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4 Fast Facts About the Bucs' 2018 Preseason Schedule

Posted Apr 12, 2018

Four fast facts about our preseason schedule that includes four matchups against the Dolphins, Titans, Lions and Jaguars.

1. The preseason provides a first look at new faces.

The Bucs have been busy adding to their roster this offseason, even before the 2018 NFL Draft where they will add a few more. Their big splash signing came in the form of a trade for New York Giants’ Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. He wasn’t the only addition to the defensive line, either. In addition to JPP, the team signed DE Mitch Unrein from Chicago and DE Vinny Curry and DT Beau Allen from Philadelphia – 2017 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia, that is. Plus, the unit got a new leader in the form of Defensive Line Coach Brentson Buckner who assumes the same role with Tampa Bay. The 2018 preseason will give fans the chance to catch the new-look defensive line for the first time along with all other free agency and Draft additions.

2. Let’s try this again: the Bucs will look to open play (sort of) against the Dolphins in 2018.

Tampa Bay will open its preseason with the Miami Dolphins after 2017, where it tried to open the regular season in Miami before Hurricane Irma prevented the teams from meeting in Week 1. The regular season matchup between the Bucs and Dolphins was rescheduled for Week 11 when the teams had a mutual bye week – meaning both forfeited their bye week, essentially. The two Florida teams will instead try to open the preseason against each other in Miami this season. It will be the 31st time Tampa Bay will play Miami in the preseason – the most of any Bucs’ preseason opponent.

3.  Jacksonville will be paying a rare-ish visit to Raymond James Stadium…

The Bucs have faced off 12 of the last 16 years in the preseason with the other Florida team – the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tampa Bay has played in Jacksonville – and won – the last two years but this year will see the Jaguars come to Raymond James Stadium for the first time in the preseason since 2010 and the first time period since 2015.

4. The Bucs won’t see much of their former rivals to the North.

After playing the entire NFC North last year in the regular season, the Detroit Lions will be the only NFC North team to play at Raymond James Stadium in the preseason or regular season in 2018. Once a familiar opponent – the Bucs were in the NFC Central with the Lions (and Packers and Bears and Vikings) for 25 years before the realignment, this will be the first preseason meeting between the two teams. The Bucs will also travel to Chicago to play the Bears in their only NFC North regular season matchup of 2018, but that will do it for former division opponents.