Every team across the NFL has known about their 2021 opponents for several months now. But on Wednesday they found out when exactly they would play.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found out they would be playing five games on primetime — one more than they did during their 2020 regular season. Another difference is that these primetime games are sprinkled in throughout the schedule. Last season, the Bucs played one in Week 5 then had three primetime games within four weeks in Weeks 8 - 11. Plus, we know how bad the Buccaneers looked at times during their primetime games last season.
In 2021, this is how Tampa Bay’s primetime matchups look like:
Week One - September 9: vs Dallas Cowboys - 8:20 p.m. (Thursday Night Football) - NBC/Peacock TV
Week Four - October 3: @ New England Patriots - 8:20 (Sunday Night Football) - NBC/Peacock TV
Week Six - October 14: @ Philadelphia Eagles - 8:20 (Thursday Night Football) - NFLN/Amazon
Week Eleven - November 22: vs New York Giants - 8:15 (Monday Night Football) - ESPN
Week Fifteen - December 19: vs. New Orleans Saints - 8:20 p.m. (Sunday Night Football) - NBC/Peacock TV
On paper, the matchups don’t seem to be that big of a threat. However, the NFL tends to be funny each year with its parity. And these five games are played in parts of the season the Buccaneers can’t afford to seep.
Week 1’s matchup against the Dallas Cowboys is important in the sense that no team wants to start the season 0-1. Especially the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Week 4 game in New England follows a late afternoon game against the Los Angeles Rams on the west coast, and not to mention there will be a game of “who wants it more” between Bucs quarterback Tom Brady and his former team.
Their games in Weeks 6 and 11 look favorable for Tampa Bay. But struggles or losses there will make their following games against the Chicago Bears in Week 7 and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 much more difficult considering both of those teams are expected to be better than they were in 2020.
Finally, having a Week 15 primetime matchup against a divisional opponent is interesting. Yes, Drew Brees is no longer under center for New Orleans and honestly, we may not know who the quarterback could be from here to then. But games between the Bucs and the Saints have always been a classic divisional battle so if there are any divisional or playoff implications in this matchup, Tampa Bay could see this as their toughest primetime game of 2021.
It’ll be an interesting 18 weeks this upcoming NFL season. For the Buccaneers, these five games could be the most interesting bunch of them all if they are looking to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Which primetime game will be more crucial for the Bucs?
This poll is closed
Week 1 vs. Cowboys
Week 4 @ Patriots
Week 6 @ Eagles
Week 11 @ Giants
Week 15 vs. Saints