W2W4: Buccaneers vs. Patriots

September, 21, 2013
9/21/13
8:00
AM ET
Three things to watch from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they play the New England Patriots at 1 p.m. Sunday:

Josh Freeman and the circus. The Tampa Bay quarterback hasn’t looked sharp in the preseason and the first two regular-season games and there’s been a report he may demand a trade. The pressure on Freeman is at an all-time high as speculation continues that he and coach Greg Schiano aren’t on the same page. Another loss and poor performance by Freeman could prompt Schiano to turn things over to rookie Mike Glennon after the Week 5 bye.

Doug Martin vs. the New England run defense. The Patriots haven’t been very good against the run so far. They’ve allowed an average of 133 rushing yards in their first two games. Tampa Bay’s run-blocking could get a big boost if guard Carl Nicks is healthy enough to play.

Tampa Bay’s defense. There really has been only one bright spot for the Bucs and that’s the defense. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, linebackers Lavonte David and Mason Foster and the secondary are all off to good starts. New England’s offense hasn’t been spectacular, so Tampa Bay’s defense could keep the Bucs in the game.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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