Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has yet to throw a pass in the 2011 preseason as he watched backups Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett lead the Patriots to a 47-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week one of the 2011 preseason from the sideline. This Thursday night, the Patriots travel to the Sunshine State to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I wouldn't expect Brady to sit out again. If Brady does play, we'll get to see him in action with his new toy, former Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Be on a lookout for rookie running backs Stevan Ridley and Richard Medlin who both had impressive games against the Jaguars and are fighting to win roster spots along with Danny Woodhead and the law firm, BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
The Patriots offense will be facing a Buccaneers defense that produced six sacks and managed to keep the Kansas City Chiefs completely off the score board last week. Starting defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who missed the first preseason game with a strained rotator cuff is back at practice and is expected to play on Thursday night. Josh Freeman and the Buccaneers offense will have a much bigger challenge on Thursday against the Patriots than they did against the Chiefs. Keep an eye on wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 draft but was released at final cuts and picked up by the Buccaneers. He'll get some extra playing time as a result of fellow wide receiver Arrelious Benn still recovering from an ACL injury. Briscoe led the Buccaneers in receiving last week with four catches for 60 yards.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, August 18; 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Boston: WBZ 4 (CBS)
Tampa: WTSP 10 (CBS)
TV Distribution Map: The506.com