Tampa Bay BuccaneersTom Brady and the Buccaneers will once again play five prime-time games during the regular season, beginning right away with a Week One Sunday night contest in Dallas Scott Smith
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Tom Brady at the helm, won the Super Bowl in 2020 and tied for the league's best record in 2021. The NFL clearly expects the Buccaneers to be a big part of the story of the 2022 season, as well.
The NFL revealed its entire 272-game regular season for 2022 on Thursday night and Tampa Bay is featured prominently in its nationally-televised spotlights, beginning immediately in Week One. The first of the Buccaneers' five prime-time games is a Week One Sunday Night Football showcase in Dallas and the second comes just three weeks later on another Sunday night at home versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Buccaneers also play late-afternoon games against the Green Bay Packers in Week Three, the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in Week Nine and the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15, all of which will have widespread audiences. Overall, Tampa Bay has been scheduled for five prime-time games for the third year in a row, coinciding with Brady's arrival. Brady briefly contemplated retirement early in the offseason but has committed to chasing another Lombardi Trophy with the Buccaneers in 2022.
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The Buccaneers have eight games scheduled against playoff teams from 2021, including all four of the conference championship games. Not included in that are 2022 opponents Baltimore, Cleveland, Seattle and New Orleans, all of whom were in the playoffs in 2020 and could reasonably be considered strong postseason contenders this year.
The NFL introduced an enhanced schedule in 2021 that covers 17 games per team over 18 weeks, this year concluding on January 8. The Buccaneers get their bye in the latter half of that schedule, in Week 11, with 10 games before and seven after. The added game is a fifth interconference matchup, with the Buccaneers drawing the Chiefs for a rematch of Super Bowl LV.
As was previously announced, Tampa Bay's 2022 schedule also notably includes the first game ever to be played in Germany. The Buccaneers were the designated team for that contest, to be staged at Allianz Arena in Munich, and will take on the Seattle Seahawks. This game will replace the normal ninth NFC home game.
Below is the Buccaneers' 2022 game schedule, including the three-game preseason slate which is still awaiting specific dates and times, followed by more notes (all times Eastern):
All times Eastern and subject to change.Sunday night games in Weeks 5-17 subject to change.A select number of games may also be "cross-flexed" between CBS and FOX.
Here are some additional notes regarding the Buccaneers' 2022 schedule:
As noted, the Bucs have been scheduled for five prime-time games for the third season in a row. Specifically, three of those five evening games are on NBC's Sunday Night Football. This is the first time in franchise history that the Buccaneers have been scheduled for three Sunday night games in one season. From 2009 through 2019, Tampa Bay played just one Sunday night contest; they have been scheduled for seven over the past three seasons (one, at Las Vegas in 2020, was eventually moved to the afternoon due to COVID-19 issues).Thanks to the Week 10 game in Germany, the Buccaneers will get their bye in Week 11, as teams are typically given the week off after an overseas trip. This marks just the third time in team history that Tampa Bay has drawn a bye in Week 11 or later. They had Week 14 off in 1990, the first season the NFL inserted byes into the schedule, and the 2020 Super Bowl season included a Week 13 bye. The 2017 Buccaneers were originally scheduled to have Week 11 off but Hurricane Irma forced the NFL to push the Tampa Bay-Miami Game from Week One to that original bye.The Buccaneers and Cardinals will play the final game of a Christmas Day NFL triple-header in Week 16 at Arizona. It will mark the first time the Buccaneers have ever played on Christmas Day. They have had eight previous games on Christmas Eve day, most recently at Carolina in 2017.This is the first time in nearly four decades that the Buccaneers will play the same team in their season opener in consecutive years. The Bucs beat the Cowboys, 31-29, in the NFL's Kickoff Game last year. The last time Tampa Bay played the same team in Week One in back-to-back seasons was in 1984 and 1985, when both campaigns opened at Chicago. The Buccaneers also opened the 1981 and 1982 seasons against Minnesota. Both the Bears and Vikings were division foes for Tampa Bay in the 1980s, so this marks the first time that Tampa Bay has ever had consecutive season openers against the same non-division foe.Not only are the Bucs and Cowboys going back to back in Week Ones, but this will mark the fourth time overall that they have opened a season against each other. In 2001, the Buccaneers won a Week One game at Dallas, 10-6. In 2009, the Cowboys came to Tampa on opening weekend and left with a 34-21 decision. This year's opener will put the Cowboys into a tie with five other clubs as the teams against which Tampa Bay has most often started a season. The other five are Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, New Orleans and Philadelphia, all with four games. (The Bucs were not scheduled to play the Bears first in 2017 but their original Week One game against Miami was moved to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma.)It does not appear the Buccaneers will encounter too much cold weather during the 2022 regular season. Their final three trips in December and January are to San Francisco, Phoenix and Atlanta, and the Falcons stadium has a retractable roof. (State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona has a retractable roof, too, but cold weather is hardly a worry in the Valley.) The most likely cold-weather trips will be to Munich in Week 10 and Cleveland in Week 12. Munich is typically quite cold in November, with an average temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit, and Allianz Arena does not have a complete roof.As has become part of the scheduling format, every team will play a division opponent in Week 18; in the Bucs' case, that means a trip to Atlanta for the regular-season finale. The Buccaneers have a home against Carolina in Week 17, marking the first time since 2017 that they will finish the season with two straight intradivision games.The Buccaneers will have a three-game homestand in September and October, with consecutive visits from Green Bay, Kansas City and Atlanta in Weeks Three to Five. This marks the first time since 2018 that Tampa Bay has been schedule for three consecutive homes. The Bucs beat San Francisco and Carolina and lost to New Orleans at Raymond James Stadium in Weeks 12-14 of the 2018 campaign. The Bucs will also start the season with two consecutive road trips for the first time since 2016, when they won at Atlanta in Week One and lost at Arizona in Week Two.As noted above, the Buccaneers have eight games against teams that were in the 2021 playoffs, and that includes three of their final five opponents. Tampa Bay faces San Francisco, Cincinnati and Arizona in consecutive games from Weeks 14-16.The Buccaneers will get a chance to break two of their three longest losing streaks in the head-to-head series with other teams. Tampa Bay has lost seven straight games to New Orleans in the regular season (though they did capture the 2020 Divisional Playoff contest in the Superdome). They are currently riding four-game losing streaks to both Baltimore and Houston but only have the Ravens on their 2022 schedule. The Bucs longest active winning streaks, four games each, are against division opponents Atlanta and Carolina.
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