The NFL schedule has finally been released. We know who the Buccaneers will open against (the Saints in New Orleans), who they close the season against (Atlanta), and everything in-between as their franchise seeks its second Super Bowl title.
MUST READ: The Bucs 2020 Schedule
With Tom Brady in the fold, the Buccaneers were given five primetime games in 2020. Or, in other words, one more than they had in 2003 after they won Super Bowl 37. In addition, they will go through the quarterback gauntlet this season, facing off against Drew Brees (twice), Matt Ryan (twice), Aaron Rodgers, and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.
So, what are the five toughest games on the Bucs schedule in 2020?
5. Week 5 (10/8) – at Chicago Bears – 8:20 pm EST (TNF)
Don’t underestimate the Bears’ defense. The offense, at this moment, may still be a question mark but the unit, led by Khalil Mack, will be a formidable adversary for a Bucs offense who may still be finding its rhythm at this early point of the year. Add in the fact that it is the Bucs first primetime game of the year on a short week.
4. Week 6 (10/18) – vs Green Bay Packers – 4:25 pm EST
The battle of the two quarterbacks that headlined the All-Decade Team of the 2010s, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers don’t get together often but both teams figure to be at the top of the NFC standings by years end and this early season showdown could very well factor into playoff seeding later in the season.
3. Week 9 (11/8) – vs New Orleans Saints – 8:20 pm EST (SNF)
Another primetime game. This happens to be the third one in a row and coming off a week in which they play on Monday Night. By week nine, the division race will be shaping up and many anticipate this game will carry a lot of weight. Especially since it is the last time these two teams meet in 2020. Assuming they don’t meet in the playoffs. The good thing for the Bucs is that this is a home game but it is never easy going up against Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara. It seems reasonable to think that the Bucs offense will be far more in sync than in their first meeting of the season in Week One. The Bucs went 0-2 against the Saints in 2019 getting outscored 65-41.
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2. Week 12 (11/29) – vs Kansas City Chiefs – 4:25 pm EST
Anytime the Super Bowl Champions come to town, it is a big game. This year, it carries more weight as it could be a potential Super Bowl 55 preview. And, of course, it has the Brady vs. Mahomes element. Fortunately, the Bucs host this game, however, offense shouldn’t be an issue for Brady and the Tampa offense. It’s the defense that will have to figure out how to slow down the Chiefs high powered offense.
1. Week 1 (9/13) – at New Orleans Saints – 4:25 pm EST
It is probably a good thing to get this game out of the way early. The Tom Brady era in Tampa begins in New Orleans against the division rival Saints. This is the second time a Saints/Bucs matchup made this list and for good reason. On paper, Brady has the best offensive weapons around him in quite some time. However, all but a recently unretired Rob Gronkowski is familiar to him so, on top of facing your biggest threat in the division on their home field, it will be the first time many of these guys play with Brady in a real football game. There could be some adjustment time needed.