BOSTON (CBS) — It has arrived. It’s time to pick between New England and Tom Brady, as the Buccaneers are in town for a Sunday night showdown with the Patriots.
It really isn’t that hard to pick this game. The Buccaneers are very good and the 1-2 Patriots are not. At least at the moment. Maybe the Patriots will be good with Mac Jones at quarterback someday, and that could come in the near future.
But in Week 4, the defending Super Bowl champs are one of the best teams in the league. And now the Patriots have to deal with the former face of their franchise as he comes off a loss. That is bad news for any team, but it’s extremely bad news for a Patriots team that has struggled on both sides of the ball to start 2021.
So who is the WBZ-TV and CBS Boston sports team going with — Tom Brady and his Bucs, or Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots?
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
The Patriots have their hands full with you know who coming to town. Not only is Tom Brady bringing the defending Super Bowl champs with him to Foxboro, he’s coming off a loss. With the Patriots also coming off a defeat, both teams will be hungry for a win.
To beat Brady, the Patriots have to not only rush the middle, but stuff the middle, so he can’t step up in the pocket. If you give him time, he’ll kill you.
The Patriots offense has to score touchdowns. Field goals will not get it done.
I know one thing is for sure: Gillette Stadium will be rocking on Sunday night.
Buccaneers 28, Patriots 14
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
Everything in this game leads back to — yes, but it’s Tom Brady!
The Pats can run the ball and win the time of possession game. The Tampa Bay secondary is terrible so they can throw, throw, throw! They can win the turnover battle. Bill Belichick can put together a game plan like the one he did to the Greatest Show On Turf. On and on it goes.
But it always comes back to… yes, but it’s Tom Brady.
Buccaneers 27, Patriots 24
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
This is the biggest regular season game in NFL history. Brady versus Belichick, the G.O.A.T matchup and folks, I could talk myself into thinking the Pats have a chance to pull this one out. But they just don’t have enough.
The Bucs have a great offense and they have a defense that can make plays and they could possibly have the best 3-down linemen in football in Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea and William Gholston.
The Pats are having their struggles but I will say this, all this Brady talk has the players extremely agitated, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
I expect the Patriots defense to play their best game of the season. With that said, it’s not going to matter.
Buccaneers 24, Patriots 14
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Bucs by a hundred.
Bucs 100, Patriots 0
OK just kidding. I do think the Buccaneers will be too much for the Patriots. The offensive talent is just too much, and while you should never underestimate Bill Belichick’s ability to devise a game plan, you likewise should never doubt Tom Brady in a moment like this.
Buccaneers 37, Patriots 20
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
You can try to talk yourself into this being a game all you want. In the end, it is not going to be all that competitive.
Tom Brady is coming in on a mission. He’s going to want to light up the scoreboard against his former team and former head coach, and he wants one final win in Foxboro. Brady and the Tampa offense is going to take full advantage of a Patriots defense that is still trying to come together, one that hasn’t been able to get those important stops as it deals with life without Stephon Gilmore. The Pats may be able to put some pressure on Brady, but he’s going to pick apart that secondary.
If the Patriots want any chance to win this game, they’re going to have to start making plays on offense. For Mac Jones to keep pace with Brady, he’s going to need guys like Jonnu Smith, Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers to step up.
Maybe the Patriots can keep this one close for a bit. But then Brady and the Bucs offense is just going to pile on, and then pile on some more.
Whatever happens, just enjoy the game. This is one special and unique weekend for all of New England.
Buccaneers 35, Patriots 13
We get you ready for Sunday’s big game Friday night with Patriots All Access on WBZ-TV at 7pm and the Patriots Power Hour on TV38 starting at 8pm. We kick off coverage Sunday morning at 11:30am with Patriots GameDay on WBZ-TV, and switch over for Patriots 5th Quarter after the game for full reaction and analysis of Tom Brady’s return to New England!