Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Conventional wisdom says that the 0-2 Buccaneers, reeling and on the verge of having their season completely fall apart, will be annihilated by the 2-0 Patriots in Foxborough.
Throw conventional wisdom out the window. This game will be closer than you think.
The fact of the matter is that if the Patriots had opened the season with two good teams instead of the Bills and Jets, they'd be 0-2. And Tampa Bay has held the lead in the final minute of each of its first two games and has managed to lose both. The gap between these teams isn't as pronounced as the records would indicate.
The Patriots rush defense is allowing four yards per carry—a fact that likely has Buccaneers running back Doug Martin salivating. Tampa Bay should be able to run the ball all over New England.
In the end, New England will win because of the disparity at quarterback. Tom Brady is an all-time great, while it shouldn't surprise anyone when Bucs signal-caller Josh Freeman is eventually benched.
But Tampa won't lose in blowout fashion. Expect another heartbreaking defeat for the Bucs, one that just might send coach Greg Schiano's hot seat bursting into flames.