It’s going to be a special night in Foxboro tonight as Tom Brady makes his highly anticipated return to New England. In what might be one of the biggest regular season games in NFL history, Tom Brady leads his Tampa Bay Buccaneers into Foxboro to face Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
The buildup to this game has been at a Super Bowl level and it will undoubtably feel like a playoff atmosphere inside of Gillette Stadium tonight. I expect a lot of former Patriots and teammates of Brady’s to be in the building, celebrities will be in the house, the fans will be amped up, the razor will be buzzing.
I’m sure the Kraft family has a few tribute videos they will play in the stadium, NBC is going to play video packages throughout the telecast, it’s going to be an emotional night for Patriots fans.
While it’s very much on record that I didn’t love the way Brady ended his New England career and I have some ill feelings towards him, deep down I still love and appreciate him for what he did for the Patriots and New England. There will be a day to celebrate him down the road. Once he retires and returns to New England to be honored by having his number retired and being inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, I will celebrate him. At the end of the day I will always be a fan of Tom Brady but tonight, Brady is the enemy and there will be no wavering, I will be rooting for the Patriots and for Tom Brady to fail.
The Buccaneers are heavy favorites in this game but I don’t expect the Patriots to go down without a fight. This game means a lot to both Brady and Belichick but I think it means a little more to Belichick. He has some catching up to do in the Bill vs. Tom debate. He is going to do whatever it takes to beat Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. I look for Belichick to draw up some exotic looks on defense and give Brady a lot to figure out. We all know getting pressure up the middle and pressure with just the front four is the key to beating Brady, I expect Christian Barmore to have a big night, or at least he’ll have to if the Patriots want to have a chance.
The Buccaneers have a lot of injuries on defense, especially in the secondary. If Mac Jones was ever going to have his breakout game, this week would be the game to do it. Imagine if Mac can go toe-to-toe with the GOAT and come away with a victory. It will put Mac on the map.
The Buccaneers should win this game but going on the road for a night game in Foxboro is never easy. Ask the Ravens from a year ago. I also remember the Buccaneers going into Chicago last year, as favorites and losing. This is the NFL and any given Sunday anyone can beat anyone, especially when the head coach is highly motivated to win.
I just hope that no matter what happens in the game, we get a Brady-Belichick embrace after the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t meet pregame and save it for post game, I just hope it’s more than a handshake. After 20 years together and an ugly breakup, I want to see Brady and Belichick hug it out, once and for all. It will be the perfect ending to what is shaping up to be one of the most historic nights in NFL history.