Bucs to open 2007 season on road

Out to erase the sting of last year's 4-12 mark, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found out they'll open the season on the road in Seattle on Sept. 9, and also found out their home opener the following weekend would be against another playoff team from 2006 — the New Orleans Saints.

The 2007 regular season will have a familiar beginning for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, even as the location changes.

Tampa Bay will open the 2007 regular season at Seattle on Sept. 9. The Seahawks defeated the Bucs, 23-7, in the 2006 season finale at Raymond James Stadium.

The NFL released the entire 2007 regular season schedule on Wednesday, while the Bucs also firmed up their preseason schedule by providing times and dates for those games.

The Bucs will travel to Seattle for just the fourth time in history. Tampa Bay's last trip to Seattle came in 1999, a 16-3 victory, the Bucs' only win over Seattle in six previous meetings. The Bucs are notoriously bad on the West Coast — they've won just three times in the regular season in Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles (Rams and Raiders) and San Diego since 1976. Of course, their fourth victory came in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego.

The game also marks the fourth time in five years that Tampa Bay will open the regular season on the road, a potentially good omen for a team that started 0-4 last year. The Bucs are 3-1 in that span.

The Bucs open the home slate of their schedule the following weekend, Sept. 16, when they host the defending NFC South champion New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay, which went 4-12 a year ago, is scheduled to have just one prime-time showcase. The Bucs travel to San Francisco on Dec. 23, a game that should be NBC's Sunday Night Football contest. But that game could be moved if the NFL and NBC choose to use its flexible scheduling option to televise a game with more significance. That could work for the Bucs, should they rebound in 2007.

The national FOX and CBS games were not announced on Wednesday, according to the NFL's Web site, NFL.com.

Tampa Bay plays three of its four AFC South opponents in a four-week span, beginning on Oct. 7 with a trip to the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. The following week the Bucs host Tennessee and its second-year star quarterback, Vince Young. Then, after a trip to Detroit and a matchup against former defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, the Bucs host Jacksonville on Oct. 28.

The Bucs will get their bye week in Week 10, giving them an extra week to heal before their first meeting with rival Atlanta on Nov. 18, the first of three road games in a four-week span.

The NFL also provided the Bucs with a home game to close the season, but it could be a doozy as the Bucs host Carolina on Dec. 30.

Tampa Bay will open the preseason portion of its schedule on Friday, Aug. 10, when it hosts New England at 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay follows with two straight road trips to Jacksonville and Miami on consecutive Saturdays, before ending the preseason at home against Houston on Thursday, Aug. 30. The Texans host the Bucs in the regular season on Dec. 9.

All four preseason games will be on WFLA-TV, Tampa's NBC affiliate.

Bucs 2007 schedule

Preseason

Day, Date, Opponent, Time, TV

Fri., Aug. 10, NEW ENGLAND, 7:30, WFLA

Sat., Aug. 18, at Jacksonville, 7:30, WFLA

Sat., Aug. 25, at Miami, 7:30, WFLA

Thur., Aug. 30, HOUSTON, 8:00, WFLA

Regular season

Sun., Sept. 9, at Seattle, 4:15, FOX

Sun., Sept. 16, NEW ORLEANS, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Sept. 23, ST. LOUIS, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Sept. 30, at Carolina, 4:05, FOX

Sun., Oct. 7, at Indianapolis, 4:05, FOX

Sun., Oct. 14, TENNESSEE, 1:00, CBS

Sun., Oct. 21, at Detroit, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Oct. 28, JACKSONVILLE, 4:05, CBS

Sun., Nov. 4, ARIZONA, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Nov. 11, Bye week

Sun., Nov. 18, at Atlanta, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Nov. 25, WASHINGTON, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Dec. 2, at New Orleans, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Dec. 9, at Houston, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Dec. 16, ATLANTA, 1:00, FOX

Sun., Dec. 23, at San Francisco, 8:15, WFLA

Sun., Dec. 30, CAROLINA, 1:00, FOX


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