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Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowksi are Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Yes, that is a factual statement in the year 2020 that at times still doesn’t seem real. And it has been the biggest news thus far in the NFL offseason.

There is more that comes with it than just an X’s and O’s standpoint when talking about Brady and Gronkowski’s arrival in Tampa Bay. Brady has won six Super Bowls in his career, which is the most all time by a starting quarterback in NFL history. He’s been dubbed by many as the greatest of all time due to that accomplishment. Gronkowksi is a three-time Super Bowl champion and became one of the greatest players at his position.

TE Rob Gronkowski and QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

Brady and Gronkowski are present day legends and future Hall Of Famers. Their legacy in the NFL has crossed over into being pop culture celebrities to the point that even those who pay no attention to football know who they are. As a result, the Bucs will garner a lot more national attention because of their celebrity status this year.

After my initial reactions to Brady coming to the Bucs and how he’ll impact the team as a player and leader, I then had another thought – how many prime time games will the Bucs have this season?

Then just a month later, the Bucs traded for Gronkowski, and the answer to that question may have changed.

The Bucs haven’t really been seen under the bright lights of a national TV audience much over the past couple of years. They’ve played in four prime time games over the last three seasons with three of them coming on Thursday Night Football. Brady alone played in five prime time games during the 2019 season.

Exactly how many prime time games will they play? The schedule won’t be announced until later this week, but we already know who Tampa Bay will be playing against. So before we answer that question, let’s take a look at the Bucs’ 2020 opponents, shall we?

Bucs Home Games
Saints
Falcons
Panthers
Chiefs
Chargers
Rams
Vikings
Packers

Bucs Away Games
Saints
Falcons
Panthers
Bears
Lions
Giants
Raiders
Broncos

I brought this question up on Twitter once the Brady signing was a done deal, and after setting an over-under of 3.5 games, I then changed it to 4.5 after many took the over right away.

Right off the bat there are four games that come to mind and they all have to do with the quarterback match-up. Outside of the division, Brady and Tampa Bay will face Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers, which are some ideal nationally televised games. Then inside the NFC South division, Brady and the Bucs have two other superstar match-ups with Drew Brees and the Saints, and Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Bucs QB Tom Brady

Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

You have to imagine that at least one match-up with Brady vs. Brees will happen on Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football, plus a minimum of either Mahomes or Rodgers should find its way into prime time, too.

There are a couple dark horses as well for the possibility of a prime time game. The Raiders could be in play with the Gruden factor, as Pewter Report’s own Scott Reynolds wrote about in January. Brady also has history with the Giants after playing them twice in the Super Bowl, and has played in MetLife Stadium each season against the Jets.

There could also be an interesting dynamic about Brady playing both of the Los Angeles teams since he defeated the Rams in the Super Bowl two seasons ago, and the Chargers were the last team standing in the Brady sweepstakes aside from the Bucs.

There are two more elements that can be added for further context before predicting the number of nationally televised night games for Tampa Bay. One is the Brady factor, which was previously mentioned, and the other, surprisingly enough, is the Cleveland Browns.

If you recall, the Browns were the team with the most hype last offseason after making a series of moves that included trading for Odell Beckham, Jr. Everyone was talking about them and the NFL gave Cleveland four prime time games in 2019. However, the Browns faltered with a 6-10 record and didn’t live up to expectations.

Could the NFL learn from this and not put all of their eggs into one team’s basket this time around? The Bucs are the talk of the town this year, but I don’t think the NFL would pass up the opportunity for ratings, especially given the career status of Brady, Gronkowski and company.

Because of the NFL schedule flex, the Packers and Steelers ended up playing the most prime time games with six. It’s something to keep in mind, but can’t be determined until later on in the year as the wins and losses begin to mount for each team.

Bucs QB Tom Brady - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

There’s another twist in this whole thing that could happen in a scenario where some of those star studded quarterback match-ups happen on Fox’s “America’s Game Of The Week.” This is the 4:15 game on Fox with broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth. And even though those games have a national audience that gives the feel of more prominence than a regular Sunday afternoon game, it technically isn’t prime time.

If I’m putting money on it, I’d say the Bucs get on prime time five times with games against the Saints, Packers, Chiefs, Falcons and a miscellaneous team, such as the Chargers for the fifth spot, with an additional game on America’s Game Of The Week.

To get a pulse on what others thought, I went to Twitter again and put up a poll that had over 700 votes. And after the final count, the predictions have also gone for four games with a whopping 47 percent.

But, this was asked before the Gronkowski trade was made. How much would that change people’s thoughts? This was an updated tally the second time.

Five games took first place with 46 percent of the vote.

