Bucs' 2003 Opponents Determined

December 30 – While this season is still very much alive for Tampa Bay, the team's 2003 regular season opponents have been determined. Six of the Buccaneers' 16 games will be against NFC South Division teams. In addition to home and away games against Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans, the Bucs will host Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, New York and Green Bay. As far as road games are concerned, Tampa Bay will travel to Jacksonville, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Washington and San Francisco.

Tampa Bay won't know who its first playoff opponent will be until next weekend, but the Buccaneers do know which teams they'll be playing next season.

The Bucs' 2003 regular season opponents have been determined based on where all 32 NFL teams finished the 2002 regular season. The 12-4 Bucs, who won the NFC South Division this season, will play a first place schedule next season.

Tampa Bay's 2002 opponents produced a combined record of 112-94-1 this season and eight of its 16 games will be against teams that secured playoffs spots this season.

Tampa Bay will have home and away contests against its NFC South Division rivals – Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans.

The Bucs will also play Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, New York Giants and Green Bay at Raymond James Stadium next season.

The Pewter Pirates will travel to Jacksonville, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Washington and San Francisco in '03.

TAMPA BAY 2003 REGULAR SEASON OPPONENTS:

HOME:

Atlanta
*Tampa Bay swept Atlanta in the 2002 season.

Carolina
*The Bucs swept the Panthers in the 2002 season

Dallas
*Tampa Bay has won its last two games against Dallas (2000, 2001).

Green Bay
*The Packers have never won in Raymond James Stadium (0-5).

Houston
*This will mark the first time Tampa Bay has ever played Houston in the regular season.

Indianapolis
*This will be the first time former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy returns to Raymond James Stadium with his new team – the Colts.

New Orleans
*New Orleans swept Tampa Bay in two contests this season.

New York Giants
*The Bucs have won two of its last three games against the Giants, but New York escaped Ray-Jay with a 17-13 win in '99.

AWAY:

Atlanta

Carolina

Jacksonville
*The Bucs are 1-1 against the Jaguars in the regular season.

New Orleans

Philadelphia
*Tampa Bay has lost four consecutive games to Philly over the last three seasons, including a 0-3 mark in Philadelphia.

San Francisco
*Tampa Bay hasn't played the 49ers since 1997, when the Bucs downed them, 13-6. The Bucs haven't won in San Francisco since 1980 and they're 1-8 all-time in games played there.

Tennessee
*Tampa Bay is 0-1 all-time in Adelphia Coliseum.

Washington
*Tampa Bay hasn't played in Washington since its 20-17 overtime loss to the Redskins in 2000.

The NFL will release the entire 2003 schedule with dates and times sometime in April or May.


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