After a week one postponement, the Buccaneers will finally get their season underway on Sunday against the Bears. Here, we preview the 1:00 p.m. kickoff and tell you where to watch and listen to it.
It’s finally here. Sure, maybe it’s one week after we all thought it would be, but Buccaneers game day is finally here. The Bears (0-1) are in town for a 1:00 kickoff and the crowd at Raymond James Stadium will surely be rocking. After a 9-7 season in 2016, the Bucs feel like they are geared to contend for playoff spot this year, and maybe even a division title. With the additions they made, it’s hard to argue with those feelings. At long last, after a long, busy off-season; the 2017 Buccaneers will finally make their regular season debut this Sunday afternoon.
There were plenty of moves for Tampa Bay in the offseason. Speedy wide receiver DeSean Jackson and beefy defensive tackle Chris “Swaggy” Baker signed through free agency. Then, in the draft, the Bucs selected tight end O.J. Howard and wide receiver Chris Godwin, among others. Very late in the offseason, three-time Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward joined the team after being cut by Denver.
General manager Jason Licht did an admirable job of finding players to complement the existing roster. Jackson, Howard and Godwin join Mike Evans, Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries in Jameis Winston‘s arsenal. Baker joins Gerald McCoy in the middle of the defensive line. Ward solidifies the secondary that also includes Chris Conte and Keith Tandy. Now, it’s time to see it all come together in regular season action.
The Bears are on the opposite end of the spectrum. While Tampa Bay expects to contend for a playoff spot, Chicago may once again pick in the Top-10 of next year’s draft. Despite the lack of expectations around them, the Bears nearly took down the defending NFC Champion Falcons in week one. Former Buc, Mike Glennon had four chances to win the game from inside the 10-yard line, but he fell short, getting no help from his receivers. It was still a step forward for Chicago, as Tarik Cohen emerged as a potentially dangerous weapon and the secondary managed to keep Julio Jones in check. The 23-17 loss could have realistically been a 24-23 win, so the team may have some confidence heading into this week.
The last time these two teams met was in Week 10 of last season. The Bucs beat the Bears 36-10 in front of the home fans to start a five-game winning streak. Winston threw for 312-yards and two touchdowns in the game. On the defensive side, Conte came up with a pick-six against his former team. Chicago leads the all-time series 38-19, owning a 17-13 advantage in Tampa.
Where to Watch
Sunday’s game will be on Fox. Dick Stockton will have play-by-play duties, with Mark Schlereth joining him in the booth with color commentary. Shannon Spake has reports from the sideline.
Where to Listen
The radio broadcast will be on 98Rock (97.9 FM) in the Tampa Bay area. Gene Deckerhoff will carry play-by-play and former Buc Dave Moore will be on color commentary. T.J. Rives will report from the sideline. For more radio options around the state of Florida, check here. Fans can also hear the broadcast on buccaneers.com, or on the Buccaneers mobile app.
Satellite radio subscribers can listen to the Tampa Bay broadcast on XM 229. Chicago’s broadcast will air on XM Internet 805.
For in-game and postgame coverage of Sunday’s game, follow @ThePewterPlank on Twitter.