Thursday Night – New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The champs hit the road for a Thursday night matchup in the sunshine state with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This game will be a test for young Jameis Winston to see just how far he’s come in his development as we inch closer to the halfway mark of his third year in the league. Expect a strong showing from the Pats, but remember that playing on Thursday night can throw anyone off their game, even Tom Terrific…
Keys to the Game
New England needs to do their best not to fall into the trap that is a Thursday night game against a lesser opponent. These are the games that good teams overlook and often lose. On the other hand, the Patriots aren’t a team that falls into that trap very often. All they’ll need to win this one is a classic Tom Brady game where he tosses a couple scores and protects the ball. That alone should be enough to secure a nice little road win for the Pats. Everything is a little bit easier when #12 is taking snaps for your team.
This will be one of Tampa’s biggest games of the year and might be the biggest test of Winston’s young career. To earn a win here, and it truly would be earning a win, the Bucs will need Jameis to play to the best of his abilities and for Mike Evans to follow suit as well. You can’t expect the Bucs’ defense to slow Brady and company down too much, so Jameis and Evans will need to put points on the board early and often. The other piece of the puzzle will be maintaining possession of the ball. A few long, sustained drives by Tampa’s offense will keep Brady off the field, which is the best defense you can play against New England. Long drives and big scores is the key for Tampa to get a win here.