The Teams: New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Terms: Second preseason game
The Time: 8:00pm
The Place: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, Florida
The Channel: NFL Network; Simulcast on WBZ (Channel 4 in Boston)
Three Burning Questions:
- How will the quarterback play progress? Tom Brady will not be playing in tonight’s game as he remained in New England to rest a sore foot. Reports say it is nothing serious but obviously the team will play it safe. The quarterback play in the first preseason game was abysmal with Matt Cassell, Matt Gutierrez and rookie Kevin O’Connell combining to go 17-33 for 103 yards and three interceptions. Cassell has the most to lose as his backup spot may be on the line. Gutierrez seems the most likely to take over the spot as O’Connell is still learning the system. If none of the Patriots QBs step up tonight, it will make fans a little more uneasy if anything ever happened to No. 12.
- How much will John Lynch play? Lynch just signed a few days ago but is expected to suit up for his new team tonight. If the Patriots want him to be ready to go for opening day they need to throw the veteran in the fire and get some game experience. I think this would be a great opportunity for him to step in an see what he has left in the tank. Expect him to play around 20-25 snaps, mostly with the first and second team defense tonight. A patented hard hit may be in the cards as well…
- How will the offensive line play? The ongoing saga ever since the ownage by the Giants in the Super Bowl and Nick Kazcur getting popped with more than 200 prescription drugs is how the offensive line is going to respond. Injuries have also taken a toll on the backup corps as two recent veteran signings have already gone down injured for the year so Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Kazcur and Stephen Neal need to build their confidence back up before the season.
Prediction: Well, it’s a preseason game so the score doesn’t really matter. But just for S and G, I’ll say 27-20 Pats. What are you looking for in tonight’s game??
Tags: Dan Koppen, John Lynch, Kevin O'Connell, Logan Mankins, Matt Cassell, Matt Gutierrez, Matt Light, Nick Kaczur, Patriots, Stephen Neal, Tom Brady