Predicting every national TV game on Buccaneers schedule in 2024

Which games might get the Buccaneers under the bright lights of primetime?
Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

We’ve reached the final stop on the offseason train before things slow down and focus turns toward camp life. The NFL Schedule Release is the last hurrah ahead of a pretty significant lull in league-wide excitement and it’ll mean finally knowing what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers path to running things back looks like.

Last season was supposed to be a dud for the Bucs but the team ended up playing its last game in the NFC Divisional Round. The offseason was spent bringing back key players like Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, and Antoine Winfield Jr., all of whom returned on deals that keep them in Tampa Bay for the next few seasons.

The Bucs have at least a few windows to make serious Super Bowl runs before the deck needs to get slightly reshuffled, which makes the schedule release all the more interesting.

With Tampa Bay in a much better — and more interesting — place than anyone expected, the likelihood of getting the bright lights of nationally televised games is very much on the table. With Tom Brady joining the NFL on FOX’s top announcing team, it seems like a certainty that the Bucs will get at least one game in a primo time slot.

The only question is which one will it be?

Buccaneers schedule 2024: Which games deserve to be on national TV this season?

Sunday Night Football & Monday Night Football

Which games make sense:

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Atlanta Falcons

Of this group, the only one that really makes sense for Sunday Night Football is the game against Dallas. Tampa Bay’s last two games in the regular season against the Cowboys have been on NBC — the Thursday Night opener back in 2021 and Sunday Night Football in Week 1 the following year.

There’s an outside chance that the Ravens game is a Sunday Night game, but that feels more like a Monday Night Football matchup. It could also be that the Bucs land a game against either the Saints or Falcons on Monday Night. Atlanta makes the most sense as a potential matchup, especially as part of the early season doubleheaders or later in the year to sell potential playoff seeding and a matchup between Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins.

FOX Game of the Week

Which games make sense:

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Detroit Lions

Aside from SNF and MNF games the Bucs could land, it might be easier to predict which matchup will land the coveted “America’s Game of the Week” slot on FOX. Tom Brady joining the broadcast booth adds some extra texture to Tampa Bay landing a late afternoon slot and there are a few games that feel like matchups made for that window.

The 49ers game naturally fits. Depending on what part of the season the game is scheduled, if the Bucs are spicy enough it could be a game Brady and Kevin Burkhardt call.

Brady’s connection to the 49ers also makes this one a potential pick, although it won’t be the first nor best choice for FOX based on San Francisco’s schedule.

One game that could serve as a utility flex is the matchup with Philadelphia. Twice the Bucs played the Eagles on ESPN last year — once on MNF and the other in the Wild Card round — and it could be that the NFL goes for a trifecta.

The same could be said about the Bucs’ game against Detroit, as a playoff rematch on Sunday Night Football feels realistic. Early schedule leaks suggest that Week 2 will be when the two teams meet, though, which doesn’t work with the Lions expected to play the Rams on Sunday Night to open the season.

Last year the Bucs and Lions met in the Game of the Week slot, and given the narratives around the two teams it wouldn’t be shocking to see it happen again.

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