Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/20/13
If you go by the title, you’d think the Bucs don’t have much of a chance going into Sunday’s match versus New England, but I imagine the game will be closer than you may suspect. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off two heart-breaking losses; one at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, the other against the New York Jets. The New England Patriots are coming off their win versus the New York Jets, but it wasn’t any more convincing than Tampa’s loss to that same team. So let’s breakdown their common opponent: The New York Jets. Tampa was in no way effective in the passing game. Josh Freeman completed less than 50 percent of his passes for just 210 yards. The offensive line didn’t help him or Doug Martin as was evident in Martin’s production with 65 yards off 24 carries. It seemed to be just a slow day for the Bucs offense, and whether you want to blame the slow start on the unbalanced chemistry due to lack of playing time together or blame the players in general, they still were only able to put up 17 points with only three points scored in the entire second half. On defense, the Bucs did give up 256 yards to Geno Smith through the air, but held the team under 100 yards rushing as a whole (get used to hearing that). The good news is the Bucs recorded five sacks in their first game which was already near one-fifth their total sacks last year. Now, how did New England fair? The won the game, so that’s a big change, but it certainly wasn’t a runaway victory. With Danny Amendola still out, Tom Brady struggled to get any kind of connection with receivers not named Julian Edelman. The Jets also held Brady to less than 50 percent of his passes completed, and also held Steven Ridley to just 40 yards. Geno Smith threw for 200 yards again, but this time threw more costly turnovers which resulted in the New England win. Surprisingly enough, I like the Bucs chances in this game. Darrelle Revis will blanket Julian Edelman, and even beyond that, knows Brady well after playing against him twice a year in New York as a Jet himself. There’s a possibility Rob Gronkowski could be back for New England this week, and if that’s the case, Lavonte David and Dashon Goldson will have responsibility like they had with Jimmy Graham the week before. Unfortunately for Tampa, as I predicted, Graham went off for 179 yards and a score. But the story of the day won’t be about stopping Brady — as odd as that sounds — it’s going to about Freeman and the Bucs discipline. Carl Nicks should be back for the Bucs, and that’s a major plus. The Bucs are averaging a little over 11 penalties per game, and that’s juts not acceptable. I’m hoping for six, that’s reasonable, right? I think if Tampa limits their turnovers, and takes advantage of a weak, WEAK secondary in New England, they have a chance to tip the series scale which is currently favoring the Patriots in five of the last seven times these teams have met in the regular season. Prediction: Brady throws for 250 yards, Ridley rushes for 60. Freeman throws for 200 yards, Martin rushes for 125. Tampa gets two take aways, New England only gets one. Tampa wins 21-17 — barring any dreadful penalties….. (I may regret that)  
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Michael Bennett dislikes Stafford because of JFK assassination

Tedy Bruschi: Always Feels Good To Beat Cowboys

Kentucky and Duke set for 1st meeting since 2012

Michael Bennett calls out Seahawks owner to pay Kam Chancellor

WATCH: Officials blow call on illegal bat, cost Lions game

Zdeno Chara placed on IR, may not miss any games for Bruins


Auburn WR Duke Williams dismissed from the program

Rapper Luther Campbell's Miami coaching wish list has autocorrected error

Jordan Zimmermann issues farewell to Nationals fans

Zack Kassian suffered injuries in an early morning car accident

NFL looking into why Joe Haden was deactivated

Trent Dilfer rips Jimmy Graham as a blocker

CC Sabathia and a history of Yankees with alcoholism

Why the NL Wild Card Game makes or breaks Chicago

WATCH: Kam Chancellor saves game for Seahawks

Jim McElwain, Florida and the art of culture

Who could be baseball’s next breakout postseason superstar?

WATCH: Seahawks' Russell Wilson refuses to get tackled

Why the Miami Dolphins had to fire Joe Philbin

Understanding Reggie Jackson's contract with Detroit

College football teams missing quality quarterback play

Alley Broussard waiting for Leonard Fournette to break his LSU record

Texas Rangers ups their concessions game for the postseason

What to make of Jameis Winston’s nightmare start

A brief history of Ichiro wanting to pitch

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Texas Rangers ups their concessions game for the postseason

College playoff: Five teams that hurt themselves

College playoff: Five teams that helped themselves

Could this be the Carolina Panthers season?

Michael Irvin: Cowboys have no chance against Patriots Sunday

Melo on requesting a trade: 'Hell no'

Remembering the Angels-Mariners AL West tiebreaker of 1995

Donald Trump: Redskins should keep team name

Redskins got a pregame pep talk from...Matthew McConaughey?

Matt Bonner is about to join an elite group of Spurs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker