New England Patriots v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers projections and predictions

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Punter Ryan Allen
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Punter Ryan Allen /

The New England Patriots are in a tough spot at 2-2. On a short week, they’ll clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football in Florida.

Are you ready for some Thursday Night Football New England Patriots fans!? This week, the Patriots travel to Tampa Bay to take on Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers.

New England’s defense is looking to improve their current last-place ranking, while Tom Brady and the offense hope they can keep on truckin’ along. This one could be a shootout in the end, I’m just glad the Patriots have the greatest player of all-time slinging the ball for them.

Like most Thursday games, this one will be a color rush game. The Patriots have chosen to go with all white uniforms for the tilt.

Tampa Bay will be in an all-red set at home.

Now, here’s a look at how I see things shaking out for a few New England Patriots players before I give my game prediction.

Tom Brady: 28 of 34, 350 yards, 5 touchdowns

Tom Brady is going to have an all-time great Tom Brady game. He knows his defense is struggling and that he’ll likely need to put up a ton of points for a win. He’s going to be slinging that ball all night long in order to do it. Look for Brady to be accurate, and deliberate with the football. He’s going to find every open receiver, and he’s going to total over 350 yards in the air. He already has two games over the 350-yard mark this season, with a season-high of 447 against New Orleans.

A 5 score game from TB12 would no surprise me at all here. I also think Brady can keep his slate free of interceptions through 5 games.

Rob Gronkowski: 9 receptions, 120 yards, 2 touchdowns

With Tom Brady throwing the ball so much, you know Gronk is going to get in on the action. 120 yards and 2 touchdowns — sorta what you expect from him, but really that would be an incredible game.

If he plays this well, I have no doubt that New England will come out on top with a win.

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Deatrich Wise: 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Deatrich Wise is going to wreck shop against the Buccaneers. I think he can catch Doug Martin in the backfield a few times, and he should also be able to get to quarterback Jameis Winston. On his sack of Winston, look for him to force a fumble that the Patriots ultimately recover. That would be a huge play in the game.

Ryan Allen: 48-yard average, 2 inside the 10-yard line

Punter Ryan Allen has had a tough start to the season, averaging just 42.2-yards per punt on18 kicks. In this game, I don’t expect him to be on the field much, but when he is it’s going to be perfect. I’m predicting a huge game from the punter, which is going to help the Patriots defense down the stretch with field position. If Allen can pin the Bucs back deep, at least the D will have more yards to bend without breaking.

Next: Hightower says Patriots defense will improve

Score Prediction: Patriots 41, Buccaneers 31

The Patriots defense is not going to solve all of their problems this week. Though young, Bucs QB Jameis Winston has the ability to throw the ball all over this New England defense. Luckily for the Patriots, they have Tom Brady. He’ll bail them out once again with a huge performance, earning them a high-scoring victory. Fans though will still have plenty of room to criticize the defense.