The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2019 journey will begin with a pair of rare preseason road trips.
The NFL released its full list of matchups for the 2019 preseason and Tampa Bay's four-game slate begins with a visit to Pittsburgh and ends with a contest in Dallas. The Buccaneers will be playing a preseason game in Pittsburgh for just the second time in 44 years, while their August trip to Dallas will be a franchise first. In fact, the Buccaneers and Cowboys have never before met in the preseason.
In between, Tampa Bay will play a pair of home games against the Miami Dolphins in Week Two and the Cleveland Browns in Week Three. All four games will be broadcast locally by WFLA-TV, the team's preseason television partner.
Prior to the game against Miami at Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers and Dolphins will hold a set of joint practices at the AdventHealth Training Center. Dates, times and other details regarding those practices will be released at a later date. Those workouts will feature a pair of teams with new head coaches, as Bruce Arians' Buccaneers play host to Brian Flores' Dolphins.
Below is the Bucs' 2019 Preseason schedule - the Dallas game's start time will be announced at a later date.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2019 Preseason Opponents
Week One: Aug. 9, at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. ET (WFLA-TV)
Week Two: Aug. 16, vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET (WFLA-TV)
Week Three: Aug. 23, vs. Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. ET (WFLA-TV)
Week Four: Aug. 29: at Dallas, Time TBA (WFLA-TV)
Tampa Bay will begin its preseason on the road for the sixth year in a row when they head to Pittsburgh in the second week of August. The Bucs' only other preseason road game against the Steelers occurred in 1996, coincidentally another season in which the team was playing under a new head coach. Tony Dungy's first Buccaneer team lost that game in '96, 13-3, as Dungy made a return to where he began both his NFL playing and coaching careers. Similarly, Arians' first game on the sideline for the Buccaneers will be against the team with which he spent eight years (2004-11), first as a wide receivers coach and then as the offensive coordinator.
Overall, the Buccaneers and Steelers have split four previous preseason contests, including one held in a neutral site. Tampa Bay defeated Pittsburgh, 30-6, in the 1998 Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The other two meetings took place in Tampa, with the Steelers prevailing, 42-27, in 1985 and the Buccaneers taking a 20-7 decision a decade later.
Prior to 2019, Dallas was one of five teams the Buccaneers had never met in the preseason, and this marks the second summer in a row that Tampa Bay will face a preseason opponent for the first time. Last year's August 24 game against Detroit, won by the Lions, 33-30, at Raymond James Stadium was the inaugural preseason matchup for those two foes. The four remaining teams against whom the Bucs have never played in the preseason are the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, and the Bucs and Panthers are unlikely to schedule a summer matchup as long as they share the same division. Tampa Bay played both Atlanta and new Orleans relatively frequently in the preseason before they were put together in the newly-formed NFC South in 2002.
As rare as the August trips to Dallas and Pittsburgh are, a preseason game against the Dolphins is practically an annual staple for the Buccaneers. This will mark the 32nd time in 44 seasons that the two teams will square off in the preseason, including an unusual home-and-away double-dip in 1996. The all-Florida summer rivalry was rekindled last year after a two-season break, prior to which Tampa Bay and Miami had met in 16 straight preseasons. Miami leads the all-time series, 17-14, but the Buccaneers won five of the last six, capped by a 26-24 decision last August at Hard Rock Stadium.
Tampa Bay and Cleveland have been preseason partners fairly frequently, too, including a three-year run of meetings from 2015-17. The Buccaneers and Browns have split a total of 10 preseason games down the middle, with Cleveland taking the most recent matchup, 13-9, in 2017. This will mark the eighth time that the Bucs and Browns have met in a preseason game played in Tampa.
View the top photos from the four teams the Buccaneers will face in the 2019 preseason.