Oh, the irony of that caption
It's not uncommon for Patriots coach Bill Belichick to praise his upcoming opponents. As far as he's concerned, every team in the NFL has enough good players to win if his team doesn't play well.

Belichick continued to do that at his Monday morning conference call when asked about his next opponent: the 0-2 Tampa Bay Bucs. While most in the media have been discussing the disarray in Tampa surrounding a growing rift between QB Josh Freeman and Head Coach Greg Schiano, Belichick remains focused on how competitive both Bucs games have been.

"I really feel like we're playing a 2-0 team" Belichick said via ESPN.

Belichick has a point, as the Bucs could easily be 2-0 with a couple of bounces their way. They lost in Week One because a stupid late hit penalty on Lavonte David gift-wrapped the Jets 15 yards, setting up a game winning field goal. Yesterday, they had a 14-13 lead and the ball on the New Orleans 29 with only 1:10 left to go, but a missed 47 yard field goal gave the ball back to Drew Brees. Brees promptly did Drew Brees things with it and drove right down the field for a game winning field goal.

There is an awful lot of smoke in Tampa surrounding the dysfunction between Coach and Quarterback, as it's been reported that Freeman believes Schiano rigged voting to prevent him from being named captain. However, the last two weeks have shown that no team is an easy win right now for the Patriots. Tampa has a talented roster, with a swarming, physical defense and a few explosive playmakers on offense. Considering the state of the Patriots offense, this should be expected to be an absolute dogfight, not a easy win.

Ned Brady 9/16/2013 12:32:00 PM Edit

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