New England Patriots: Keys to victory vs. Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

Squib Notes

Danny Amendola:  Still Brady’s go-to receiver on gotta have it type plays.

Patriots offense – The Bucs defense is banged up and the Pats offense should be able to find the holes. The question is just if they can find a way to hold the Tampa Bay offense at bay.

Thursday night:  I know one was the beginning of the season, but I cannot remember the last time that the Patriots played two Thursday night games so close together.

Team spirit:  I know it is the fan in me talking, but I cannot believe the coaches, but more the players will let themselves fall to a losing record. The last time they had a losing record was 1-2 in 2012 and beyond five games, they haven’t had a losing record since 2002.

Raymond James Stadium:  Even though Brady has never played there in the regular season, he has played there five times in the preseason, most recently in 2012

New York Jets:  Why are they 2-2? With some predicting they would go 0-16 in search of a very good quarterback draft class next year, it is a surprise to see them at 2-2.

Last word on last week

It was hard to watch a Tom Brady comeback fall short, but it is the NFL for a reason and even though the media and fans alike sometimes put the Patriots ahead of other teams, everyone belongs to be here, even the Jets. With that said, I think this team has not found its identity yet, especially not on defense.

Next: New England Patriots v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers projections and predictions

Part of that boils down to captain Dont’a Hightower not being with the team early on to aid the communication. I hope the team finds a way to make critical stops when it needs to, especially against running quarterbacks, because if the team makes it to the Super Bowl (a big if at this point), they are most likely going to be facing a running quarterback. As for last week, while the offense seems to be finding its stride somewhat, the defense is anything but.