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Buccaneers vs. Patriots Predictions: Brady 1, Belichick 0

Can Bill Belichick slow down his former QB on Sunday night?
Can Bill Belichick slow down his former QB on Sunday night?
By Neil Monnery

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The Sunday Night game will be one of the most watched of the 2021 regular season I'm sure. Will the narrative be more compelling than the actual game though? Neil Monnery thinks it might be and we are in for a one-sided encounter...

All the talk heading into the Sunday Night game will be about Tom Brady’s return to Gillette Stadium to take on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. The previews won’t be about the X’s and O’s but more about the feelings of seeing a player return to a franchise that they had so much success with before choosing to depart.

In a way it is similar to when Peyton Manning returned to Lucas Oil Stadium with the Broncos. Everyone though understood why he was moved on due to his neck issues and the option to select Andrew Luck in the NFL Draft. That move though had no animosity whatsoever and with Brady’s departure, the undercurrent makes you believe something different.

In terms of the two teams who will take to the field on Sunday night, they couldn’t be at a much more different stage of their evolution. The visitors are the defending Super Bowl Champs who are loaded with talent. They have one glaring weakness and that is in the Secondary where injuries have plagued them in the early weeks of the 2021 season. The only way I see the Pats keeping it close is if Mac Jones can challenge those replacements with the deep ball. Do I think that he can? No I can’t.

I like the first-round pick out of Alabama but he needs time and help. With James White doubtful for this game following leaving Sunday’s 28-13 loss to the Saints with a hip injury, a big part of their short passing game is unlikely to play. I’m not sure Damien Harris nor Brandon Bolden are ready to step up and get tough yards consistently.

Jones does have some nice targets to hit but are Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholar really in the class of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and (should he return from the Covid list) Antonio Brown. Not on your nelly.

This game is in the Sunday night slot for one reason and one reason only. The storyline. As for the actual game, Tampa Bay rolls and the fat the early line from bet365 is just Patriots+4 baffles me.

Spread:

As I’ve hinted at above. Let’s just say I’m not overthinking this one. Tampa Bay are just better than New England and they should get over that four-point handicap with relative ease.

Straight-up/Moneyline:

The best price I can find at the time of writing for Tampa Bay is -250. Too short for me unless you are using it in a deep parlay.

Over/Under Points Totals:

49points seems to be the most common number out there and I’m going to take the under. I think Tampa wins big but I think Belichick will have his D ready for Brady and will cause him some issues throughout the game. I got TB winning 27-16.

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