Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' 2021 Opponents Include Both East Divisions, Bears, Rams

The final two opponents on the Bucs' 2021 slate were determined on Sunday as the Bucs will face Chicago at home and the L.A. Rams on the road along with all the teams in the AFC and NFC East divisions

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2021 schedule is going to have a decidedly East Coast feel to it.

The Buccaneers concluded their 2020 regular season on Sunday with a 44-27 win over Atlanta that locked in the fifth seed in the NFC playoff field and will send them on the road in the opening round against the NFC East champion, Washington.

Tampa Bay will also play all four AFC East teams and have their usual home-and-away series with the three other teams in the NFC South. The final two games on the 16-game schedule will pit the Bucs against the teams that matched their division standing in the NFC North and West division. The Buccaneers finished second in the South which means they'll get a home game against the Chicago Bears, who finished second in the North, and an away game against the Los Angeles Rams, who finished second in the West.

Los Angeles was the last of the Bucs' 2021 opponents to be determined, as the Rams didn't clinch second place in the West – and the final playoff spot in the NFC – until they defeated the Arizona Cardinals during the late-afternoon time slot on Sunday. Below are the opponents for the 16 games currently scheduled for 2021. If the NFL adds a 17th game next year, as has been reported, the Bucs' extra game will be against an AFC opponent not in the AFC East. The NFL will release the actual dates and times of the games in the spring.

HOME

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New Orleans Saints
  • New York Giants

AWAY

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • New England Patriots
  • New Orleans Saints
  • New York Jets
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Football Team

The Bucs' only destination west of the Mississippi next year will be to Los Angeles. The scheduling formula the NFL has used since it expanded to 32 teams in 2002 is a rotation of divisional matchups, with the Bucs and the NFC South rotating through the other NFC divisions every three years and through the four AFC divisions every four years. Thus, is the first time Tampa Bay has matched up with the East divisions in both conferences and set up a largely Eastern Time Zone schedule since 2009.

Tom Brady, who signed a two-year contract with the Buccaneers in March, will get a chance to go up against his former team in their home. Brady played 20 seasons for the Patriots and won six Super Bowl championship before joining the Buccaneers.

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