This week’s edition of Thursday Night Football features a reeling New England Patriots on the road in a tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can the Patriots bounce back after a tough loss at home or will the Bucs hand New England a second consecutive loss. Kickoff inside Raymond James Stadium is at 8:25 P.M. ET.
The Patriots (2-2) are coming off a last second loss to the Panthers as Carolina kicked a field goal at the end of the game for the victory 33-30. This was after Tom Brady led the Patriots on a furious comeback down 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, the Patriots have the league’s worst defense and Carolina was able to drive the field and kick the game winning field goal. Will the Pats rebound on a short week or will they lose 2 straight games?
Tampa Bay (2-1) is coming off a thrilling victory against the New York Giants where they kicked a last second field goal to win the game. The Bucs get to stay at home for this short week, which could be an advantage as they don’t have to travel after a physical game against the Giants. Can they pull off the upset against the reeling Patriots?
The spread opened with the Patriots favored by 5 points. It has since gone up to 5.5 points. The Over/Under opened at 53.5 points and has gone up to 54.5 total points.
So, it comes down to this – will the Patriots lose two games in a row? I don’t think they will. In fact, I think they will bounce back this week and win by more than a touchdown. I have faith in old man Brady to lead the Pats offense to at least 35 points in this one. In fact, the Patriots are going to have to win every game by a shootout because their defense is terrible.
The Pats are giving up 32 points per game, 468 total yards per game, 335 passing yards per game and 132 rushing yards per game. Add all of those numbers up and what it equals is the worst defense in the NFL. Bucs QB Jameis Winston just threw for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Giants. I believe he will have another big game this week against the Patriots.
The Buccaneers will also get Doug Martin back this week after his 3 game suspension. The combination of Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers will pose problems for a New England defense that’s susceptible to giving up a lot of yards on the ground. Receiver Mike Evans, who already has 227 yards and 2 touchdowns in 3 games, will be a matchup problem for the Patriots defense. It’s going to be a long game for them. However, they do have Superman playing quarterback and as long as he’s in the game, they have a chance of winning.
In defeat, Brady threw for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. Their problem was that they couldn’t run against a stingy Panthers defense. The Bucs are only allowing 78 rushing yards per game, which will make it tough for the Patriots to get the running game going this week. However, Tampa is giving up 319 passing yards per game. That bodes well for TB12 and the Patriots offense as they should move the ball up and down the field against the Bucs.
The Patriots are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games and 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games on the road. Tampa is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games at home, and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.
I expect New England to bounce back this week and win by a touchdown. In fact, I think this game will be a shootout and should easily cover the Over/Under as well. Look for Brady to throw for at least 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. I expect Gronk and Hogan to also have big games. As for the Bucs, Winston will do his best to hang with Brady, but the old man will get the victory this week. Look for a score of 37-30.