Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Time and TV Info

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIIApril 18, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01:  Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on January 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the NFL's worst teams in 2011, and as a result the organization made some serious changes over the past few months.

Head coach Raheem Morris is gone and Greg Schiano has replaced him. Tampa Bay also opened free agency with a bang, signing wide receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks, and cornerback Eric Wright to massive contracts. The Bucs also own the fifth pick in the 2012 NFL draft, which will undoubtedly help them in their hopes for a bounce-back season.

Considering the Bucs' offseason moves and their upcoming schedule, they could be a team to reckon with in 2012.


Week 1 9/9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers 5:15 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 2 9/16: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 3 9/23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 4 9/30: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Redskins 4:15 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 5: BYE

Week 6 10/14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 7 10/21: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 8 10/25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings 820 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Week 9 11/4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 10 11/11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Diego Chargers 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 11 11/18: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 12 11/25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 13 12/2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 14 12/9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 15 12/16: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 16 12/23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. St. Louis Rams 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Week 17 12/30: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m. ET, FOX


TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 03: Running back LeGarrette Blount #27 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts at Raymond James Stadium on October 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

The key to avoiding another 4-12 season will be the play of quarterback Josh Freeman. Freeman regressed in his development in 2011, throwing just 16 touchdown passes while racking up 22 interceptions. In 2010, he threw for 25 touchdowns and just six picks. In addition to that, Freeman's passer rating last year was a dismal 74.6, which was more than a 21-point drop off his 95.9 rating in 2010.

Luckily for Freeman and the Bucs, they face the sixth-easiest schedule in the league.

Having four divisional games against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints won't be easy, but the Bucs also get the St. Louis Rams and Washington Redskins at home. Meanwhile, Jackson is sure to get a rude awakening when the wideout's new team hosts his old squad, the San Diego Chargers, in Week 10.

Most Pivotal Matchups:

The team's biggest matchups will be those four contests against the Falcons in Week 12 and 17, and the Saints in Week 7 and 15. If they can come away winning at least two of thoseΒ games, Schiano and Co. should be firmly in the mix for an NFC South title. If not, it could be another long season in Tampa.Β 


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