On Tuesday, the NFL announced that in 2021, the league will officially move to a 17-game schedule, the first change to the regular season game total since 1978. So, what does that mean for the defending Super Bowl Champions?
Well, it means that in addition to what would have been their 16-game schedule, they will now play the Indianapolis Colts. In addition, if both the Chiefs and Bucs win their division in 2021, then we will get a Super Bowl LV rematch during the 2022 regular season.
Here is the Buccaneers complete 2021 regular-season schedule:
Bucs Home Opponents
Cowboys, Giants, Bills, Dolphins, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Bears
Bucs Away Opponents
Eagles, Patriots, Football Team, Jets, Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Rams, Colts
One player that is sure to enjoy the extra game is quarterback, Tom Brady, who, at the end of his career (right?), will be able to squeeze a few more games out of the regular season. Currently, Brady sits 36 wins (regular and postseason) shy of 300 for his career. In order to reach that mark, he will most certainly need to play three more seasons, however, he can make a lot of progress over the next two, of which he is under contract already.
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Outside of divisional matchups, the most anticipated game on the schedule is likely the Buccaneers trip up to Foxborough to take on Brady’s former team, the Patriots. Now, a year ago the Patriots were a 7-9 team and missed the playoffs. Regardless of how good they are, they should be much improved, this game should get National billing with Brady’s return to Gillette to take on Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Of course, the Buccaneers franchise will have a bit of a reunion as well as they will face off against their former signal-caller, Jameis Winston, twice as he has taken the reigns in New Orleans following Drew Brees’ retirement.