The schedule has some favors -- the Bucs get their bye week far later than in recent years in Week 11, giving them an extra week to prepare for a game at Atlanta against the defending NFC champions. A week later, they'll likely face chilly conditions as they go to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Dec. 3. The other potential cold game -- at Buffalo, where the Bucs have played just once in their 41 years -- should be a mild one on Oct. 22, fortunately more fall than winter.
It's not quite the larger national platform many had thought the Bucs might have -- just one Monday night game, no Sunday night games (some games later in the season can be flexed to prime time) and in all, 12 of 16 games have 1 p.m. kickoffs, with less national audiences that later afternoon games bring.
Here's the schedule: September -- 10 at Miami, 17 vs. Chicago, 24 at Minnesota; October -- 1 vs. N.Y. Giants, 5 vs. New England (Thursday), 15 at Arizona, 22 at Buffalo, 29 vs. Carolina; November -- 5 at New Orleans, 12 vs. N.Y. Jets, (bye week), 26 at Atlanta; December -- 3 at Green Bay, 10 vs. Detroit, 18 vs. Atlanta (Monday), 24 at Carolina, 31 vs. New Orleans.