Extra rest benefits Pats before tough test vs. Bucs

Extra rest benefits Pats before tough test vs. Bucs
September 19, 2013, 3:15 pm
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FOXBORO -- With their first two games being played in less than a week, the Patriots have had some extra time to deal with in between last Thursday's win over the New York Jets and Sunday's upcoming game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It's hard to argue days off, and nobody at Gillette Stadium will do that.

"When you play two games in five days total, it takes a little bit out of ya," said Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich on Thursday. "So it was nice to have a weekend off and just let the body relax, and try to get feeling really good again."

Extra rest wasn't the only benefit for the Patriots. It also gave them extra time to prepare for the Buccaneers.

"Any chance you can get a couple of extra days to prepare is always good," said Wilfork. So we got a chance to get on them early and start looking at the things they do. But, that's good. It was a good start for us. Now we just have to put everything into play."

Extra time to prepare is also a positive. The Patriots are fully aware of what the Buccaneers are on paper. They're an 0-2 club. But they also know what the Bucs are in reality. They're a few plays away from being 2-0, just like them.

Tampa Bay lost in Week 1 to the Jets, thanks to a late personal foul that put the Jets in field goal range, and New York took advantage, defeating the Buccaneers on a last second field goal, 16-14. Then, in Week 2, the New Orleans Saints also handed Tampa Bay a loss thanks to a last-second field goal, 18-17.

Those late kicks made the difference in the Buccaneers entering Gillette Stadium 0-2 and not 2-0. In case you're wondering, the Patriots know that.

"They're a couple plays from being 2-0," said Vince Wilfork on Thursday. "You can see around the league, these first two weeks have been some tough football games. So, and they've been in two, and we've been in two. They easily could be 2-0 just like us. We know that. We understand that. We know the threat that they pose towards us."