Buccaneers begin regular season against Cowboys

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2021 regular season schedule, released Thursday by the National Football League, is highlighted by five primetime appearances, marking the second consecutive season that Tampa Bay has been scheduled for the maximum number of primetime games.

The NFL also announced the preseason schedule on Wednesday, which features the Buccaneers hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 on Saturday, Aug. 14 followed by the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 on Saturday, Aug. 21. Both games will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys will kick off the 2021 NFL season with a Thursday night showdown on Sept. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Tampa Bay will be making its first appearance in the NFL Kickoff game since its inception in 2002. The Buccaneers and Cowboys have played twice in Week 1, with the most recent meeting occurring in 2009.

Tampa Bay’s first divisional matchup of the year will take place in Week 2 when the Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX). Bruce Arians will look to improve on his 12-4 record (includes interim year) against rookie head coaches as first-year head coach Arthur Smith comes to Tampa Bay.

In Week 3, the Buccaneers will hit the road for the first time, traveling to the West Coast to face off against the Los Angeles Rams in Tampa Bay’s first ever trip to SoFi Stadium – the site of Super Bowl LVI. The 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff (FOX) on Sunday, Sept. 26, will mark the Buccaneers’ first visit to Los Angeles since setting a franchise record for points scored in a 55-40 win over the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2019.

When Tampa Bay travels to play the New England Patriots in Week 4, it will mark quarterback Tom Brady’s first trip back to Foxborough as a visiting player, facing the team with which he won the first six of his NFL-record seven Super Bowl titles. The Patriots are the last remaining team that Brady has not beaten over the course of his historic 21-year career. He will get the chance to pick up that win on Sunday Night Football, with an 8:20 p.m. kickoff on NBC.

The Buccaneers will be looking for their fourth consecutive home win against the Miami Dolphins in Week 5 with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS. Overall, the Buccaneers have won five of their past six matchups with the Dolphins, and Miami has never beaten Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium.

Tampa Bay plays its third primetime game of the season in Week 6 on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) when the Buccaneers travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football at Lincoln Financial Field. Tampa Bay will be playing in Philadelphia for the first time since 2015, when the Buccaneers earned a 45-17 win.

The Buccaneers will attempt to win their third consecutive home meeting with the Chicago Bears in Week 7 at 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS). The matchup will mark the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the two teams have played one another.

Tampa Bay and the division rival New Orleans Saints will go head-to-head for the first time in 2021 on Sunday, Oct. 31, at 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX). It will be the first matchup since the Buccaneers defeated the Saints, 30-20, in the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs. Tampa Bay will play on Halloween for the first time since 2010 when the Buccaneers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 38-35.

Following a Week 9 Bye, the Buccaneers head to FedExField to face the Washington Football Team. FedExField was the site of the Buccaneers’ 31-23 Wild Card victory on their path to a Super Bowl LV championship. Including the postseason, the Buccaneers have won three of their past four road meetings with Washington dating back to 2010. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET (FOX).

For the second consecutive season, Tampa Bay will play the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The Buccaneers and Giants are matching up for the fifth time in as many years, marking the longest streak of consecutive seasons the two franchises have met.

The Week 12 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts marks Bruce Arians’ second trip back to Indianapolis since he served as the Colts interim head coach in 2012, and his first with Tampa Bay. Arians owns a 6-0 record all-time at Lucas Oil Stadium, including five wins as an interim head coach. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET (FOX).

After a Week 13 road meeting with the Falcons on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. ET (FOX), a pair of conference title game participants from last season will match up in Week 14, as the Buccaneers host the Buffalo Bills. The Bills most recent trip to Raymond James Stadium came in 2013 when Tampa Bay topped Buffalo, 27-6, earning the third consecutive home win against the Bills.

Tampa Bay will play back-to-back divisional games in Weeks 15 and 16, hosting the Saints on Sunday Night Football on Dec. 19, at 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) and visiting the Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 26, at 1 p.m. ET (FOX). The Week 15 game will mark Tampa Bay’s fourth appearance on Sunday Night Football over the past two seasons.

The Buccaneers will take on the New York Jets in Week 17 at 1 p.m. ET (FOX) on Sunday, Jan. 2, before concluding the season with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff (FOX) on Sunday, Jan. 9, vs. the Panthers in Week 18, as part of the NFL’s first 17-game season in league history.


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