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Patriots vs. Buccaneers preview: Offensive shootout

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The Bucs and Patriots face off tonight in what should be a high-scoring affair.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots are gearing up for an offensive shootout.

Both teams are playing on short weeks as they will be playing a Thursday night game. The game came up so fast that I even forgot to write up the preview a day or two earlier.

Patriots Defense

I have never realized just how terrible the Patriots defense has been this season. The only game I have seen of the Patriots this year was how the Chiefs dismantled them in week 1.

Reviewing the Patriots’ last four games:

KC 42, NE 27 L

NE 36, NO 20 W

Hou 33, NE 36 W

Car 33, NE 30 L

The Patriots defense is willing to concede 32 points per game! As you can tell, it is a shootout type game when playing the Patriots. Carolina’s offense did not look great a game before facing the Patriots as they only scored 13 points on the Saints. Yet the Panthers put up 33 points! So the Bucs should see some kind of success on putting points on this Patriots defense, especially with the return of Doug Martin from his PED suspension.

Bucs Defense

Top passing offense in the Patriots against the second weakest pass defense in the league does not bode well for the good guys in the Bucs. The Patriots also boast the second best scoring offense in the league. There is one thing the Bucs can do to spot Tom Brady from scoring like crazy on the Bucs’ defense – QB pressure. The Patriots offensive line has given up eight sacks in the past two games, five to Houston and three to Carolina.

Although the Patriots will give up sacks, Brady has yet to throw an interception all season. New England is ranked 7th overall in converting third downs, at 44.4%. The Bucs defense is abysmal in third down defense, ranking last in the league.

Conclusion

There will be a lot of scoring in this Thursday night game. The difference will probably be turnovers. If Winston does not play hero ball, then the ball will be secured and the Bucs will win a shootout game. If Winston does not protect the ball, then the Bucs will lose the shootout game. Hopefully, the Bucs run game, whether be it Martin or Rodgers, will relied upon heavily to shorten the game as well as not give Brady more opportunities to score. Do not expect all that much defense in this game!

Bucs 38, Patriots 33