NFL schedule leaks are inevitable this time of year but trying to discern legitimate leaks from fake Internet guessers has been a challenge.

Now we know.

The Buccaneers will open the season at New Orleans before debuting the Tom Brady era in Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic uncertainty the NFL schedule was released a little later this year, but could also change depending on the health of the country. The NFL says they plan on playing a full 16-game schedule on time, however they also have contingency plans in case things don’t improve before September.

Below is the complete schedule, which features five prime time games:

W1: at New Orleans: Sept. 13, 4:25 p.m.
W2: vs. Carolina: Sept. 20, 1 p.m.
W3: at Denver: Sept, 27, 4:25 p.m.
W4: vs. Chargers: Oct. 4, 1 p.m.
W5: at Bears (TNF): Oct. 8, 8:20 p.m.
W6: vs. Packers: Oct. 18, 4:25 p.m.
W7: at Raiders (SNF): Oct. 25, 8:20 p.m.
W8: at Giants (MNF): Nov. 2, 8:15 p.m.
W9: vs. Saints (SNF): Nov. 8, 8:20 p.m.
W10: at Panthers: Nov. 15, 1 p.m.
W11: vs. Rams (MNF): Nov. 23, 8:15 p.m.
W12: vs. Chiefs: Nov. 29, 4:25 p.m.
W13: Bye Week
14: vs. Vikings: Dec. 13, 1 p.m.
W15: at Falcons: Dec. 20, 1 p.m.
W16: at Lions: Dec. 26/27, TBD
W17: vs. Falcons: Jan. 3, 1 p.m.

Compared to last season, the NFL schedule makers have done a much better – and a more fair – job in putting together this year’s schedule. While opening at New Orleans will be the most difficult game of the season, Tampa Bay will come home in Tom Brady’s home debut to take on the rebuilding Panthers under first year he’d coach Matt Rhule.

Tampa Bay won’t be gone from Raymond James Stadium any longer than a two week stretch, but the NFL does have the Buccaneers playing back-to-back-to-back primetime games midseason with two of the three on the road.

Tampa Bay will have their latest bye week ever, coming in Week 13 this season before closing out the season with road games against the Falcons and Lions sandwiched in between two home games including facing the Falcons again this year to close out the season.

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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TBChucky

5 prime time games! I personally would’ve liked to get into rhythm before we faced Brees and the Saints! But hopefully we’ll still have Gronk!

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BadgerW4

To be fair, I’m sure the Saints fans and Sean Payton are saying the same thing.

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twspin

To be the best ya gotta beat the best. Rain/sleet/snow. We say the 50 mil man gonna take us to the kingdom. I don’t wanna hear No excuses. Batter up sir.

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Spitfire

There’s still such thing as getting to know a whole new system and players. Having a few weeks before it got tough would have been nice, but out of our control. We kicked the s**t outta the Saints early a couple years ago when they were surprised by Fitz, so hopefully it will be the same story this year.

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FLBoy84

2MNF (1 home), 1 TNF and 2SNF (1 home)… love it. Like the Wk13 bye to hopefully get healthy for a playoff run too…

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geno711

4 starts on Sunday at 4:25 PM as well meaning they are the national games as well. Saints, Packers, Broncos and Chiefs.

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BucRy

This won’t be easy, but do I see 2 MNF games for the bucs? Wow.

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FLBoy84

One’s at home too. Should be fun.

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BadgerW4

It’s such a good feeling to get some respect!

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Alldaway 2.0

Middle portion of schedule will be tough but the week 13 bye will allow the Bucs to recharge for the final stretch. 2 divisional games against Atlanta, Minnesota and Detroit. That is four NFC games down the stretch.

Bucs take care of business in 2020 and things may turn out promising after all.

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BadgerW4

Middle of the season will be tough, I agree, but I also foresee a 5-1 start.

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Spitfire

It’s definitely built to succeed in a Playoff push. Getting a bye week late will allow us to recharge and get any injured guys back for the playoffs. If we crap the bed it will be for nothing but if we do well, it could work in our favor.

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BrooklynBucsFan

The front half of our schedule seems full of winnable games. It’s a favorable first half schedule do that should be helpful with the shortened off season schedule. Aside from the Saints game of course. That’s a tough opener. But I could see us opening 5-1 or 4-2.

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BadgerW4

I can easily see 5-1… and if we beat the Saints? Dare I say 6-0 is possible?

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FLBoy84

Also love that we only have two 1:00 home starts early in the season when it’s hottest, and only 6 overall. Actually have as many 8:00 starts as we do 1:00.

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AlbJack65

What the hell are you talking about? 1PM home starts vs. northern and dome teams are a great home field advantage early to mid season when it’s hot. For someone who claims to be a “Florida boy” you make no sense.

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FLBoy84

Please show us where 1pm home starts have proven to be a “great home field advantage”. We’ll wait…. Great in theory and as a talking point, but have proven to mean nothing otherwise other than it being hot.

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Dave

I personally don’t want too many 1 pm home games early as Brady gets adjusted to the heat. The heat isn’t for everyone. He’s always struggled in Miami, and always played his best in the cold or snow. Would rather those 1 pm games late in the year.

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awwdembucs

Good point Dave.

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AlbJack65

Over the last several years you are probably right. It used to be an advantage. It SHOULD be an advantage.

