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2020 NFL schedule: Three Buccaneers games to circle

Editor's note: is breaking down all 32 team schedules for the 2020 season. Here are the three games Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans should circle on their calendars this fall:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints, Week 1, Sept. 13, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

Tom Brady versus Drew Brees would be entertaining on a patchy high school field. Put them in front of a raucous Mercedes-Benz Superdome crowd and you have an epic backdrop fit for a showdown between two all-time greats. In his two trips to New Orleans, Brady is 1-1; in his last visit in 2017, he turned in a 447-yard, 3-TD performance in a 36-20 victory. Want to know who else showed out that game? Rob Gronkowski, a new face to Tampa but a very familiar one to Brady. Last season, the Saints swept the season series but Brees missed one of those wins; he last won both meetings against the Bucs in 2014. Of course, that T.B. team from six years ago didn't have an offense that featured TB12, two Pro Bowl wideouts and three impactful tight ends. Or a defense with All-Pro LB Shaquil Barrett, Ndamukong Suh and a bevy of formidable pass rushers. In the loss to Brees in Week 11 last year, Tampa was unable to generate any takeaways or sacks. Doing so this time around will be imperative as they look to make a statement against the reigning division champions and earn their first NFC South title since 2007.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 12, Nov. 29, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Brady and Patrick Mahomes have squared off two times in the regular season. And the combined margin of victory in those wins, which the two split, was 10 points. Talk about little room for error. Against the Chiefs in Week 14 last year, Brady was sacked three times, threw an INT and completed 19 of his 36 passes for 169 yards and a TD in a loss. Tampa's offensive line better do all they can to contain those Chiefs' pass rushers, as well as open holes for Ronald Jones. The Bucs secondary also better get well-acquainted with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and K.C.'s track team receiving corps ahead of the latter group's first visit to "Ray Jay". Never in his young career has Mahomes faced the Bucs nor traveled to Tampa for a game, but he and the Chiefs did spend a week in Florida this past February that culminated in them hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy. The personnel and environment in this contest adds interesting, new wrinkles, and seeing Brady and Mahomes share the field again should produce excitement similar to years past.

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 11, Nov. 23, Monday Night Football, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

The final game of Gronk's run with the Patriots saw him haul in 87 receiving yards and a third Super Bowl ring at the expense of coach Sean McVay and the Rams. This will be the first time since Super Bowl LII that Gronk, and his buddy Tom, will face L.A. Only four defensive starters remain from that Rams squad, most notably Aaron Donald, who's coming off his fifth straight first-team All-Pro season. Next to him on coach Bruce Arians' scouting report is cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who joined L.A. 16 days after these teams met in Week 4. And speaking of that incredible contest, game MVP Chris Godwin will absolutely be one to watch. In the Bucs' 55-40 road victory, Godwin posted a then career-high 172 rec yards and two TDs. There's a good chance that Ramsey will have his hands full with the physical Mike Evans, but the question of who's going to cover Godwin will probably weigh heavy on the minds of McVay and his staff. The injection of Brady and Gronk, on top of both teams looking to have resurgent seasons, could make the rematch another high-octane affair.

Check out the full Buccaneers schedule below:

Sept. 13 at New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Sept. 20 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Sept. 27 at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 4 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Oct. 8 at Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon*)
Oct. 18 vs. Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 25 at Las Vegas Raiders
, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Nov. 2 at New York Giants, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Nov. 8 vs. New Orleans Saints*, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Nov. 15 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Nov. 23 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Nov. 29 vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Dec. 6 -- BYE
Dec. 13 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 20 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 26 or 27 at Detroit Lions, TBD (TBD)
Jan. 3 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. (FOX)

  • Sunday night games in Weeks 5-16 subject to change; Week 17 game TBD
    **NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change
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