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|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|New England Patriots
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When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell last week to the LA Rams, it was their first loss in eleven games, and now GOAT quarterback Tom Brady returns to Foxboro to face his old New England team still coached by Bill Belichick and now led by a rookie QB and he must score against a top-5 defense far more effective than Tampa Bay’s (27th) right now.
No telling whether New England GOAT HC/GM Bill Belichick is worried about facing his old quarterback on Sunday, more likely he is figuring out how to put his own quarterback, rookie Mac Jones, in the best position to win, his Pats offensively challenged so far, though the rowdy Gillette Stadium crowd should help keep Tampa Bay in check.
These two cross-conference rivals have met each other 9 prior times, with the New England Patriots winning 7 of those games and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning 2 of the games.
One thing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not used to doing is losing like they did last week to the Los Angeles Rams, 24-34, a shocking loss that was bound to happen yet still seemed uncharacteristic as the Bucs’ defense let the Rams score four touchdowns.
Now Tampa Bay faces a New England team with a top-5 defense that is geared to stop the pass, especially given the Buccaneers run an offense that Pats head coach Bill Belichick is familiar with since it was run under his watch years ago.
It’s Tampa Bay’s defense that needs to step up here, though, so far ranked last in the league against the pass after allowing opponents to throw for almost 340 yards per game, numbers that won’t get it done in Gillette on Sunday.
For the first time ever, New England head coach Bill Belichick has started a rookie quarterback under center, Mac Jones, and the results so far have been mixed, the team at 1-2 on the season with a low-scoring offense that is still trying to figure itself out.
Sunday’s game will be a true test of Jones’ ability to play with the big boys, though so far his rookie numbers haven’t been horrible, completing 67.5 percent of his passes in three games for 737 yards and two touchdowns, production that does need to improve.
Jones has thrown 3 interceptions, all in Week 3 against a New Orleans team that seemed to have his number so look for him and his new mentor Belichick to figure out how to work around the Bucs questionable D.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 29, 2021
Tampa Bay’s Rob Gronkowski is just a fun player to watch, the veteran multiple Super Bowl Champion and All-Pro tight end powerhouse on the gridiron effectively blocking, catching, and running with the ball when called upon.
This season Gronk and Brady combined for the 100th passing touchdown of their Hall of Fame careers and they do not seem to be slowing down despite their relatively elderly football ages, these two are constantly NFL pitching and catching like they were in someone’s backyard.
Gronkowski’s numbers this year are typically impressive – so far with 20 targets, 16 catches and four touchdown receptions, a production that his team will need all season to outscore the almost 30 points per game his defense allows.
“You make plays, and your teammates feed off of you, that’s what defense is all about.”
J.C. Jackson continues to make an impact: https://t.co/ZUUkPzksZS
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 22, 2021
The Patriots’ defense is currently ranked fifth in the league after allowing 282.3 yards against them per game and only letting opponents score an average of 17 points each time, impressive numbers that fans have come to expect from a Belichick squad.
One Pats player who stands out this season is cornerback J.C. Jackson, a fourth-year pro who has 2 interceptions already this season, plus he has defended 3 passes made 11 tackles, the perfect addition to New England’s stellar secondary.
Jackson has an entire crew of defenders helping him find the football, including cornerback Jalen Mills and safeties Adrian Phillips and Devin McCourty, a squad about to face GOAT QB Brady who is looking to seek his revenge in Foxboro.
|Buccaneers vs Patriots Information
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots
|Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA
|Sunday, October 3, 2021; 8:20 PM ET
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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