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BucHarbour

I’ve yet to see the 1pm September games prove to be an advantage. It’s so brutally hot, both teams get affected negatively by it. It sucks for fans, as well. I’ll never forget being in the endzone at the old Sombrero for that KC with Montana at QB game. Good Lord was it brutal. I remember buying 2 of those 32oz pink lemonades and downing them both in less than 10 minutes just to stay hydrated. Got a burn from the game as well. Teams from both sides were suffering and doing everything they could to stay cool and hydrated… Read more »

AlbJack65

Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but it seems to me that in the mid 90’s-early 2000’s Northern and dome teams would come in here in Sep. and Oct. and start wilting in the late 3rd and early 4th quarter. The 2002 team had a large percentage of guys who played their college ball in warm weather climates. Add to that the fact that they practiced outdoors in the Florida summer heat and humidity in training camp. I’ve spent a lot of years in the roofing industry in Florida and a new hire from up north always struggled to keep up with… Read more »

Jdgamble31

Overall I love it ! So many prime time games, and a late season bye. Brees is gonna be tough week 1. He’s got the advantage obviously, so much familiarity for him. But if we can steal it ? Man a win right there will go a long way.

Looking like a potentially awesome
season. 🤞🏻

GO BUCS !!

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BDOG

no outdoor cold games. Wow: 5 or 6 primetime games. not sure about KC? tough playing KC wk 12 following Monday nite game, short week but at least at home! fairly balanced home/away schedule. damn opening with NO! maybe good, at least they wont know our game plan or tendencies with new QB! Also play NO on short wk mid season following MNF and also at least at home! 2 toughest games following MNF!

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AlbJack65

Well, possibly a couple. Night time in Chicago on Oct. 8th and night time in New York on Nov. 2nd have the potential to be fairly cold. At least they didn’t send us to Denver in December.

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AlbJack65

I get a thumbs down for pointing out that it might be cold at night in the fall in the north? Damn. Tough crowd!

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scot pederson

Once the WRs & TEs all get on the same page with Brady just who exactly can stop this offense? Last season no one could stop us without Gronk except us. We stopped ourselves with 30 Picks, fumbles lost, etc.

Perhaps the Ravens D is the only D that might be trouble for us but dont see them on the schedule. Yes, the 9ers D is tough but we are at home for that one.

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AlbJack65

The 9ers are not on the schedule either.

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AlbJack65

Now I get a thumbs down for pointing out the fact that the 49ers aren’t on the schedule? Damn, this really IS a tough crowd!

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AlbJack65

Isn’t it time for naplesfan to chime in and attempt to bring everybody down by claiming there won’t be a season?

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Dave

5 prime time games, 7 or 8 nationally televised if you count the 4pm Packers, Chiefs, and Broncos. I like that not all our prime time games are potential dogfights, with the Bears and Giants thrown in there.

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mdbuc

I’m thinking anything less than 11 wins is a disappointment looking at this schedule. So many winnable games in between the tough ones. And to think about our team having a third of the turnovers we did last season!

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hawkeye

If the Buc don’t generate a running game it won’t matter who they play its not gone to be good. They need better running backs.

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seat26

Good Schedule. Things are falling into place for a winning season.

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FireLichtMovement

Week 13 bye is a solid one. Strength of schedule says we rank in the middle of the pack at 16. If you’re a Buc fan and aren’t fired up about this season, you may want to pick a new team. Best shot of making a run in the playoffs since we won it. 4 of the last 6 games at home. Leggo!!!

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plopes808

Much more forgiving schedule than last year! As an NFL Sunday ticket subscriber though, I would’ve liked a few less tv games…guess I’ll be keeping my cable subscription too.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

13-3 all day long!

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BigSombrero

Not 16-0???? The Bucs have Tom Brady!

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bucballer

I’ll say 4-2 start is realistic. I’ll take that. I’m not saying we can’t do even better I’m just trying to manage expectations. I do know this… it’s going to be one hellva of a season for Buc fans! The excitement level is at a fevered pitch. Multi national audience games… I’m beginning to think it ain’t just bucfans that think the Bucs might be on to something special! National media is obsessed with TB and Gronk and the band getting back together on the Bucs! Can’t wait! I’ll tell u one thing… I can’t even tell u how happy… Read more »

BigSombrero

Waited to comment. Glad to see everyone agreeing with me that the Bucs have an easy schedule.

I’ve only been saying it for months.

I thought Gruden on SNF would open the season, but it came to pass. Still correct that the Bucs get Gruden on Sunday night.

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Dave

We sure as hell aren’t getting any respect week 1. Opening line has Saints -6.5. I figured maybe 4.5-5. Definitely didn’t see a TD favorite. It’s ok, Brady’s gone 29-18 SU as a dog in his career. And 33-13-1 ATS. He’s as his best when he’s doubted.

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BigSombrero

Seems like a rational argument Dave. You should put $500 on it.

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Dave

Trolls R’ us

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scubog

Regarding the Schedule I’ve always taken a Ronde Barber, “It is what it is” position. Of course there will be the inevitable predictions of the anticipated outcome of each game. At least this season, I don’t think many of our opponent’s fans will be automatically “eating a W” when guessing how their team will fare against the mighty Bucs. Well, except maybe that new Saints fan sitting on their bench getting that “Harvard education from Drew Brees instead of Google”. Our vacation and weekend getaways planning starts with the release of the Bucs Schedule. We don’t do anything that would… Read more »

Crazyhorse54

Guessing the Bucs will finish at 8-8 maybe 9-7

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FireLichtMovement

I think most record predictions have to do with if you see the glass half full, or half empty. No predictions from me, but hopeful optimism should be rampant.

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plopes808

Already working on scheduling a flight out to Vegas for Oct 25th. This may be my best chance to finally catch a live game. Plus a trip to Vegas so, 2 birds one stone

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plopes808

Wow, the flight and hotel are doable but they’re asking $5k a seat to sit behind the visitors bench. Looks like I better start a gofund me….maybe the PR staff can put in a good word with the players for some donations lol

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