Bucs should show more focus against Pats

by Gary Shelton on October 2, 2021

in general

Bowles needs for his defense to step up./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 3 a.m.

Returning to the scene of most of his greatness will get Tom Brady's attention.

Knowing that Richard Sherman is about to take someone's starting job is going to get the secondary's attention.

Missing the Rams' game will get Antonio Brown's attention.

Playing pedestrian football will get the attention of the front seven.

Running in quicksand for three weeks will get the running back's attention.

Having to remind everyone that he played in New England, too, will get Rob Gronkowski's attention.

Of course, it is the renewed combination of Brady and Belichick that will get everyone else's attention. That's natural. We live in a society that wants to say it was all Belichick's credit, or all Brady's. No one ever heard of two guys being the best thing for each other; hence the debate.

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This week, the Bucs should be focused for once. The intensity of a football team has faded in and out like bad radio reception for three weeks. But considering last week's loss, and the up-and-down play of a team that suddenly looks like underachievers, the Bucs should be sharp this week.

"It doesn't have a damn thing to do with Brady, it has to do with losing," said Bucs coach Bruce Arians. "I like the way we bounced back on the practice field."

That doesn't mean there won't be trouble from New England. They've got a good coach in Bill Belichick, and despite a 1-2 record, they've had some. moments. But the roster simply isn't as good as Tampa Bay's. This week, the Bucs should win, or they're going to have some explaining to do.

Big game, you say? Who's a better big game performer than Brady? Look for him to have a solid night. Look for Shaq Barrett to finally show up and bring Devin White with him.

Prediction: Bucs 30, New England 21.

Other NFL picks:

Dallas 24, Carolina 17.

New Orleans 30, New York Giants 14.

Seattle 17, San Francisco 14.

Green Bay 28, Pittsburgh 20.

And in college football:

Florida 31, Kentucky 21.

SMU 33 , USF 17.

Syracuse 27, FSU 17.

Alabama 31, Ole Miss 30.

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