOX
Week Seventeen - January 2: @ New York Jets - 1:00 p.m. - FOX
Week Eighteen - January 9: vs Carolina Panthers - 1:00 p.m. - FOX
A few takeaways from the schedule are that the Bucs have some tough sledding in the first quarter of the season having to travel to Los Angeles then Foxboro in back to back weeks. That is an incredibly difficult pass rush that Tom Brady will be facing in LA before trying to stick it to Bill Belichick the following week in the stadium that Brady called home for two decades. Now, if there was ever a player that you could say doesn’t fall into the “looking ahead” trap, it’s Brady, but this is a difficult two game stretch to not get ahead of yourself from an emotional standpoint.
Another big takeaway is the face that the Bucs have two Thursday night games. It was nice thinking that the Bucs got their Thursday night appearance out of the way in week one, not having to deal with the short week the rest of the season. Turns out, that’s not the case. Another tough stretch where you face the Eagles on a short week following a match-up with the Dolphins just four days before. Not to mention, three of the four NFC East teams they will face will be in prime time - the one missing would have been the playoff rematch with the Washington Football Team. I mean, we get that the NFC East draws ratings but come on - do they always have to be nationally televised? It was the worst division in football last year. The schedule makers couldn’t have replaced the Giants with, say, the Bills? A potential Super Bowl LVI preview?
No schedule will ever be perfect in the eyes of the fans, the franchises, the players, or the coaches. However, the Buccaneers will be featured prominently throughout the season on national television with the five prime time games as well as some 4:25 p.m. games that are sure to be the national game of the week and broadcast nationwide.
Just 120 days until kickoff, but hey - who’s counting?