The NFL officially announced that there will be an expanded schedule for the 2021 NFL Season, adding a 17th game to each team’s schedule. The Bucs will play the Colts in Indianapolis for 2021’s Week 18 regular season finale, their South counterpart in the AFC and fellow second-place finishers within the division. The Bucs went 6-2 on the road in 2020, then won three straight road games on their way to the Super Bowl.
The current structure includes AFC teams hosting the extra game in odd-numbered seasons and NFC teams hosting in even-numbered seasons for divisional equity. Otherwise the alternative would leave some teams with nine home games while divisional opponents could potentially remain with just eight in a 17-game schedule.
The change has been an expected one as Peter King reported in early March that TV partners and league schedulers were already working under the assumption that the NFL would be playing a 17-game schedule this year, although no official announcement had been made. Super Bowl LVI has also been moved back a week to February 13, 2022.
The Bucs have not played in Indianapolis since 2015, when they lost 25-12. They haven’t won there since 1997, dropping two straight on the road to the Colts since then. Tom Brady, on the other hand, is 11-3 in the regular season and 4-1 in the playoffs against the Colts in his career, winner of his last eight against Indy, two of which have come on the road.