NFL put Bucs-Patriots in Week 4 so story can be about Tom Brady’s return

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Denver Broncos
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When the NFL unveiled the schedule for the 2021 season last week, it showed that the most anticipated game on the slate will take place on Sunday night in Week 4.

That is when Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will head to Gillette Stadium to face his former team for the first time. NFL senior vice president of broadcasting Howard Katz told Peter King of Football Morning in America that each network “lobbied for that game” and that early iterations of the schedule didn’t have it on Sunday night.

Once it did land there, vice president of broadcast planning Mike North said the league put the game in an early slot means the story of the game won’t be about “playoff implications” and is less likely to be about anybody missing due to injury.

“The story can be about Brady’s return,” North said. “It would be different if Tom’s standing on the 50-yard line watching a tribute video in November in six inches of snow. Or, the later in the season we go, the more likely somebody’s injured. Getting in early, having that story told, made some sense.”

It’s a story that most of the football world will be interested in watching and they won’t have to wait for weeks and weeks to see how it plays out.

16 responses to “NFL put Bucs-Patriots in Week 4 so story can be about Tom Brady’s return

  1. It’s easy to predict…. If Cam starts for the Patriots, it’s OVER BEFORE IT BEGINS….there’s no way he can process their D or make the throws needed to keep up & the Pats D will be great but EXHAUSTED by 1/2 time from being on the field so much…. Tampa knows all they have to do is stop Cams scrambles/runs & THAT should be pretty easy for them because that’s really all he can do at this stage…

  2. And the story after can be Tampa Bay Tommy throwing a pick 6 to his old buddy McCourty and then another one to Gilmore. 🙂

  3. I’ll be honest here. I was always really uncomfortable seeing Peyton Manning line up against the Patriots – cringing like something bad was about to happen to my team. Every time. I’ll tell you right now I will not have that same cringey feeling about Tampa Bay Tommy when he lines up against the Pats in this game.

    I was in denial for many many years that Peyton Manning would have won a ton of rings if Belichick was his coach. Now I can admit that because it’s true. He would have. Obviously Bill cannot win with a terrible QB, we saw that last year. But I know a Belichick-Manning duo would have not just won a lot of rings – they would have completed the perfect season too, something Tampa Bay Tommy couldn’t do.

  4. they would have completed the perfect season too, something Tampa Bay Tommy couldn’t do.
    ———————

    So you are saying the defense would have held onto the lead and not given up the go ahead touchdown with 35 seconds left.

  5. dw11 says:
    May 17, 2021 at 10:46 am
    they would have completed the perfect season too, something Tampa Bay Tommy couldn’t do.
    ———————

    So you are saying the defense would have held onto the lead and not given up the go ahead touchdown with 35 seconds left.

    —-
    The lead would have been big enough so the Giants TD wouldn’t have mattered. Manning-Belichick would very likely have won that game going away. I can admit that.

    I guess Tampa Bay Tommy shouldn’t have laughed at the idea the Giants defense would hold the Patriots to 17 points before the game started.

  6. Two things come to mind that I have learned while watching the last couple of decades of football:

    (1) Don’t bet against Tom Brady
    (2) Don’t bet against Bill Belichick

    So, while I think Tampa Bay has the upper hand based on the teams right now, I make sure to refer to rule #2. While it is easy to get excited over some of the Patriots pickups in the off-season, I refer to rule #1. Not making a prediction here, but really looking forward to this game! (I hope both teams are playing well by the time week four comes around)

  7. I think that to have a chance, the Patriots will have to start strong in this game and take a lead out of the gate. I don’t see them catching up to a stacked Tom Brady led offense. The Patriots would also need to keep the pedal to the metal (offense and defense) to stay ahead of a late charging Tom Brady (If any QB can come from behind, it is him).

  8. I hope the Bucs don’t lose that game. That could put them in a real tailspin as Bruce Arians put it when they lost that opener when he was with the Cardinals to the Jimmy G. Patriots. Love the guy, but that was among the most idiotic statements I’ve ever heard a coach say.

  9. GoodellMustGo says:
    May 17, 2021 at 10:29 am
    And the story after can be Tampa Bay Tommy throwing a pick 6 to his old buddy McCourty and then another one to Gilmore. 🙂

    If any QB knows the strengths of McCourty & Gilmore & how to avoid the two, it would be Tom Brady, who practiced against them for many years. It made both Tom & the Patriots defense that much better.

  10. In 4 SB appearances, Peyton Manning threw 3 TDs to 5 INTs and has a 77 QB rating. He also is well known for his 9 one and dones in the playoffs. But yea, he would have won multiple titles with Belichick.

  11. Wow, talk about sour grapes from certain Patriot fans. And all of a sudden all of the love for Manning … who certainly lost more than his fair share of games to non-Patriot teams? Great player for sure, but to trash your quarterback who has been generally quite respectful to the franchise, even after the coach obviously didn’t want him back. Hmm …

  12. blessedunliketherest says:
    May 17, 2021 at 9:20 pm
    In 4 SB appearances, Peyton Manning threw 3 TDs to 5 INTs and has a 77 QB rating. He also is well known for his 9 one and dones in the playoffs. But yea, he would have won multiple titles with Belichick.

    That was with coach Caldwell, Dungy and Fox. Those guys aren’t Belichick.

    With Belichick – multiple titles. Without a doubt at all.

    Hey if we’re going to hear that Brady and Rex Ryan would have made a dynasty from the Tampa Bay Tommy lovers, it’s only fair to think “what if” the other way too. We know Bill can’t win much with a lousy QB, that was proven last year. But a great QB can certainly put him over the top. Peyton Manning would be thought of very differently if he had Belichick and the Patriots defenses all these years.

    Just keeping it real 🙂

  13. rocketman69 says:
    May 17, 2021 at 11:06 pm
    Wow, talk about sour grapes from certain Patriot fans. And all of a sudden all of the love for Manning … who certainly lost more than his fair share of games to non-Patriot teams? Great player for sure, but to trash your quarterback who has been generally quite respectful to the franchise, even after the coach obviously didn’t want him back. Hmm …
    —–
    Keeping it real. 🙂 Manning and Belichick would have made a pairing for the ages. Multiple rings easy.

    I was in denial about that for a couple of decades but ready to admit the truth now. It’s ok it doesn’t change history or anything but it’s good to be real.

  14. jrterrier5 says:
    May 17, 2021 at 12:32 pm
    GoodellMustGo says:
    May 17, 2021 at 10:29 am
    And the story after can be Tampa Bay Tommy throwing a pick 6 to his old buddy McCourty and then another one to Gilmore. 🙂

    If any QB knows the strengths of McCourty & Gilmore & how to avoid the two, it would be Tom Brady, who practiced against them for many years. It made both Tom & the Patriots defense that much better.


    He certainly does know them. Which is why I expect Bill to throw a wrinkle at Tampa Bay Tommy defensively that he doesn’t expect to see. Those guys are chomping at the bit to get at Tampa Bay Tommy too – I mean how would any player feel if all they’ve heard for the past 6 months is the noise that the Patriots dynasty was all Brady and every single one on the Patriots organization was along for the ride.

    Gonna be a long night for poor Tampa Bay Tommy.

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