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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Info Guide: Buccaneers' 2015 Schedule

Everything you need to know about the Buccaneers' 2015 opponents.

Take a look at photos of the regular season opponents that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face, starting with week 1 (AP Images).

By Joe Kania and Andrew Norton.

Tennessee Titans

  • Date: Sunday, September 13 (Week 1)
  • Time: 4:25 PM ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium
  • Marquee Players: TE Delanie Walker, CB Jason McCourty, LB Derrick Morgan
  • Key Losses: WR Nate Washington, T Michael Oher, S Brandon Ghee
  • Key Additions: WR Harry Douglas, LB Brian Orakpo, CB Perrish Cox

Must-See Storyline: Since 2000, the team with the first pick in the NFL Draft has faced the team with the second pick on eight different occasions. The team that went #1 overall has won five of those games, including the most recent when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. Just a couple weeks away from the 2015 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers and Titans are preparing to welcome their newest draftee at number one and two overall, respectively. The two marquee rookies will meet in Week 1 in Raymond James Stadium.

New Orleans Saints

  • HOME: Sunday, December 13 (Week 14) at 1:00 PM ET
  • AWAY: Sunday, September 20 (Week 2)  at 1:00 PM ET  
  • Locations: Raymond James Stadium Location, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
  • Marquee Players: QB Drew Brees, RB Mark Ingram, LB Junior Galette
  • Key Losses: TE Jimmy Graham, LB Curtis Lofton, CB Patrick Robinson
  • Key Additions: RB C.J. Spiller, C Max Unger, CB Brandon Browner

Must-See Storyline: Last season the Saints stole two close battles against the Bucs, with a 37-31 win overtime win in New Orleans and a last-minute 23-20 win to close the season in Tampa. Despite plenty of close games, shootouts and a rich rivalry history, perhaps the biggest storyline for this matchup and the entire New Orleans Saints offseason is their trade that sent All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks. Graham was arguably the Saints' top playmaker for the last four seasons and the Saints will now lack his talents when they twice take on the underrated Buccaneers defense that is hungry for the top spot in the division.

Houston Texans

  • Date: Sunday, September 27 (Week 3)
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: NRG Stadium
  • Marquee Players: RB Arian Foster, WR DeAndre Hopkins, DE J.J. Watt
  • Key Losses: WR Andre Johnson, LB Brooks Reed, S Kendrick Lewis
  • Key Additions: QB Brian Hoyer, WR Cecil Shorts, DT Vince Wilfork

Must-See Storyline: There will be a quarterback battle in Houston between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett after Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed by the Jets this offseason. Mallett sat behind Fitzpatrick for the majority of last season, but earned the starting job in Week 11. Just two weeks later, though, he was placed in injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. Hoyer was signed as a free agent after serving as the Browns' starting quarterback in 2014.

Carolina Panthers

  • HOME: Sunday, October 4 (Week 4) at 1:00 PM ET      
  • AWAY: Sunday, January 3 (Week 17) at 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium Location: Bank of America Stadium
  • Marquee Players: QB Cam Newton, WR Kelvin Benjamin, LB Luke Kuechly
  • Key Losses: RB DeAngelo Williams, DE Greg Hardy
  • Key Additions: WR Ted Ginn, T Michael Oher, DB Kurt Coleman

Must-See Storyline: The Carolina Panther advanced to the Divisional round of the 2014 playoffs after wrapping up a first place finish in the NFC South for the second year in a row. They are the first team to ever win back-to-back NFC South division titles since it formed in 2002. This stat is sure to add even more fuel to the fire in the two matchups between these division rivals. On top of that, look for exciting battles between sophomore standout WRs Mike Evans and Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin and two of the best linebackers in the game, Lavonte David and Carolina's Luke Kuechly.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Date: Sunday, October 11 (Week 5)
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium
  • Marquee Players: QB Blake Bortles, DT Sen'Derrick Marks, S Johnathan Cyprien
  • Key Losses: WR Cecil Shorts, LB J.T. Thomas, CB Will Blackmon
  • Key Additions: TE Julius Thomas, DT Jared Odrick, S Sergio Brown

