Commentary

Four bold predictions for this week

Chemistry test for Brady and Ocho begins Thursday (OK, so we were off by a week)

Updated: August 15, 2011, 11:43 AM ET
By Adam Jones | ESPNBoston.com

Brady/OchocincoAP Photo/Michael DwyerExpect Chad Ochocinco and Tom Brady to see plenty of time together on the field on Thursday night.

Editor's note: This is the second installment of a new weekly feature that will appear each Monday on ESPNBoston.com. You can listen to Adam Jones and Drew Brooks on ESPN Boston Radio every weekday live from noon-2 p.m. and again from 2-4. (Listen HERE)

1. The starters finally get some burn

To say I was off on last week's prediction would be an understatement. I didn't just expect Tom Brady to play, I expected him to play a lot. Instead, Bill Belichick kept him and most of the other starters on the sideline and was rewarded with a 47-12 victory over Jacksonville. This week is another story. Brady and the starters will play the entire first half against Tampa Bay (minus a few notable exceptions like Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis), which means we'll finally get to see what type of chemistry he has with new weapon Chad Ochocinco.

2. Ocho and Haynesworth both make the roster

This may not seem like a stretch, but since Dan Pompei floated the idea over at the National Football Post I figured we'd address it here. It's difficult to predict what will Belichick is thinking (see last week's Bold Predictions), but I'm borderline positive he's not in the business of giving away draft picks just to send a message to his locker room. Especially when the players acquired in exchange for those draft picks are on team-friendly deals. It makes zero sense, and I fully expect to see both in uniform on Sept. 12 in Miami (as does Mike Reiss).

3. Buchholz won't make another start this season

Even though he described himself as a "couple of weeks away" from throwing, I don't believe we'll see Clay Buchholz make another start this season. Even if he begins throwing by the first week of September, it's asking a lot of Buchholz to stretch himself out by the end of the month. I guess the bullpen is a possibility, but that seems doubtful as well. Remember, last time Buchholz began throwing off a mound, he experienced a setback. It's unfortunate to say, but this is looking more and more like a lost season for Buchholz.

4. Bedard gets his first win in a Red Sox uniform

Erik Bedard has been far from great in his first two starts with the Red Sox, but he's shown flashes of becoming the No. 3 starter they so desperately need. He's been healthy (never a given) and continues to strike out batters at an impressive clip (11 in 10 innings with Boston). He's too talented a pitcher to only have four wins on the season. Most of that was due to the anemic offense in Seattle. Unlike the Mariners, the Red Sox offense rewards their starting pitchers with victories (see: Lackey, John) and the prediction here is Bedard get his first Tuesday night.

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