Who Should Bucs Play To Open Season?

May 9th, 2021

Traditionally, the opening night game on Thursday Night Football is the Super Bowl champion hosting perhaps its best opponent on the schedule.

The last Super Bowl champion to open the season on the road was — you guessed it — the Bucs in 2003.

Personally, Joe is frightened this will happen again. Joe just has a strange feeling NBC network suits are going to say to NFL strongman Roger Goodell, “You’re going to schedule the opening game in Florida in the height of hurricane season? Are you nuts?”

And thus, the game would be a road game for the Bucs. While Joe understands this thinking — if the game got postponed due to a tropical storm, NBC would lose tens of millions of dollars — it would still stink out loud. Network suits care far more about the bottom line than if a fanbase of a team thinks it got shafted and disrespected.

But let’s say the NFL and NBC stay with tradition. Who should the Bucs’ open the season against?

Former NFL suit Scott Pioli, who spent many years working in the AFC East, stays true to his roots and suggests a Bills-Bucs game would be fun to watch.

I’d like to see the Bucs host the Buffalo Bills in the NFL’s Kickoff Game. A matchup against another top team in the NFL, like the Bills, would get the 2021 season started with a bang. The storylines are endless, but more importantly, it would be a great showcase of two teams that should be very good again next season.

That would be a fun game. Remember, Buffalo advanced to the AFC title game before they were worked over by Kansas City.

Josh Allen vs. park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, numbers-rules-peeved, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady?

That would get eyeballs.

Provided a storm doesn’t wipe it out.

2021 Bucs home opponents

Atlanta Falcons
Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears
Dallas Cowboys
Miami Dolphins
New Orleans Saints
New York Giants

43 Responses to “Who Should Bucs Play To Open Season?”

  1. DingleBerry Says:

    I’m thinking it’s going to either be the Cowboys, Giants, Bills or Dolphins.

    My only rationale being those seem like the biggest ratings draws.

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    On the road or in Tampa, BRING IT ON BABY 1-0 is going to look just right after week 1 GO BUCS!!!!!!

  3. Medicated Pete Says:

    I’ll re-open the Yucatan Liquor Stand if we play the Patriots on the road (plus its like a mini bye week)

  4. Mort Says:

    How a bout that rematch of the bears plz. That one still stings.

  5. Will Says:

    If Jameis wins the starting job in New Orleans it wouldn’t shock me to see that game pushed to the opener although would still have to consider the weather so maybe not. Carry on🤐

  6. SB Says:

    F-THAT!!!! Patriots in Foxborough

  7. Buc50 Says:

    Patriots is Thanksgiving. Should be the Saints…I hope.

  8. gp Says:

    It appears, on paper and based on last years standings, that Buffalo is our toughest opponent and a natural choice for the opener.
    If, as you say, the suits diss us and have us open away, I think the choice would be between the Eagles, Patriots, and Rams.
    If this happens, I would be betting on the Patriots.

  9. Durango 95 Says:

    In order of preference
    Bucs host:


  10. capecodder Says:

    Will be the most expensive tickets ever at Foxborough.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I see the Cowboys, Bills or Saints in the opener if it is a home game…..

  12. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Do you want a full stadium?

    Sign the petition:

  13. SB~LV Says:

    “NFL Suits”
    Got me thinking how long before the City of Tampa is strong armed to build a new stadium. The Raiders new house is a thing of architectural beauty that is catering to deep pocket fans with all sorts of luxurious game day and event experiences.

  14. Joe Says:

    Got me thinking how long before the City of Tampa is strong armed to build a new stadium.

    Joel Glazer was asked about this a couple of months ago. He said they are happy with the stadium.

    If it fair to wonder if the Rays ever get a stadium, if the Glazers start making noise about an upgrade like what Miami did (covered seating area).

  15. yucboy Says:

    Da Bears

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    If Im calling the shots I am keeping the tradition alive. If any team wins the SuperBowl they ipen at home. No ifs ans or buts. There is one exception……if that team is the Tampa Bay Bucs they must open on the road. No exceptions.

    The Bucs are the only team that should open on the road as Champion. It is the ultimate disrespect and as a Tampa Bay fan I fully embrace this form of disrespect.

    The NFL should not have the ability to take this tradition away from us…..but leagues stopped caring about traditions decade ago so I expect this tradition to be ruined as well.

  17. JimmyJack Says:

    And the Reds should open the season. Such a disgrace.

    The only thing I will never understand is that nearly every tradition has been destroyed in sports……..Yet there is one tradition that is the worst tradition ever made that the NFL clings too for some oddball reason. Lions on Thanksgiving. It is a shame that this tradition repeats every year as if it should be celebrated…….Wake up idiots. Awful football by an uncompetive team is a total deterioation to the sport.

  18. Davenport Says:

    There is only one game guaranteed to catch every eye in the country: Bucs at Pats

    A statement win to start the season. Go to New England and kick ass!

  19. Davenport Says:

    JimmyJack – i agree. Detroit hosting on Thanksgiving is horrible. There are reasons & tradition behind it but that doesn’t make it any more interesting to watch.

