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As you know, your Tampa Bay Buccaneers were eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the regular season. Unfortunately, all we can do is look forward to 2011.
With the regular season coming to an end, next year's opponents have been determined. That is, of course, assuming NFL teams play a normal, 16-game schedule next year.
The scheduling formula implemented in 2002 with realignment guarantees that all teams play each other on a regular, rotating basis. After the 2008 season, a decision was made to continue with the same rotation in 2011.
Under the formula, every team within a division plays 16 games as follows:
For the 2011 Buccaneers, it means six games against the NFC South (Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans), four games against the NFC North (the Bucs' old NFC Central conference foes -- Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota), four games against the AFC South (Houston, Indy, Jacksonville, Tennessee), and two against fellow third-place finishers from the NFC West (San Francisco) and the NFC East (Dallas).
For those of us thinking about getting season tickets to the Buccaneers games in the upcoming season, we will see home games against:
Road trips in 2011 include contests with:
Again, this assumes a 16-game schedule. If the NFL adopts an eighteen-game regular season for 2011, they will have to alter the formula somewhat, perhaps adding 2 to the above, or coming up with a completely different schedule.
Also, specific dates have not yet been determined. The NFL typically releases the official NFL schedule, with playing dates and times, in the spring. Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations between owners and players may alter that timeline as well.