Patriots vs. Buccaneers: A Week 4 Matchup for the Ages

Drew Gray '23, Contributing Writer

Sports Opinion

I don’t think it is an understatement to say that this game could quite possibly be one of the most important ones in NFL history.

For obvious reasons, this game has major implications for both Tampa Bay and New England: Tom Brady returning to Gillette Stadium for the first time since his departure from the Patriots, and it also marks the first time that Coach Bill Belichick and Brady have faced off against each other on two different teams. Furthermore, the addition of quarterback Mac Jones to the Pats provides yet another layer of rivalry and expectations.

With the Patriots’ record of 1-2 after Sunday’s home loss to the Saints and the Bucs (2-1) losing to the Los Angeles Rams, the game has importance even regarding the standings. Despite it only having been 3 weeks, the Belichick-led Pats could be sitting at 2-2 along with Tampa Bay if they were to pull off a win.

However, I think the biggest takeaway from this game will most likely be the Belichick versus Brady debate. Ever since Brady left the Patriots, the two have been compared essentially in terms of who is more valuable: the greatest coach of all time or the greatest quarterback of all time. I feel that the winner of this game could settle this debate, or at least sway the average NFL fan which G.O.A.T. is more important to their team’s success.

Additionally, both Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero and Brady’s father Tom Sr. have been taking shots at Coach Belichick. While in New England, Guerrero was pushed away by Belichick and he did not allow him access to the team facilities. Supposedly, Guerrero had to do his treatments on Brady in the suites at Gillette Stadium because of this tension. Regarding Tom Sr., he has commented that Brady felt “vindicated” to win a Super Bowl without Coach Belichick.

Personally, I feel that Brady isn’t very confrontational when it comes to the media, and that Gurerrero and Tom Sr. are essentially saying what he feels about Belichick for him.

Besides the major storylines surrounding the game, I expect the Bucs to come away with the win. Unless Jones and the Patriots offense find a groove, I don’t see a path to victory against Tampa Bay. They are an extremely well-balanced team with top-heavy talent on their offense, including another former Patriot Rob Gronkowski, who is performing very well thus far this season.

To sum it all up, this Week 4 matchup has major importance not only to the standings or the drama surrounding it, but because it is the first matchup with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady on opposite sidelines. And, I can say one thing for certain: it won’t disappoint.