Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers only appeared in prime-time once, beating the Carolina Panthers on a road on a dramatic fourth-down stop of Christian McCaffrey in the final seconds.
This year, you can expect to see a lot more of the Bucs under the bright lights and in front of a national audience.
That's because they added the greatest quarterback of all time this offseason in Tom Brady, and also lured his favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, out of retirement. Brady alone would have already had a massive impact on the national interest of the Bucs this season, but adding Gronkowski to the mix only increases their chances of landing a long list of prime-time games.
The Bucs have plenty of matchups on their 2020 slate that would be perfect for the national spotlight. Tampa Bay hosts top teams with elite quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, as well as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. They'll also face big-market teams like the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants, in addition to their tough NFC South slate.
Brady and Gronkowski have already planted the national spotlight on the Bucs throughout this offseason, bringing a deluge of increased ticket and jersey sales. That presence will continue to be felt when the NFL releases the full schedule for the 2020 season Thursday, as you can expect the Bucs to have tons of chances to show off their new additions to a national audience throughout the year.
While the national viewers will come for the big names like Brady and Gronk, they'll also be treated to a Tampa Bay roster full of star players who have been underrated due to playing for a team that hasn't won a playoff game in 18 years. Pro Bowl receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, NFL sack leader Shaq Barrett, and veteran stars like Lavonte David and Jason Pierre-Paul are all worth national attention.