Only time will tell how often we see the Bucs on the biggest stage in football.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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Dave
1 year ago

I say 5 or 6 prime time games. I think the Saints(possibly both matchups), Chiefs, and Packers are all locks. With the Raiders, Rams, Vikings, and maybe 1 of the Falcons or Panthers matchups all strong possibilities as well. But it’s probably in the 5-6 range.

DerLutz
1 year ago

I think it will be 5 games. Less than 4 would be a surprise

Pick6
1 year ago

5 games at 1 PM. the rest primetime or 4 PM

AlbJack65
1 year ago

Several prime time games would be nice for a change. As far as “America’s Game of the Week”, ugh! I’m not missing a Bucs game, but if Joe Buck is on the broadcast I’ll have to turn the volume off. He’s a self-righteous douchebag!

BigSombrero
1 year ago

With Flex schuduling of the Sunday Night Football game, the Bucs might be a flex option down the stretch if playoff implications are on the line, especially if it’s a division matchup vs Brees or Ryan.

I would go with 6 games prime time this year, starting week 1 vs Oakland to open their Stadium. I would guess its the Sunday Night game.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

Exactly. If we’re in it late in the season, flexing will probably add a few more to the set in stone total.

EricNV
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

I hope spectators will be allowed for the Raiders game. I’m a 1-hour flight from Vegas.

VTBucs
1 year ago

An early leak a friend sent me shows
ATL – MNF
Giants – TNF
KC – SNF
GB – MNF
NO – SNF

Dave
Reply to  VTBucs
1 year ago

Forgot the Brady vs Giants rivalry. Or at least the NFL thinks it’s one. But that’s more of a BB vs Giants rivalry

BigSombrero
Reply to  VTBucs
1 year ago

Thats great news! I would think Gruden vs Mr. Tuck Rule or Gruden with his original team vs his superbowl team would be a big draw. We will see if it gets the national exposure it deserves!

Naplesfan
1 year ago

It will be more important to determine how many games are actually going to be played in the 2020-21 NFL season. Right now is, nobody knows. The NFL is pretending that their season as planned will be played out as planned, but they are just pretending. There is no vaccine for coronavirus and one won’t be available any time this year. Not only will there be no fans in the stands, but the NFL has to decide how, where, and how many games will actually be played. The logistics even for playing games without the fans are daunting. The players,… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

They already discussed alternatives. Such as starting in December, no bye weeks, no pro bowl week, SB pushed back to February 28th. And no fans in stands for the start of the season

Naplesfan
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

But that doesn’t begin to address the logistics of actually playing the games and keeping the players the coaches, the staff, and the stadium support people safe, just as I wrote. What I described above is precisely what all of the sports leagues are discussing in private, with only select persons revealing these discussions to a few members of the media and who are refusing to be identified, because the bosses (the owners and the league office don’t want to let on what they’re really thinking. They are still trying to figure out whether it is even feasible to play… Read more »

EricNV
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

There’s already been multiple studies published showing the Wuhan virus isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as we’ve been lead to believe, which was what I figured was the case from the beginning. Once antibody tests are readily available, they’ll show that a significant percentage of the population already had the virus with limited to no symptoms whatsoever.

Naplesfan
Reply to  EricNV
1 year ago

You are sadly mistaken. There is no such thing as “Wuhan virus” so you give away the game by using that Republican party talking point instead of the actual name of the novel coronovirus. The US has already lost almost 70,000 dead, latest estimates IF social distancing is maintained is 100-240 thousand dead .. many times the death from flu, many times the deaths from all wars since 1945. Only an idiot would dismiss it as a nothing berger .. or else a Republican trying to deflect blame from the incompetent negligent boob in the White House who treated it… Read more »

Knightrider79
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

Ok we’re at 65,000 since February. There’s no possible way it can jump to over 200,000 or even 100,000. Also the CDC states on their website that if a doctor “thinks” it’s Covid-19, then they can put it on the death certificate. Also I find it interesting that you found the number for flu deaths since they magically quit tracking that. It’s all being put under the Corona label. I do know that in 2009, the swine flu killed more people than has contracted corona. Yet nothing shut down and nothing was reported. We went on business as usual. Was… Read more »

Dbuc63
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

Look, today around 2p.m., people infected: 1,158,341 and deaths: 67,686. This means a fatality rate of 5.8% BUT ,being conservative, at least the same amount are asymptomatic (increases number infected with no to little effects). This mean 2.4% fatality rate…worst case. CDC website and simple division. This is good news. We still have a good chance or a minor delay..IMO

Dave
Reply to  Dbuc63
1 year ago

There will be a some kind of a season

Dave
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

Well you aren’t in any of these meetings. Neither am I. I’m not going to try and speculate on something none of us have any clue on. All I know is they have publicly said they have a contingency plan in place to start in December, which is 7 months away. Most states have flattened the curve, and many others are already beginning to open up. With the season 7 months away, there will be some kind of a season. More likely than not, a full one, or very close to a full one. That’s good enough for me

Naplesfan
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

Yes, states are reopening, and all the epidemiologists are now busy doubling and more the death projections because of these stupid too early reopenings. We’re talking tens or hundreds of thousands of additional fatalities.

