Do you remember the first time you saw the 2021 Buccaneers schedule? A defending championship schedule is one thing, but that one was ridiculous. Even having finished second in the NFC South the year before. The schedule was daunting. Similar to the 2022 schedule. But it was always about the Patriots game in 2021.
Thank You, NFL Network
You may have noticed that the week five matchup where Tom Brady returned to Foxboro has been in heavy rotation this week. I watched it myself last Saturday. Then on Sunday, I woke up early to prepare for a show, snuck upstairs to let the family sleep, and reintroduced myself to the TV remote, and right there on the NFL Network was Bucs/Patriots.
Like most of you, I find it hard to turn off a Buccaneers game. Quite impossible, to be truthful. So I watched the game once again, listening to Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth build every play with verbal hyperbole. Watching the faces of Bill Belichick and Bruce Arians contort with what can only be described as various states of indigestion. All while enjoying what was actually a very evenly contested game. Thankfully, the good guys won.
Why This Game Matters to 2022 Team
If you think that 2021 schedule was daunting, welcome to 2022. This iteration of the Tampa Bay pirates will face arguably the toughest schedule in team history. It will be an “all hands on deck” situation. The Buccaneers will need exceptional performances from every player, as they had against the Patriots last season.
That Buccaneers’ defense will need a relenting, aggressive, chip on their shoulders mentality. Leonard Fournette will need to be the workhorse he’s been with 20 rushes for 92 yards. A 4.6 yards per carry average. Throw in 3 receptions for 47 yards and you are looking at a huge reason the Buccaneers won this game 19-17. The mastery of the GOAT, Tom Brady at quarterback doesn’t hurt at all. This will need to be repeated throughout the 2022 season, every week.
A huge factor to remember is kicker, Ryan Succup. Buccaneers fans do well to remember the wasteland of special teams the team has dealt with over the years. Finally finding salvation in Mr. Irrelevant, who has been anything but as a Buccaneer. Against the Pats he would go 4/5, with long of 48 yards. In a seesaw game that came down to the wire. Remember the last minute doink by Patriots’ kicker Nick Folk’s 56-yard attempt?
The offensive line. The new Buccaneer players. Head coach Todd Bowles. Every new piece of this team will need lunch boxes in hand, and ready to work. This 2022 season will require dedication of the highest order. It may not hurt to watch that Buccaneers/Patriots game a half dozen times. It was one helluva game.
Buccaneers vs. Patriots 2021 Highlights!
For more on this and everything Buccaneers check back here hourly at BucsReport.com.