In this week’s Thursday Night matchup, the New England Patriots travel to Tampa Bay to take on Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. The Patriots have given up an average of 32 points per game this season, second worst in the league. Luckily, they have Tom Brady. With Brady at the helm, the offense is scoring an average of 32.3 points per game, second most in the NFL. The Buccaneers downed the New York Giants in Week 4 on a last second field goal to move their record to 2-1 on the season. The Patriots, who have not lost on the road since the AFC Championship of the 2015 season, need a victory to keep up with a surprise Buffalo Bills team in the standings, while Tampa Bay needs to keep pace in a very competitive NFC South. With the help of Remarkable! let’s look into this AFC vs. NFC matchup…
Brandin Cooks has been a huge addition to the potent Patriots offense. Through four weeks Cooks has:
- Averaged 22.6 Yards per Reception (294 yards/13 catches) this season (best of 71 Qualified WRs in NFL; League Avg: 12.5)
- Averaged 73.5 Receiving Yards per game (294/4) this season (9th best of 78 Qualified WRs in NFL; League Avg: 33.0)
- Averaged a touchdown every 6.5 receptions (13 Rec/2 TDs) this season (8th best of 71 Qualified WRs in NFL; League Avg: 12.9)
Tampa Bay’s defense is not 100 percent healthy, so look for Tom Brady to take advantage of a defense with only one sack on the season.
While Cooks has been a playmaker for the Patriots offense, RB James White has been a key piece for the team as well. White doesn’t get many carries, but he does have a team-high 22 receptions.
Converting touchdowns in the Red Zone is important to a team’s success. If Brady isn’t throwing them through the air, Mike Gillislee is running them on the ground. Gillislee has rushed for 4 TDs on 57 carries (14.2 Carries Per TD) this season (2nd best of 33 Qualified RBs in NFL; League Avg: 40).
The Patriots defense has given up an average of 324 passing yards per game this season. Jameis Winston hopes he can reach those heights tonight. So far this season, Winston has gone deep early with an average depth of target receiver at 11.4 yard, highest in the NFL. Mike Evans has been and will be one of the biggest targets for him as he has caught 14 touchdown passes since the start of the 2016 season (tied for 2nd most among WRs in NFL).
Doug Martin is back from suspension and he hopes to make a big impact after a down season last year. The Tampa Bay running back averaged just 2.9 Yards per Carry (421 yards/144 carries) last season, worst among qualified RBs (League Avg: 4.2). The Patriots defense has allowed 5.3 Yards per Carry (537 yards/102 carries) this season, second worst in the NFL (League Avg: 4.1).
Look for both teams to put up large numbers tonight in what could be quite the shootout.
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photo credits Icon Sportswire