Week 5: vs New England Patriots, TNF 8:25 PM
Following the matchup against the Giants, Tampa will have a quick turnaround as they host reigning Super Bowl Champions the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. This will be the first primetime matchup of the season for the Bucs. In the previous matchup between the two, the Bucs were routed 23-3 in the 2013 season.
The Patriots finished the regular season at 14-2 and would go on to make an incredible comeback against the Atlanta Falcons to win the Super Bowl. As if it were even possible, it seems the Patriots got even better over this offseason. Most notably, they added Brandin Cooks to Tom Brady’s stable of weapons, and some have even called this group his best supporting cast yet.
The Bucs will be looking to prove that they belong among the NFL elites with a victory. However, that victory will be very hard to come by, because the Bucs will be coming off a very short week. As long as the Patriots are led by that coach and that quarterback, they will be tough on a regular week. They will be even tougher on short rest. They simply figure out what your weakness is and attack it from too many different directions.
The Bucs will be competitive, but they will just be outmatched by the slightly fresher Patriots.