Observation 4: Wave goodbye to late kickoffs and primetime games
Speaking of times changing, that will be felt both figuratively and literally in Tampa Bay this season.
We knew Tom Brady retiring would change the perspection of the Bucs on a national level, but the schedule has revealed just how much of an afterthough the team is to the league. Not only did they get screwed on their bye week, but the Buccaneers play just two primetime games and four total games in the late window.
The Bucs played 29 games over the last three seasons in either the late-Sunday window or in primetime. Obviously, that was the Tom Brady effect, and it shouldn’t be completely surprising that the Bucs are back to their pre-Brady schedule in terms of kickoff times now that he’s gone.
It’s still jarring nonetheless.
Two of the Bucs primetime games are entirely becuse of their opponent, with Tampa Bay being the team the Eagles and Bills happen to play that week. They are not part of the attraction, they’re the filler needed for the game to be scheduled — at least, that’s how it feels.
One of the Bucs late-Sunday games is scheduled as such solely because it’s taking place in Santa Clara against the 49ers. The other is a home game against the Jaguars, which is as close as we’re going to get to feeling like the game was scheduled late for a good reason and not a technicality.
It’s a gripe that comes with the territory, as we’d been conditioned for the last decade for this kind of schedule. However it’s the surest sign that the bright lights that were on the Bucs the last three seasons have moved on, and in order to get them back the team is truly going to have to earn national attention.