Dave
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

And they‘ll be false, the same way they’ve been false the entire time. What happened to 200K deaths, even if we do everything right, and 2 MIL deaths if we don’t. Please. Even if we do everything wrong which some states are doing, we won’t come close to 200K deaths. They’ve been wrong since day 1 and they will continue to be wrong with their ridiculous predictions. Nobody takes them seriously at this point

Dave
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

In mid March when China was at its worst they were at 80K cases, and 4000 deaths. Fast forward a month and a half, and it’s almost completely vanished in China. Only 8K cases and 800 deaths in the last month and a half. Same with Spain, and Italy is starting to normalize. Come December, this will be gone. All evidence so far shows that based on where every country started, and where they are now

Buc stops here
1 year ago

It is going to depend on the scheduling and their record, to be honest. If they schedule the games against Green Bay and Kansas City near the end of the season, and of course they will play their division rivals both early and late in the season, it will totally depend on how they are doing. 9-3 going into the 13th game would mean the “NFL Flex schedule” would favor them more on national TV. However if they are going into the 13th game 6-6 or worse, I would suspect the flex would pull them off of TV. The odds… Read more »

Buc stops here
Reply to  Buc stops here
1 year ago

Edit – it is also going to depend on how many games they play in empty stadiums, as logistically, that is the only way they have a season in 2020.

danielob
1 year ago

Monday night football season opener: Raiders open their brand new stadium against Brady and the Bucs, it would be a ratings bonanza.

scubog
1 year ago

What’s refreshing is that we are even discussing our participation in prime-time games at all. Seems like only yesterday we were in the REPUS Bowl. Ahhhhh, those were the days.

Naplesfan
Reply to  scubog
1 year ago

People are foolishly discussing these matters. Greater than 50% probability that there will be no organized sports at all for the remainder of this year, and on into the early part of 2021. And even then, only if a vaccine is successfully developed and deployed across the country.

Dave
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

Dude nobody wants to keep hearing that. You have absolutely no proof of anything. And it gets old after a while. If you’re that confident there’s not going to be a season, why are you even on here talking football? What to try and convince everyone you’re right? Just come back in 2021. No point in discussing football right? Good god

Dbuc63
Reply to  Naplesfan
1 year ago

Naples, You have no clue and it’s obvious where your fake news talking points come from. I gave you facts on a prior post (CDC WEB) and you cannot dispute them. A horse could walk down the street and take a dump in your yard and you would blame Trump. You’re the FOOL. No politics just factual data. The CHINA VIRUS is highly contagious but has a low fatality rate..FACT. The blame is China. It’s unfortunate morons like you have been played for the fool you are. #FREETHINKER. I’m proud to hold no affiliation to either party..just the folks; even… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  Dbuc63
1 year ago

Nobody knows what’s going to happen. But it’s insane to think it’s impossible to play a season 7 months from now. 2 hard hit countries that were hit right before us in late February, China and South Korea, are basically going back to normal. China was the hardest hit before it hit us. And they’ve only had 8000 cases and 800 deaths in the last month and a half. South Korea just started up their professional baseball league today. And yesterday they only reported 3 new cases in the entire country. Schools are opening up there next week. Everything is… Read more »

jbear
1 year ago

3.

Chiefs, Saints, Raiders.

We are still the Bucs until proven otherwise.

Knightrider79
1 year ago

Serious question, does the NFL make both of our games against the Saints prime time? If they do then has that ever been done before? I honestly don’t remember if it has or not.
Also I’m guessing around 4. Saints, Chiefs, Packers, Raiders.

Jazlaan Sam
1 year ago

Nice article about prime time games Bucs play 2020 muqaddimah al jazariyyah

scubog
1 year ago

So here we are with an uplifting topic rarely even valid to bring up in Bucville and the discussion descends into someones’ politicizing of a global event. I remember the times when it would have been cause for a celebration if the Bucs got one prime time game and here we are wondering if it might be a half dozen. That is until we are subjected to yet another biased lecture. Here’s my thought. Most of the folks on Pewter Report don’t even attend many of the games anyway. So, if you are a season pass member and now think… Read more »

seat26
1 year ago

Wrong Question. What you should be asking is how many games will the Season be? 16? or 8? And still, how will the NFL manage this with some cities having tens of thousands of infected fans and even players? Can the NFL afford to have a training camp with 90 players in locker rooms? Until the NFL addresses these questions, forget about the 2020 season. It’s toast until extensive testing begins and until a Vaccination is found and produced. Now go ahead and throw rocks.

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