After getting buried all offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an opportunity to reintroduce themselves on Monday Night Football.
When the schedule was released, even the most diehard Bucs fans cringed when looking at a primetime Week 3 matchup against the defending NFC Champions. Instead, the Bucs come into the game 2-0 and in a position to totally reset their national narrative.
Tom Brady retiring back in February made the Bucs easy targets for hot take artists to take aim at. Signing Baker Mayfield to succeed Brady only made it easier for trolls to get their jokes off, but the Bucs have been getting the last laugh through the first two weeks of the season.
An upset road win over the Vikings and a great defensive performance against the Bears has the Bucs among the shrinking group of undefeated teams in the league. While Minnesota and Chicago aren't overly impressive opponents to beat, the Bucs have managed to look nothing like the mistake-riddled team they were last season and are taking steps in the right direction.
Baker was trolled when he signed in Tampa Bay, but he enters what could be the most important Monday Night Football game of his career as one of the Top 3 quarterbacks in the league according to PFF. He has played mistake-free football thorugh his first two games, committing zero turnovers and only getting sacked one time. That's a testament not only to Baker but to how improved the Bucs offense is from the disaster we saw last year.
It's massively important game on Monday night, as the Bucs have a chance to prove they're truly an NFC contender and not just a team that got lucky in the first two weeks. With the rest of the NFC South losing on Sunday, the Bucs are also in position to take sole control of the division with a win, which would be icing on top of the cake of forcing everyone to put some respect on their name after another upset. .
What channel is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on tonight? (September 25th)
Monday night is the first two two primetime games the Bucs are scheduled to play this season. The other game will take place in Week 8 when Tampa Bay heads up to Buffalo for a Thursday Night game against the Bills.
Depending on how things go, there's a chance the Bucs get flexed into a primetime game later in the season. If things continue the way they're going now, Tampa Bay's game on New Year's Eve against the Saints could be one that decides the NFC South. If that's the case, a matchup of Baker Mayfield vs. Derek Carr with a division title on the line seems like the sort of thing NBC might flex into Sunday Night Football, or ESPN uses one of its new flex options on.
That's getting way ahead of ourselves, though. Tampa Bay first needs to take care of business in Week 3 before we start celebrating anything.
For the second straight week, ESPN is airing a MNF doubleheader which means the Bucs game won't be as obvious to find as it otherwise would be. The Rams-Bengals game is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 pm ET and will air on ESPN, with the Bucs-Eagles game starting an hour earlier and airing only on ABC.
Here's everything you need to know in order to catch the Bucs game tonight:
- Date: Monday, September 25th
- Start Time: 7:15 pm ET
- Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
- TV Channel: ABC
- Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Lisa Salters
- Live Stream: ESPN+