January 20, 2022

Bucs Life

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The Most Circled Game on the NFL Schedule

3 min read

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off of their first loss of the 2021 season against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. This Sunday, the Buccaneers will take on the New England Patriots in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium, and I think we all know why this game is so big. The biggest reason is that current Bucs quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski are legends in Foxboro. Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl with the Patriots back in 2001, which was Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski won three Super Bowls together in New England against the Seahawks, Falcons, and Rams. Gronkowski took one year off from football, and when they reunited together in Tampa in 2020, they won their fourth Super Bowl together over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Cheifs. These two players have one thing in common off of the field, and they have both guest-starred on the Fox hit series; Family Guy.

I know for a fact that on the other side of the ball that Bill Belichick is going to have a stressful week, and last Sunday’s game against the Saints was the first time that I have ever heard the Patriots fan boo their team. I do not recall a time when the Patriots ever got booed when Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were in Foxboro— boy, how times have changed. Bill Belichick and the Patriots are coming into Sunday 1-2. The organization has had this game circled since the schedule came out.

The Buccaneers needed to take it one game at a time, but this offseason, when the schedule came out, I know that Brady and Gronk both thought about this game as much as they thought about the season opener against the Cowboys. I wonder if you would consider that the Bucs were looking past the Rams, and we all thought that the Bucs were looking for revenge due to last season’s home loss against Los Angeles. In the loss to the Rams, it just seemed like the Bucs did not have an answer— especially on defense—but hopefully, going into New England, they can get those mistakes cleaned up.

Rob Gronkowski did have a rib injury against the Rams, he did return to the game, and when the Bucs returned to Tampa, his X-rays were negative, according to Adam Schefter. The Buccaneers would still have Brady going into Foxboro, but if Gronkowski would not be able to play, would the game lose some of its lusters? I think it would lose a bunch of it because Gronkowski was a big part of Brady’s success in New England from 2010-2018.

I expect Gillette Stadium to be packed, with both Tampa Bay and New England fans, but which Bucs and Patriots fans? Will they be the real Patriots fans from the Drew Bledsoe days or the Brady followers that went to Tampa? The game will start at 8:20 on NBC, and I personally can’t wait for this game, and neither can every Buccaneer or Patriot’s fan.