The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2020 regular season schedule, released today by the National Football League, is highlighted by five primetime appearances – the most in team history and the maximum permitted under NFL guidelines.
The Buccaneers will open the season on the road by squaring off against the division-rival New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Sept. 13, with a 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX) kickoff. The two teams most recently played on opening weekend in 2018, when Tampa Bay emerged victorious in a 48-40 shootout at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In Week 2, Tampa Bay stays within the division for its home opener, hosting the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium at 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX). The Buccaneers have not played back-to-back divisional games to open a season since 2008 when they played the Saints and the Atlanta Falcons in consecutive weeks.
Week 3 has the Buccaneers going back on the road to take on the Denver Broncos at 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX), marking Tampa Bay's first trip to Denver since 2012. Although the Buccaneers have only played the Broncos nine times in team history, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has faced Denver 17 times in his career, including four postseason meetings.
Tampa Bay then returns to host the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4 at 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS), looking to capture a third consecutive win over the Chargers, after winning in 2012 and 2016.
Beginning with a Week 5 Thursday Night Football contest against the Chicago Bears, the Buccaneers will play five-of-seven games in primetime. The Thursday night affair at Soldier Field features an 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) kickoff and will give the Buccaneers a chance to win on Thursday Night Football in back-to-back seasons after defeating the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 of 2019. Tampa Bay has prevailed in two of the last three meetings between the teams.
The Green Bay Packers visit Tampa on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX), with the Buccaneers looking to make it eight wins in their past 10 home games against their former division rival. Since 1998, Tampa Bay is 7-2 at home vs. the Packers.
The Buccaneers make their first appearance on Sunday Night Football since 2016, with a visit to play the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7, marking Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden's first game against his former team since
returning to the NFL coaching ranks in 2018. The 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) contest will mark the first time the Buccaneers have ever played a game in Las Vegas.
In the second of three straight night contests, Tampa Bay will remain on the road to face the New York Giants in Week 8 at 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) on Monday Night Football. The Buccaneers and Giants will be playing for the fourth time in as many years, matching the longest streak of consecutive seasons that the two franchises have met, with the other spanning from 1977-80.
The Buccaneers then return home in Week 9, for a third consecutive primetime kickoff, against the New Orleans Saints in the first Sunday Night Football game to be played at Raymond James Stadium since 2008. The matchup, which kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC), will feature a duel between future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Drew Brees. The following week, the Buccaneers travel to Charlotte for a 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX) kickoff to close out the season series with the Panthers.
The Buccaneers then head back to Tampa to play three straight games at Raymond James Stadium, beginning with a Week 11 Monday Night showdown against the Los Angeles Rams at 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN). Last September, the Buccaneers defeated the Rams 55-40 in Los Angeles, setting a new franchise record for most points scored in a single game.
The following Sunday, the 2020 Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, led by reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, come in for a post-Thanksgiving game at 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS). The game marks Kansas City's first appearance in Tampa since the Buccaneers captured a 38-10 win in 2012.
Following a Week 13 Bye – the team's latest since 1990 (Week 14) – the Buccaneers play a third consecutive game at Raymond James Stadium with a 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX) contest against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14. Tampa Bay has won six of the past seven games played against the Vikings in Tampa.
The Buccaneers will then play their first game against their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons, when they travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Week 15 for a 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX) start. The teams split the season series in 2019.
A Week 16 visit to the Motor City to play the Detroit Lions follows, with the Buccaneers looking to register their fourth win in their past five games at Ford Field. The date (12/26 or 12/27) and time of the contest will be announced later in the season as determined by the NFL
The Buccaneers' 2020 regular season concludes with a 1:00 p.m. ET (FOX) home contest against the Falcons in Week 17. It marks the second consecutive season that the two teams will finish the regular season at Raymond James Stadium and the first time the Buccaneers have ever faced the same opponent in two of their final three games.
The NFL also announced the preseason schedule on Thursday, which features the Buccaneers traveling to Pittsburgh in Week 1, followed by home games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans, before closing with a road game at the Cleveland Browns.
All games will feature a radio broadcast on 98Rock (WXTB-97.9 FM), as well as stations throughout Florida that are part of the Buccaneers Radio Network. In addition, fans can listen to preseason games online at Buccaneers.com and on the Buccaneers mobile app.
The NFL will again utilize "flexible scheduling," which may be applied in Weeks 5-17. Up to two games may be flexed to Sunday Night Football between Weeks 5-10. A select number of games may also be "cross-flexed," moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Flexible scheduling will be used in Weeks 11-17 as usual and it will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the affected game. For Week 17, the change may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling is intended to ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks where it is applied.
Buccaneers season pass memberships for 2020 are on-sale now and can be purchased on Buccaneers.com or by contacting the Buccaneers ticket office at (866) 582-2827. Single-game tickets for all 2020 Buccaneers home games will go on sale later this summer, subject to availability.