Tampa Bay becomes one of the “it” teams on the NFL schedule heading into the 2020 season because of the addition of future Hall of Famer quarterback Tom Brady. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is along for the ride, too, and their offensive weapons coupled with those storylines instantly make Tampa a must-watch and top Super Bowl contender.
The Buccaneers finished 7-9 last season, and now they have the sixth-best Super Bowl odds. The schedule revealed some blockbuster matchups, too.
Here is a power ranking of Tampa Bay’s matchups against its 13 opponents this season:
13. New York Giants
A road trip to the New York will offer opportunities for Super Bowl replays, but Brady is in a new uniform and Eli Manning isn’t on the other sideline. It won’t feel quite the same. Joe Judge, Brady’s old coach with the Patriots, is in his first year leading the Giants.
12. Minnesota Vikings
There’s a hint of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry with Kirk Cousins involved, but this isn’t the sexiest matchup on the schedule.
11. Carolina Panthers
It’s a divisional rivalry, and those two matchups will be key to the Buccaneers’ playoff hopes. Brady led the Patriots to a victory against the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. There will be montages.
10. Los Angeles Chargers
There’s a chance Oregon’s Justin Herbert could be starting against Brady. He is 6-2 for his career against the Chargers, who whiffed on signing the Souther California product in free agency.
9. Chicago Bears
Might Nick Foles have one more chance to take down Brady head to head? Brady is 5-0 all time against the Bears, with three victories at Soldier Field.
8. Denver Broncos
The Buccaneers travel to Mile High, where Brady suffered his first playoff loss as a starter. Can Peyton Manning at least do the coin toss?
7. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are trying to bounce back after missing the playoffs last season. That was a year after Brady beat them in Super Bowl LIII.
6. Detroit Lions
There will be several Brady jerseys in the stands from his days at Michigan, and former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia stumped Brady in their last meeting in 2018.
5. Las Vegas Raiders
If you’re planning a Vegas trip, then why not go see Brady play against the Raiders. There will be references to the “Tuck Rule” and Jon Gruden is up against his old team again. The side-plots are fun.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Brady led the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, and now he will get two shots at Atlanta in the division.
3. Green Bay Packers
It’s Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers, and it will only mark the third head-to-head matchup between the two Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
2. New Orleans Saints
Both games against the Saints will carry huge weight in the NFC South, and the matchup between two 40-plus Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Brady and Drew Brees is something to treasure while both are still playing. Bree is 3-2 in five career matchups against Brady.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Brady is 2-1 in head-to-head matchups against Mahomes, and this might bet the last time these two quarterbacks face off (unless they meet in the Super Bowl). Is this the passing of the torch? Or will Brady remind Mahomes why he’s the greatest quarterback in NFL history? It’s one of the best matchups of the season.