WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL
Despite Tom Brady’s bruised knee, the fact he indicated he’d be speaking Friday night is a clue he’s probably playing. Last week, he went two series against the Eagles, this week the Patriots may have him bite off a little more. If Brady’s in there, it will be hard to top the efficiency of the Patriots offense a week ago during his stint. And Tampa figures to give a better battle because they’ve shown well this week. One doubts we’ll see Darrelle Revis, but the Patriots young receiver corps will get a test from rookie Johnathan Banks and safety Mark Barron. Hard-hitting Dashon Goldson is also a step up at safety from what the Pats saw last week. The Patriots should try to keep upping the pace to make sure the newer players can adjust on the fly. Stevan Ridley gave way last week to LeGarrette Blount. Curious to see this week if Brandon Bolden gets some early reps to show his progress. The Bucs have a very good front with Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn in the mix. They’ll provide a stiffer test than the Eagles did as well, a defense against which the Patriots ran with impunity. Ryan Mallett, to my eyes, wasn’t as godawful as some reviews believed. His composure and footwork need to be a bit smoother though. He seemed to show some nerves – or at least anxiousness – early on in his time last week. Tim Tebow needs to show more decisiveness when he gets in there. Accuracy is also a good idea.