Must-See Storyline: What the Buccaneers will do with their number one overall selection on April 30th is still up in the air. However, if you read any mock draft from any expert on the Internet, the assumption being made overwhelmingly suggests that the newest Buccaneer will be lining up at quarterback in 2015. Should that be the case, the Week 5 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars will pit 2015's first quarterback taken against the 2014 Draft's first quarterback, Blake Bortles. The possibility of two young gunslingers and potential faces of their franchises squaring off in this one is only brightened by the fireworks sure to come with an in-state rivalry.

Washington Redskins

  • Date: Sunday, October 25 (Week 7)
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: FedExField
  • Marquee Players: QB Robert Griffin III, WR DeSean Jackson, LB Ryan Kerrigan
  • Key Losses: RB Roy Helu, DE Jarvis Jenkins, LB Brian Orakpo
  • Key Additions: DT Terrance Knighton, DT Stephen Paea, CB Chris Culliver

Must-See Storyline: The Redskins are the only team on the Bucs' schedule that the team beat in 2014. In their Week 11 matchup, Mike Evans put together the best game of his rookie season. He caught seven passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns to help the Buccaneers win, 27-7.

Atlanta Falcons

  • HOME: December 6 (Week 13) at 1:00 PM ET                                                  
  • AWAY: November 1 (Week 8) at 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium Location: Georgia Dome
  • Marquee Players: QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, LB Paul Worrilow
  • Key Losses: WR Harry Douglas, DT Corey Peters, LB Sean Weatherspoon
  • Key Additions: WR Leonard Hankerson, DE Adrian Clayborn, LB Brooks Reed

Must-See Storyline: First of all, the Buccaneers are sure to be circling these two matchups on their calendars as revenge games after falling by a combined 52 points in the two-game series of 2014. The Bucs will look to fight back and return the favor to the Falcons who enter the season with a brand new coaching staff. Dan Quinn makes his first head coaching stint after a run as Defensive Coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. Defensive Coordinator Richard Smith, Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Asst. Head Coach Raheem Morris also round out the first year staff. They'll look across the field at a new Buccaneers coordinator who will be facing his previous team. Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter served as the Falcons' OC for three seasons and will lead the Bucs offensive charge to take back the NFC South.

New York Giants

  • Date: Sunday, November 8 (Week 9)
  • Time: 4:05 PM ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium
  • Marquee Players: QB Eli Manning, WR Odell Beckham Jr., DE Jason Pierre-Paul
  • Key Losses: C J.D. Walton, CB Walter Thurmond, S Antrel Rolle
  • Key Additions: RB Shane Vereen, WR Dwayne Harris, DE George Selvie

Must-See Storyline: For the better part of last season, the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award was really just a two-man race. Buccaneers' seventh-overall selection WR Mike Evans vs. New York Giants 12th-overall pick WR Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham took home the honor at the end of the year after ending the season on a record setting pace. In just 12 games, he hauled in 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 108.8 receiving yards per game was an NFL rookie record. Mike Evans matched Beckham's touchdown number at 12, and posted 1,051 receiving yards of his own.  The two certainly have bright NFL futures and will put their skills on display head-to-head for the first time on November 8.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Date: Sunday, November 15 (Week 10)
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium
  • Marquee Players: QB Tony Romo, WR Dez Bryant, LB Sean Lee
  • Key Losses: RB DeMarco Murray, LB Bruce Carter, LB Justin Durant
  • Key Additions: RB Darren McFadden, DE Greg Hardy