  20. Gencoimports Says:

    Cowboys. Would like to see the Bucs drop 40 plus and the Pokes are the perfect team to do that.

  21. SB Says:

    There is only one game guaranteed to catch every eye in the country: Bucs at Pats

    A statement win to start the season. Go to New England and kick ass!


    Ding ding. Just what I said!! Start with putting your foot on their necks!

  22. Elita Vita Says:

    It might just be an away game in New England. That would be the game that the networks would love. Great national interest and would really kick off the season well.

    If it’s at home, the Bills would be my choice.

  23. SlyPirate Says:

    My choice …
    1. Saints – JW comes for revenge (throws Q1 INT).
    2. Bears – Revenge game. Wirfs-Mack round 2.

  24. SOEbuc Says:

    Hurricane season last far past mid September. All the merchandise and ticket sales? Bet your ass it’s in Tampa. Carolina or Atlanta. Get an early win against a division opponent. Highly doubt they have week one with the Saints two years in a row.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Davenport as my father explained when the NFL decided to do a Thanksgiving game every owner in the league thought it would be a dog game. Nobody wanted to play in it.

    In some owners meeting all the owners were asked if they wanted to play on Thanksgiving. Detroit was the only team that said they would give it a shot. After Detroit committed Dallas decided to give it a chance as well.

    Contrary to what the owners though the games were a mega success. Since Detroit and Dallas were the only 2 to give it a chance they were awarded the tradition to host every year.

    I actully do love tradition. But since the world is so dead set on ruining traditions it just boggles my mind that Stinky Detroit losing a blowout every year on Thanksgiving was not the first tradition we destroyed.

  26. Bucanero Says:

    Rams, Bills or Cowboys would be a great game to start the season

  27. bojim Says:

    The Saints. Bucs need to remind them who the new sheriff is.

  28. TampaTown Says:


    Staaappp it! We better open at home so quit spreading your jinx all over it.
    And it’s gotta be the Saints since we opened with them both of our Super Bowl seasons (yes I know we lost both games and were swept by the Saints both of those years )

  29. Colonel Angus Says:

    Buffalo. They were in the AFC Championship and that may be looked upon as a possible SB preview.

  30. Rayjay1122 Says:

    I agree either at the Patriots or hosting the Bills would be the 2 best choices.

  31. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    The Saints. That would be an easy game to promote.

  32. NOTitleforNOLA Says:

    There are two things wrong with this post, Joe

    1- The Ravens are the last super bowl winning team to open on the road, in 2013, but that was due to schedule conflict with the Orioles.

    2- The kickoff game as we have now, with the super bowl champion hosting a team on thursday night, only started in 2004, before that the super bowl champion didn’t necessarily open the season.

    So you can be sure that they will be playing at home on thursday night week 1.

  33. Beeej Says:

    I like Mort’s idea about da Bears. That game infuriated me above all others

  34. D1 Says:

    Dallas or pats,! Bills would be a great game but the market size is too small.

    Patriot fans would tune in to see Brady , now add Dallas and their national fan base and the NFL has a ratings win.

    It’s all about ratings and revenues. Where’s the most money to be made is who we play. Bucks for Bucs

  35. Swampbuc Says:

    Open with the bye week. Hurricane. It happened in 2017. Or was it 2018? One of those horrible interception laden, Swiss cheese defense years. It ended badly.

    This is why the game would be in Fuxboro and why I’ll be ok with it even though it sucks.

  36. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    When we go to Foxborough, Brady will have a many fans in the stand as the Patriots! I wouldn’t mind playing Nawleans as the first game.

  37. IrishMist Says:

    Hurricanes usually don’t hit the West coast of FL until October. We have the heat and pm thunderstorms, but if we lead off with the Thursday night game, they shouldn’t affect it.

  38. Anonymous Says:


  39. Fred mcneil Says:

    I’d like dallas, but if they’re really scared of hurricanes Foxboro is beautifully that time of year..
    I was mostly raised in Mansfield, the next town over … 15 0r 20 minutes from Gillette. My uncle took me to the first preseason game ever played there against the raiders. It was Jim Plunkett’s first game if I recall. Pats lost, they stunk back then.

  40. TampaTown Says:


    Not true. Elena, Charley, Ivan, Frances, Hermaine, Wilma, all before October. But I agree we shouldn’t worry about it just schedule the game.

  41. adam from ny Says:

    first quarter of the season (weeks 1-4) football isn’t in full swing…

    it’s still too summery…

    a lot of your average fans gotta acclimate into the season from summer…

    the pats vs bucs will be played during the meat and potatoes part of the season, not week one…

    don’t sleep…the surprise team that could slink in vs the bucs could be miami…

    my choices in no particular order would be:

  42. adam from ny Says:

    no one really gives a rats azz about jameis…

    us buc fans would love to see saints – bucs…

    the rest of the country couldn’t care less about jaboo…

    no one is tuning in to watch jaboo…

    in fact maybe y’all forget how empty and quiet and dull the stadium was the last few years jameis was slinging footballs at ray jay…it was eerily quiet at times

  43. Buc4evr Says:

    Da Bears.