The Buccaneers and Patriots enter Thursday night’a match-up coming off of opposite ends of a game-winning field goal in week four.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will welcome the New England Patriots to Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night. You can watch the game on CBS, NFL Network and Amazon Fire TV.
New England (2-2) is just coming off of Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers and my assumption is that they won’t come into Thursday’s game playing around. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense look to keep up what they’ve been doing as the defense looks to heavily raise their game.
For the Bucs: the young team surely will have confidence headed into Ray Jay, but nothing about this game puts it in their favor. The defensive line must pressure the opposing quarterback. Last week, against Eli Manning, the defense had zero sacks, and they haven’t since week one. A lot of that has to do with Kwon Alexander and LaVonte David being hurt, but no excuse to be sackless two straight weeks.
Keys to the game:
The biggest key for Tampa Bay is their pass rush. Their defensive line and outside linebackers must put pressure on Brady if they want to compete. Giving him all day is going to run up the scoreboard that already is going to have a lot of points on it. Gerald McCoy and company have to be motivated in order for the Bucs to pull this one out.
Doug Martin’s return is also going to play a big part in the Buccaneers success. After his suspension being lifted, Martin came back into the Bucs’ facility Monday looking in-shape, according to sources within the team. Although many fans may be quick to judge, Martin’s return is a very, very good thing for this Buccaneer offense.
New England will get it done on offense, but their entire defense has to step up big time. Brady and the offense got it done last week against Carolina, but the defense allowed the Panthers to get up in the game and eventually kicking the game winning field goal.
Patriots win 40-28
This Bucs team is missing too many key pieces and going up against a great QB won’t help that. I see the Patriots going up early in the game and Winston trying to force balls into double and triple coverage, turning the ball over three-to-four times.