The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2015 regular-season schedule, released on Tuesday by the National Football League, features matchups against the AFC South and the NFC East and includes home battles versus the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
The Buccaneers start regular-season play at home on Sept. 13, as the Tennessee Titans travel to Raymond James Stadium for a late afternoon kickoff, marking only the fifth time since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger that teams with the first and second overall picks in the previous draft have faced one another in the season opener.
In Week 2, Tampa Bay faces its first divisional game of the season, traveling to New Orleans on Sept. 20 to take on the Saints, followed by a road trip to the Houston Texans on Sept. 27. The two teams have faced one another only three times in the regular season, and a win would mark the Buccaneers’ first road victory against the Texans
Tampa Bay returns home in Week 4 to battle the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 4 before welcoming the Jacksonville Jaguars to Tampa on Oct. 11. The Buccaneers are 1-4 against the Jaguars, but 1-1 when playing at home.
On Oct. 25, following a Week 6 bye, the Buccaneers travel to the Washington Redskins, a common opponent in recent years. Tampa Bay has faced Washington in three of the past four seasons and has come out with a win in both of its most recent trips to the Capitol (2010, 2014).
Traveling to Georgia on Nov. 11, the Buccaneers will take on the Atlanta Falcons, giving Tampa Bay Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter his first chance to call plays against his former team. Despite division familiarity, the Falcons will be a new-look team for the Buccaneers, operating with an overhauled coaching staff under first-year head coach Dan Quinn.
Football returns to Raymond James Stadium in Weeks 9-10, featuring back-to-back games against the NFC East.
First, the New York Giants come to town for a late afternoon game on Nov. 8. The Buccaneers look to take the lead in the home series, which stands at 5-5. The following week, on Nov. 15, newly-acquired Buccaneers Bruce Carter, Henry Melton and Sterling Moore will square off against their former team, the Dallas Cowboys. The Buccaneers are 2-3 when facing the Cowboys at home.
Tampa Bay then heads to the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 22. A win would mark the first victory in Philadelphia since a 17-0 shutout to open the 2003 season (Tampa Bay lost at Philadelphia in 2009). The 2003 win – the first regular-season game played at Lincoln Financial Field – came on the heels of Tampa Bay’s NFC Championship Game victory against the Eagles at Veterans Stadium on January 19, 2003.
A Week 12 trip to the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 29 will mark only the fifth time that the Buccaneers and Colts have met in the regular season, and the third time in Indianapolis. The series is split, 2-2, with a 1-1 record both home and away.
Returning home to open the final month of the regular season, the Buccaneers face two division rivals in a row. The Falcons visit on Dec. 6, as Tampa Bay looks to add to the 13-10 advantage that it holds over Atlanta when playing at Raymond James Stadium. The New Orleans Saints then come to town on Dec. 13.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Buccaneers in Week 15, as the team hits the road for a primetime appearance on Thursday Night Football at the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 17. Tampa Bay and St. Louis have matched up for the past three consecutive years (2012-14).
The Chicago Bears visit on Dec. 27 in Tampa Bay’s final home game of the season. Chicago’s head coach, John Fox, is new to the team but is a familiar face in the NFC South, having led the Carolina Panthers from 2002-2010. The Bears are 2-4 all-time at Raymond James Stadium.
The 2015 regular-season campaign ends at the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 3.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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