Must-See Storyline: Three of the Buccaneers biggest free agent signings so far this offseason were starters on the Cowboys defense a year ago. DT Henry Melton, LB Bruce Carter and CB Sterling Moore accounted for 157 tackles, six sacks and 28 passes defensed last season in 45 games played. Carter also tacked on five interceptions. The trio should make a smooth transition into the Buccaneers defense as the Cowboys deploy a similar defensive scheme to that of the Buccaneers. Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli spent five years working with Lovie Smith on the Bucs defensive coaching staff from 1996-2000. He also joined Smith in Chicago, serving as his Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator from 2009-2012. The defensive similarities don't stop there – long-time Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin currently serves as the Dallas Cowboys Assistant Defensive Head Coach. Because of their familiarity with the system, this Bucs free agent group should be a meaty storyline when their former team rolls into Raymond James Stadium.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Date: Sunday, November 22 (Week 11)
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: Lincoln Financial Field
  • Marquee Players: TE Zach Ertz, OT Jason Peters, LB Connor Barwin
  • Key Losses: QB Nick Foles, RB LeSean McCoy, WR Jeremy Maclin
  • Key Additions: QB Sam Bradford, RB DeMarco Murray, CB Byron Maxwell

Must-See Storyline: During the offseason, the Eagles made a dramatic overhaul which included dealing their starting quarterback, Nick Foles, to the Rams and sending Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo. In the trade for Foles, the Eagles acquired Sam Bradford, a former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. But Bradford hasn't played a regular season game since October 2013 after suffering ACL injuries in each of the past two seasons. The team's biggest offseason acquisition, though, was that of running back DeMarco Murray, 2014's Offensive Player of the Year. Last season, Murray ran for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns in his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. The addition of corners Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond should help a secondary that was ranked 31st in the league against the pass in 2014.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Date: Sunday, November 29 (Week 12)
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Marquee Players: QB Andrew Luck, WR T.Y. Hilton, CB Vontae Davis
  • Key Losses: RB Trent Richardson, C A.Q. Shipley, DE Cory Redding
  • Key Additions: WR Andre Johnson, RB Frank Gore, LB Trent Cole

Must-See Storyline: The Buccaneers' matchup against the Colts could potentially pin the last two quarterbacks selected first overall in the draft against one another. Andrew Luck was selected No. 1 overall by Indianapolis in 2012. He threw for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns his rookie season, leading the Colts to the playoffs. Luck is one of 12 rookie quarterbacks in NFL history to lead their teams to the playoffs, a list that includes Dan Marino, John Elway and Ben Roethlisberger.

St. Louis Rams

  • Date: Thursday, December 17 (Week 15)
  • Time: 8:25 PM ET
  • Location: Edward Jones Dome
  • Marquee Players: WR Tavon Austin, DE Robert Quinn, DT Aaron Donald
  • Key Losses: QB Sam Bradford and DT Kendall Langford
  • Key Additions: QB Nick Foles, DT Nick Fairley, LB Akeem Ayers

Must-See Storyline: In 2015, the Rams and Bucs will meet for the fourth season in a row, which is unusual considering they play in different divisions. When the two teams met in 2014, quarterback Josh McCown ran for two touchdowns. He had scored just four times on the ground in his previous nine seasons. But the Bucs fell, 19-17.

Chicago Bears

  • Date: Sunday, December 27 (Week 16)
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Location: Raymond James Stadium
  • Marquee Players: RB Matt Forte, WR Alshon Jeffery, DE Jared Allen
  • Key Losses: WR Brandon Marshall, DT Stephen Paea, S Chris Conte
  • Key Additions: LB Pernell McPhee, LB Mason Foster, S Antrel Rolle

Must-See Storyline: Lovie Smith, of course, made a name for himself as the Chicago Bears' head coach from 2004-2012. After his first season with the Bears, he took the team from 5-11 and fourth place in the NFC North to 11-5, first in the division, and their second playoff appearance in over a decade. His defense in that second season as head coach ranked second in the NFL yards allowed and first in points allowed. Last season, Smith coached against his former team for the first time in the November winds of Soldier Field. This year, in Smith's second season at the helm for the Buccaneers, the Bears will venture to central Florida to face the Bucs on our home turf.

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