The Bucs in season openers
This will be the 33rd season opener that the Buccaneers have of course played in the NFL and it will be the 20th time that they have opened on the road. In fact only twice this decade (2002 and 2006) have the Bucs opened Week 1 at home, but seeing how they lost both of those games (New Orleans and Baltimore), maybe it is for the best.

The Bucs are currently 12-20 in season openers, having won only twice under Jon Gruden (2003 in Philadelphia and 2005 in Minnesota). Another nice trivia item involving those two franchises, is that the Bucs opened both of their new stadiums, Lincoln Financial Field in the Monday night shutout, and then back in 1982 when they played the first regular season game in the Metrodome.

On no less than three occasions, the Buccaneers have walked away from Week 1 with as many points as they started. The expansion opener in 1976 goes without saying that the Bucs failed to score, but it also happened in 1983 (Detroit -11) and 2006 (Baltimore 0-27). All three of those were pretty disastrous losing seasons so celebrate the first points this week like no other.

There have been some memorable victories on Opening Day, none less than the 48-10 hammering that Ray Perkins' young Bucs gave the Atlanta Falcons. Have I ever mentioned that Mick Luckhurst played in that game for Atlanta?

And aside from the victory on Monday night in 2003 over the Eagles, the 1997 victory over San Francisco was particularly memorable as it was the first official appearance of the new uniforms. And the fact that both Steve Young and Jerry Rice got knocked out of the game injured all added to the wave of euphoria that came over Tampa Bay after that victory.

The Bucs managed to score 38 points on the road in Detroit in 1990, and 31 against the same opponent in 1979, a game that was played on a Saturday evening. They also played host to Joe Montana's first game away from the 49ers (Kansas City in 1993) and a game in which Steve DeBerg threw a franchise record seven interceptions in one game (San Francisco 1986).

Paul Stewart, September 2008