The Buccaneers 2020 schedule is out and Tampa Bay will be on display more than ever before. The Bucs will play in primetime the maximum-allotted five times this season and will play three night games in a row from Weeks Seven through Nine. Since 2002, the Bucs have only played 17 night games. The five times in 2020 will be a franchise record.
Bucs fans were abuzz with this news, relishing in the fact that Tampa Bay will be on the coveted national stage. Buccaneers games will be more widely available than ever before and the team itself is ready for it.
Just ask Head Coach Bruce Arians.
After the draft, Arians said he welcomes the exposure. "I want our guys to feel like we're the team to beat... I think everyone that walks in our building is expecting to win," he said.
Arians then went on the NFL's Schedule Release '20 show on Thursday night to talk about the State of the Bucs and what he thinks of their current slate. And are the expectations Super Bowl?
"I think that's our goal every year – to put a ring on your finger," said Arians. "There's no other reason to play. You have to get in the playoffs first, though. So, for us it's get in the playoffs and see what happens."
The Bucs will be navigating through an unusual offseason with a couple of significant new additions to the team that have to get up to speed, namely Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.Of course, those are two players who are part of the reason for the heightened 'hype' around the Bucs this year.
"I love it," Arians said. "I love the expectations and the excitement that that brings. I think our players will enjoy it and as coaches you have to embrace it and get ready for it. I think our guys are going to be really, really excited about the season."
Speaking of those coaches, here are some observations and things that stood out on the schedule from others on Arians' staff:
-We start against two division opponents. Not only that but opening on the road against the defending division champ New Orleans Saints
-Five primetime games with three on road
-We have a late bye week with the mini bye week (TNF) in Week Five. That's great for getting time to heal and to make late push while being fresh
-No cold weather games... maybe NYG?
-Play division-rival Atlanta twice in three-week period
-No three road games in a row but five of first eight games on road (still MUCH better than last season)
-Play New Orleans then Carolina Weeks One and Two and then again Weeks Nine and 10
-Chance to get off to a great start judging off 2019 records of Weeks 2-5 opponents
-Carolina Week Two could be a challenge though because of the lack of film on new staff and roster turnover
-Did I mention a lot of primetime games?