When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2005 schedule came out in April, it was noteworthy mostly for its homogeneity. Not only were the Bucs slated to play 14 of their 16 games on Sunday afternoon – with two Saturday contests in December – but virtually every game was set to kick off at 1:00 p.m.
Not anymore. The NFL has adjusted the schedule a bit, moving kickoff for the Buccaneers' November 13 home game against the Washington Redskins from 1:00 p.m. ET to 4:15 p.m. ET.
The move was made to highlight the Bucs-Skins clash on FOX's late-afternoon schedule. It will now be shown to good portion of the national audience, an indication that the two teams are a greater draw than the schedule-makers expected in April. Tampa Bay is 5-2 and tied for first in the NFC South; Washington is 4-3 and in the thick of a thrilling, four-team race in the loaded NFC East.
The rescheduled kickoff makes the Washington game the only late-afternoon game the Bucs will play in the Eastern Time Zone. The team just returned from a trip to San Francisco, where it played a game that started at 1:15 local time but 4:15 in Tampa.
The only other game on the Bucs' schedule that is slated for a national audience is their December 17 trip to New England. That Saturday game will kick off at 1:30 p.m. ET and is part of a limited NFL schedule on that day. The Bucs will also play on Saturday the following week at home against Atlanta, but so will the rest of the NFL to avoid scheduling games on Christmas Day.
Tickets will not be reissued with the new time. All original tickets to the game remain valid.
The NFL actually announced three kickoff changes on Monday, including the Bucs-Redskins game. The other two were a switch of CBS games on November 20, as the Colts-Bengals game will be moved from 1:00 to 4:15 and the Steelers-Ravens game will make the opposite move.