Bucs release 2013 schedule - WFLA News Channel 8

Bucs release 2013 schedule

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released their 2013 regular season schedule.

The season is highlighted by two primetime home games, with Tampa Bay hosting both Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football matchups at Raymond James Stadium.

The schedule also features five games against 2012 playoff teams, including a home battle against the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.

The Buccaneers will open their regular season program on the road for the first time since 2008, traveling to play the New York Jets on September 8. It is Tampa Bay's second trip to MetLife Stadium in as many years, having faced the New York Giants there in the second week of the 2012 season.

In Week 2, Tampa Bay commences its home slate welcoming the division-rival New Orleans Saints in a late-afternoon kickoff.

Tampa Bay next heads back to the Northeast, this time to face the New England Patriots. Though the game marks only the eighth time that the two teams have met in the regular season, Tampa Bay and New England will also meet during Week 2 of the preseason.

The Buccaneers return home in Week 4 to welcome the Arizona Cardinals. Tampa Bay has a 6-4 series advantage when playing Arizona at home, and leads the all-time series, 9-8. The last matchup between the two teams was in 2010, where the Buccaneers took a 38-35 victory in Glendale.

Following a Week 5 bye, Tampa Bay continues playing host at Raymond James Stadium, as the Philadelphia Eagles return to the Bay Area under the direction of first-year NFL head coach, Chip Kelly.

In Weeks 7 and 8, the Buccaneers play back-to-back divisional games. First Tampa Bay travels to Atlanta on Sunday, October 20, and then the team returns home to host a nationally-televised Thursday Night Football game against the Carolina Panthers on October 24. Tampa Bay swept Carolina in 2012, winning 16-10 at home in Head Coach Greg Schiano's regular-season debut and also taking a thrilling come-from-behind overtime win in Charlotte.

After their first primetime appearance, the Buccaneers will take a trip to battle the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9. Tampa Bay has won each of its past three clashes against the Seahawks, including a 24-7 win following the most recent trip to CenturyLink Field in 2009.

Tampa Bay will return home from the West Coast for a Week 10 meeting with the Miami Dolphins under the lights on Monday Night Football. The Buccaneers last hosted a Monday Night Football game in 2011, where they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 24-17. The game will denote the first time that the Dolphins have traveled to play the Buccaneers in the regular season since 2005.

The Atlanta Falcons come to town the following week, closing out their yearly series with the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay then hits the road for the next two weeks, first heading to play the Detroit Lions in Week 12, where the Buccaneers have won four of their past five games against their former NFC Central rival, and then kicking off the final month of the season at Carolina in Week 13.

On December 8, Tampa Bay will clash with the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium. Head Coach Greg Schiano will see a familiar face across the field, as Buffalo's new head coach and former Syracuse University head coach, Doug Marrone, faced off against Schiano during their time coaching in the Big East.

The San Francisco 49ers come cross country in Week 15 as Tampa Bay's final home opponent of the regular season. It is the fourth consecutive year that the Buccaneers have played the defending NFC Champion, and the game will feature Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson squaring off against his former teammates for the first time.

After having played host to the St. Louis Rams in the pair's previous three tilts, Tampa Bay will travel to St. Louis in Week 15 - the Buccaneers' first time facing the Rams on the road since 2004. The Buccaneers have won six of the last eight series matchups.

The 2013 regular season concludes on the road at New Orleans on December 29. It is the first time in franchise history that the Buccaneers have finished their season at the Saints. Tampa Bay has won seven of the past 12 games played at the Superdome.

All games will feature a radio broadcast on Tampa Bay flagship stations 103.5 FM WFUS and 620 AM WDAE, as well as stations throughout Florida that are part of the Buccaneers Radio Network.

The NFL will again this season utilize flexible scheduling from Weeks 11-17. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights.

A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the affected game. For Week 17, the change may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling is intended to ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks.

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