Two familiar foes will do battle when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New England Patriots in one of Week 3′s marquee matchups.
Tampa Bay is fresh off a disappointing loss to the New Orleans Saints in which the team once again showed a lack of control with personal foul issues. New England won a close game over the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football to remain perfect on the year.
Here’s everything fans need to know about the game.
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
When: 1:00 PM ET, September 22, 2013
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Buccaneers Player to Watch: Doug Martin
Doug Martin starting the season off extremely slow against the New York Jets with only 65 yards rushing and one touchdown. He followed that up by exploding for 144 yards last week against New Orleans but was held out of the endzone.
Tampa Bay is going to need Martin at the top of his game once more in order to keep pace with the elite offense of the Patriots. An ability to find the endzone this time around would help as well. Josh Freeman cannot do it on his own, so Martin better have a big day.
Patriots Player to Watch: Julian Edelman
It sounds as if Danny Amendola is going to miss another game, meaning it is time for Julian Edelman to step up once again. Edelman did just that last week with a ridiculous 13 receptions, but did very little with the receptions as he only had 78 yards.
Edelman needs to have a bigger game in terms of yardage and finding the endzone for the Patriots to pull away from an elite Tampa Bay defense. There’s an outside chance Rob Gronkowski will be back, but how effective he can be is hard to say. The ball is in Edelman’s court once again.
Matchup to Watch: Buccaneers vs. Themselves
23 penalties for 220 yards—that’s how badly the Buccaneers have shot themselves in the foot this season through just two games. Head coach Greg Schiano has no control over his team, but he better find a way to reel them in against a team as sound as New England.
The biggest thing is for Tampa Bay to stop with the personal fouls. Whether it’s a tough-guy act or plain ignorance doesn’t matter—it’s costing the team games.
Time will tell if the Buccaneers can get it together, but it has to happen now.
Unfortunately it’s hard to think things suddenly change in Tampa Bay in the span of one week. The team is what it is at this point and even has a quarterback controversy and a disgruntled star in Darrelle Revis.
Regardless of what players and coaches say publicly, things are a mess. That’s not the case in New England, where the only issue is health. The Patriots offense with Tom Brady will get things going and not look back.
Patriots 35, Buccaneers 14