This is the oddest week I can remember. It's week 7 and the Pats, in need of a road win, are in London readying to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Someone asked me who their quarterback was and I couldn't tell them. [It's Josh Johnson.] It just seems to be the oddest, quietest football-talk week in a long time.
The buzz has been about the logistics of the trip to London, the league's
possible eventual international expansion, why Adalius Thomas was benched and which player will be activated to fill in as the 3rd WR and in the return game. Has there even been any mention of the Patriots offense vs. Bucs D or how well the Bucs offense will match up against the Pats D? I know head coach Bill Belichick has thought about it, but the fans are pretty much treating this either as a gimme game or otherwise demonstrating that theyr'e just not that interested in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a team to discuss.
See? Even this logo doesn't include the Bucaneers.
The Patriots and Buccaneers will meet this week for the first time since the 2005 season when New England shutout the Buccaneers 28-0 in a home victory.
Head coach Bill Belichick's first game as head coach of the Patriots came against Tampa Bay on Sept. 3, 2000. Tampa Bay claimed a 21-16 victory in that game, but the Patriots have won four of the six total games in the series, which dates back to 1976, the first year of existence for the Buccaneers franchise. New England won the first three games in the series from 1976-88. Tampa Bay claimed the next two meetings, before the Patriots shutout victory in the last meeting between the two teams in 2005.
The Patriots beat the Buccaneers in 1988 and then went 17 years before their next win against the Buccaneers in 2005.
The 17-year victory gap is the second longest for the Patriots, trailing only a 33-year win drought against the Washington Redskins.
BRADY VS. TAMPA BAY
Tom Brady is 1-0 against Tampa Bay. In his only meeting against Tampa Bay (12/17/05), Brady led his team to a 28-0 victory by completing 20-of-31 pass attempts for 258 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a QB rating of 112.8. Brady owns a 25-4 record against NFC opponents in the regular-season.
On offense, Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns and compiled a 122.8 passer rating, completing 20 of 31 passes for 258 yards. David Givens led New England's receiving corps with a career-high 137 yards on six catches, including a touchdown, while Corey Dillon scored a rushing touchdown and also added a receiving score.
The Patriots produced their most complete game of the season, recording a 28-0 shutout over the Buccaneers in Foxborough.
The Patriots and Buccaneers have met just six times in regularseason play. The Patriots' six games against Tampa Bay are the fewest against any team that entered the league prior to the most recent era of expansion, which began with the entry of Jacksonville and Carol ina to the NFL in 1995.
PATRIOTS IN OCTOBER
The Patriots are 24-5 in October games since 2003, having swept the month in 2003, 2006 and 2007. The Patriots had an 11-game winning streak in the month of October that was snapped last season when New England dropped a 30-10 decision at San Diego (10/12/08).