TAMPA - The National Football League today unveiled its 2013 preseason schedule, which has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opening at home against the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens before hitting the road for two weeks at the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, and then closing the preseason slate hosting the Washington Redskins.
Tampa Bay will welcome Baltimore to Raymond James Stadium during Week 1 (August 8-11), marking the club's first preseason opener at home since 2007 and first time in franchise history to open preseason play against a defending world champion.
The Buccaneers face an uncommon opponent in the Ravens, as the game will be the first time that the two teams have met in the preseason, and only the fifth time matching up against one another overall.
The following week, in a preview of one of their 2013 regular-season games, the Buccaneers travel to the northeast to battle the Patriots.
The game will be nationally televised by FOX on Friday, August 16 at 8 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay holds a 7-2 advantage in its preseason series against New England, including a 1-0 lead when playing in Foxborough, having won its lone game as the away team, 31-21, in 2000.
Week 3 (August 22-25) finds Tampa Bay at Miami in an intrastate matchup that continues the Buccaneers' longest-running preseason series.
The game marks the 13th consecutive season and 28th time overall that the two clubs have faced each other in preseason play.
Miami leads the overall series, 16-11, but Tampa Bay has bested the Dolphins in seven of the last 11 preseason bouts, including a 17-13 victory in 2011 and a 20-7 win in 2012.
The Buccaneers close out their preseason schedule hosting the Washington Redskins in Week 4 (August 29-30). It is the first time since the 2002 season that Washington has traveled to Raymond James Stadium in the preseason.
Week 1 (August 8-11) BALTIMORE
August 16, 8 p.m. ET on FOX at New England
Week 3 (August 22-25) at Miami
Week 4 (August 29-30) WASHINGTON