The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to face off against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, and the matchup doesn’t come without a little history.
The Bucs and the Lions have played each other 60 times, with Sunday’s matchup being the 61st meeting between the two teams. The game comes from Tampa Bay’s NFC divisional schedule, which sees them playing the NFC North — the Bucs have already beaten two NFC North teams (Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears) while the Lions have already beaten two NFC South teams (Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers).
Here are five more things to know about Tampa Bay’s upcoming Week 6 showdown with Detroit:
As many know, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Detroit Lions used to share a division together in the NFC Central. The NFC Central became the NFC North when the Bucs split off of it in time for the 2002 season to create the NFC South, and now Tampa Bay gets to revisit its old division in 2023. The Lions hold the all-time record over the Bucs, but not by a lot — Detroit leads the series 31-29.
The Bucs haven’t broken out their creamsicle uniforms since 2012, but their upcoming game against Detroit is where that changes. The team will don its throwback uniform against the Lions on Sunday, evoking the “creamsicle” era of Tampa Bay history when the team played in the NFC Central with the Lions. The only member of the Bucs who has ever worn these uniforms before is linebacker Lavonte David, who wore them during his rookie year.
Todd Bowles and Lions head coach Dan Campbell are no strangers. The two worked with each other under the Miami Dolphins in 2010-11, when Bowles served as Miami’s secondary coach (and later interim head coach) and Campbell served as tight ends coach. Campbell would then also go on to be the Dolphins’ interim head coach, where he played Bowles’s New York Jets once and lost 38-20.
Recent history has been split when these two teams play.
The Bucs and the Lions are 5-5 across their last 10 games. Tampa Bay has the recent edge, winning the last two contests, but the Lions are 4-1 in the games preceding those. With both teams at the top of their divisions and boasting only one loss, the parallels will continue on Sunday.
There has been quite a bit of crossover between these two squads.
82 players have played for both the Bucs and the Lions in NFL history. Interestingly enough, no player on either current roster has played for the other team, making this a battle of fresh faces. Notable Bucs players that have played for the Lions include DT Ndamukong Suh, RB LeGarrette Blount, RB James Wilder and TE Jimmie Giles.