Tom Brady’s new soccer life will start with a bang. His Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the common season towards Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, one of many early highlights of the 2020 NFL schedule, as introduced Thursday night time.
The sport will pit two of the perfect gamers in NFL historical past and mark the primary time that each beginning quarterbacks are not less than 40 years outdated. Brees, 41, and Brady, who will probably be 43 when the season begins, have performed towards one another solely 5 occasions, however they’re now divisional rivals within the NFC South. They rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in profession passing yards, passing touchdowns and completions.
The Buccaneers and Saints will play in New Orleans within the late Sunday nationwide window at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sept. 13. The Buccaneers even have been scheduled for the utmost variety of prime-time video games (5), together with three consecutively in Weeks 7-9, a mirrored image of the thrill in Tampa surrounding Brady and fellow newcomer Rob Gronkowski.
In the meantime, Brady’s former group, the New England Patriots, will host the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. That matchup might characteristic the primary profession begins of Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
However earlier than Tagovailoa, Stidham, Brees or Brady make their regular-season debuts, the NFL will stage its annual kickoff basic on Sept. 10 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri. The Chiefs, winners of Tremendous Bowl LIV, will host the Houston Texans in a rematch of their 2019 divisional playoff sport. On that memorable day, the Chiefs overcame a 24-Zero second-quarter deficit to beat Houston 51-31.
The NFL introduced its schedule in anticipation of taking part in a sometimes timed season regardless of the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Roger Goodell, nevertheless, advised groups in a memo this week that changes will probably be made if obligatory.
“We are going to proceed to make our selections based mostly on the most recent medical and public well being recommendation, in compliance with authorities rules, and with acceptable security protocols to guard the well being of our followers, gamers, membership and league personnel, and our communities,” Goodell stated in an announcement Thursday night time.
Different highlights of the 2020 schedule embody:
• A Friday afternoon sport on Christmas Day, when the Minnesota Vikings will play on the Saints. The NFL most lately performed a Friday sport in 2009, and it has scheduled a complete of 10 regular-season video games on a Friday because the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
• Along with the Christmas contest, the Saints have 4 video games scheduled for prime time. Of their remaining 11 video games, seven are scheduled for the late-afternoon Sunday window. The Christmas matchup might be the ultimate profession dwelling sport for Brees, who has an settlement to hitch NBC as a broadcaster after retirement.
• The Thanksgiving Day tripleheader will characteristic the Texans on the Detroit Lions (12:30 p.m. ET), adopted by the Washington Redskins on the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 p.m. ET) and the Baltimore Ravens on the Pittsburgh Steelers (8:20 p.m. ET).
• Buccaneers followers may have their first likelihood to observe Brady at his new dwelling when the Carolina Panthers go to Tampa in Week 2.
• No. 1 draft decide Joe Burrow may have the chance to debut as Cincinnati Bengals quarterback at dwelling towards the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1.
• The Las Vegas Raiders will start on the street at Carolina earlier than opening their new dwelling in Week 2 towards the Saints on Monday Evening Soccer.
• Of their first season at Allegiant Subject, the Raiders may have three different prime-time video games at dwelling: Week 7 towards the Buccaneers, Week 11 towards the Chiefs and Week 15 towards the Los Angeles Chargers.
• As reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, each group shares the identical bye week as its Week 2 opponent, a twist that might assist with rescheduling video games if the NFL is compelled to push again the beginning of the season. Any week of the season might function Week 1, in accordance with Schefter.
• The NFL designated 5 Sunday video games in Weeks 15 and 16 for a doable shift to Saturday. As much as three video games will probably be moved, with discover given to followers and the general public no later than 4 weeks previous to sport day.
• The Vikings will play on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5, making Minnesota the primary group because the 1970 merger to play a nondivisional opponent on the street in three consecutive seasons. The Seahawks have received their previous 4 video games at dwelling towards the Vikings. They final misplaced at dwelling to the Vikings in 2006.
• The NFL will rejoice its 100th birthday on Sept. 17 with a Thursday night time matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.