Tom Brady‘s retirement had NFL schedule-makers having one thought about the Buccaneers’ 2022 schedule. His return after 40 days prompted the league to go back to the drawing board on Tampa Bay’s schedule.
“When Tom Brady retired, we were concerned about the strength of the NFC package because there were so many terrific Tampa Bay games we were looking at,” NFL broadcasting chief Howard Katz told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “Then a month later he unretires and we sort of started all over again.”
When the league released the schedule Thursday, the Bucs received five primetime appearances and five other games showcased to a national television audience.
It is safe to assume the Bucs would not have been one of the teams with the maximum five primetime appearances had Brady stayed retired. But Brady is back, so the Bucs will be a ratings draw.
Sunday, Sept. 11 at Dallas, 8:20 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Sept. 18 at New Orleans, 1 p.m. Fox
Sunday, Sept. 25 Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. Fox
Sunday, Oct. 2 Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Oct. 9 Atlanta, 1 p.m. Fox
Sunday, Oct. 16 at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. Fox
Sunday, Oct. 23 at Carolina, 1 p.m. Fox
Thursday, Oct. 27 Baltimore, 8:15 p.m. Amazon Prime Video
Sunday, Nov. 6 L.A. Rams, 4:25 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Nov. 13 vs. Seattle (Munich), 9:30 a.m. NFL Network
Sunday, Nov. 27 at Cleveland, 1 p.m. Fox
Monday, Dec. 5 New Orleans, 8:15 p.m. ESPN
Sunday, Dec. 11 at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. Fox
Sunday, Dec. 18 Cincinnati, 4:25 p.m. CBS
Sunday, Dec. 25 at Arizona, 8:20 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Jan. 1 Carolina, 1 p.m. Fox
Sat./Sun, Jan. 7/8 at Atlanta, TBD