A visit from the Cincinnati Bengals will get the Bucs into the swing of things in 2004
Let the games begin…on August 14.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2004 season will kick off on the second Saturday of August, as they welcome the Cincinnati Bengals to town to open a four-game preseason slate. The Bucs will play three Saturday night games in the state of Florida before finishing the preseason in Houston on Thursday, September 2.
The Buccaneers announced their preseason opponents and the weeks in which they would meet each team on March 22. On Friday, dates and times were added; later this month, the National Football League will announce the full, regular-season schedule.
Tampa Bay's 2004 preseason schedule is as follows:
|Sat.||August 14||CINCINNATI||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat.||August 21||at Jacksonville||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Sat.||August 28||MIAMI||7:00 p.m. ET|
|Thurs.||September 2||at Houston||TBA|
After four seasons of unusual preseason arrangements, the Bucs have returned to a more typical schedule, with the first three games all on Saturday.
The Thursday finisher will afford the team one extra day to prepare for the regular season opener on the weekend of September 12. While the kickoff time for the preseason finale has not yet been finalized, it will be an evening game.
That contest will mark the third straight year that the Bucs have finished their preseason against the Houston Texans. In 2002, a 17-13 win at Houston's Reliant Stadium preceded Tampa Bay's first championship season. Last year, the Texans visited Tampa for the last preseason contest, with the Bucs prevailing, 34-3.
The Bucs first road trip of the year will be to Jacksonville on August 21. The Bucs and Jags are also in the midst of a three-year preseason series, with Tampa Bay winning at Jacksonville, 20-0, in 2002 and 10-6 at Raymond James Stadium last year. In '02, the Bucs opted to take buses to Jacksonville from their training camp site in Orlando.
Miami's trip to Tampa in week three of the preseason will pit those two in-state foes for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. The Bucs have won the last two games against Miami, 20-19 last year in Pro Player Stadium and 14-10 two years ago in Tampa.
The Buccaneers have a 7-2 record in two preseasons under Head Coach Jon Gruden. Since 1999, Tampa Bay is 15-6 in the preseason, with an 8-2 mark at home.