While rooting for their team, New England Patriots fans can still follow Tom Brady’s career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, thanks to the NFL’s scheduling for the 2020-21 season. Based on the schedule released by the NFL, the Patriots and the Buccaneers don’t play at the same time until Week 15 or Dec. 30. This means Patriots fans have the chance to watch Brady in action with the Buccaneers, who lured him out of New England after a 20-year playing stint via a two-year deal worth $50 million. Based on the schedule, the Patriots have four primetime games and eight outings that will be shown nationally.

The Buccaneers, for their part, have five primetime games and nine nationally televised games, all in the first 12 weeks of the season.

Per Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports, the Patriots will see action on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 14, while the Buccaneers will play in the said time slot in Week 5. The Buccaneers have two "Monday Night Football" appearances (Weeks 8 and 11) while the Patriots will be MNF’s highlight in Week 9. The Buccaneers will enjoy their bye week on Week 13 while the Patriots will have their rest on Week 6. The schedule of both teams, according to Kerr, is expected to get huge ratings.

NFL explains side on scheduling

The NFL explained its side when asked about the schedule, saying it's just a coincidence.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the task of putting up a 256-game schedule is challenging and very complex, comparing it to a riddle “wrapped in a mystery and inside an enigma." "The minimal conflicts here are coincidental,” said McCarthy. The schedule will now allow Patriots fans who are rooting for Brady to monitor how he will fare with the Buccaneers.

Also, they have a chance to see if returning tight end Rob Gronkowski will contribute to the Buccaneers’ cause.

The Patriots are expected to name second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham as heir to Brady’s throne. The pressure on Stidham will be enormous as he tries to fill the huge void left by Brady, who led the team to six Super Bowl wins.

However, former Ohio State coach and current college football analyst Urban Meyer believes that Stidham will do great things for the Patriots.

Harrison claims he knew of Gronk’s decision since last year

In an interview with TMZ Sports, former Patriots linebacker James Harrison claimed that he knew about Gronkowski’s decision to come out of retirement since November of last year. According to Harrison, Gronkowski informed him of his plan when they filmed a commercial together. During their conversation, Harrison said Gronkowski told him that he was feeling a lot better and itching to play. “I knew then that he was going to come back,” Harrison said, but he added that he didn’t expect the tight end to join Brady in Tampa Bay.

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