The Buccaneers will kick off the 2012 regular season at home hosting Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Tampa Bay wraps up the regular season as they did last year with a trip to Atlanta to take on the Falcons.
The NFL announced the 2012 schedule tonight and the Buccaneers will kick of the season with a home game against the Panthers September 9, and close the season with division rival the Atlanta Falcons December 30.
With the expansion of more Thursday night games the 4-12 season the Buccaneers will get their prime-time shot October 25 at Minnesota on Thursday night.
Josh Freeman will face the New York Giants and Eli Manning for the first time in his career September 2 when Tampa Bay travels to New York. November 11 new Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson will face head coach Norv Turner and his former teammates, the San Diego Chargers, at Raymond James Stadium in a 1 p.m. contest.
Another notable contest will be December 2 when Tampa Bay travels to what will more than likely be a chilly INVESCO Field to face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Tampa Bay's matchups with the four NFC East teams are concentrated in the season's first month. On the other hand, its four games against AFC West teams make up a bulk of the middle of the schedule, with Kansas City in Week Six, Oakland in Week Nine, San Diego in Week 10 and Denver in Week 13. The Chiefs will be making their first regular-season visit to Tampa since 2004, a game won by the Buccaneers, 34-31.
The Buccaneers are scheduled to play six games against teams that made the postseason in 2011, including two each against division foes Atlanta and New Orleans. The other 2011 playoff teams on Tampa Bay's schedule are the New York Giants (Week Two) and the Denver Broncos (Week 13). The Giants are the defending league champions, having defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI in February. This will mark the earliest Tampa Bay has played the defending Super Bowl champs since 1989, when they took on the San Francisco 49ers in Week Two.
September 9 Carolina Panthers 4:15 FOX
September 16 at New York Giants 1:00 FOX
September 23 at Dallas Cowboys 1:00 FOX
September 30 Washington Redskins 4:15 FOX
October 7 BYE WEEK
October 14 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 CBS
October 21 New Orleans Saints 1:00 FOX
October 25 at Minnesota Vikings 8:20 NFLN
November 4 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 FOX
November 11 San Diego Chargers 1:00 CBS
November 18 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 FOX
November 25 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 FOX
December 2 at Denver Broncos 4:05 FOX
December 9 Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 FOX
December 16 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 FOX
December 23 St. Louis Rams 1:00 FOX
December 30 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 FOX
All games will feature a radio broadcast on Tampa Bay flagship stations 103.5 FM WFUS and 620 AM WDAE, as well as stations throughout Florida that are part of the Buccaneers Radio Network.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.