The lone televised NFL week two preseason football game on Friday night is on Fox and features the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New England Patriots. The Buccaneers are looking for signs of improvement after a rough loss this past weekend. The Patriots are playing their first game since Tom Brady’s knee injury during practice, but their leader has been given a clean enough bill of health to play if necessary.
After Brady went down with the knee injury, there was concern that the injury was more serious and he would have to miss significant playing time. Yesterday the Patriots cleared Brady with a mild sprain and he’s expected to take live snaps in tonight’s game, though probably no more than a possession or two max.
Brady’s sprain will put additional pressure on back-ups Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow. Mallett has shown a strong arm thus far, but his decision making under pressure has been questionable at best. Tebow was even worse last week and has a long ways to go before he can master the offense and show some of the playmaking ability he displayed in Denver.
The Bucs are looking to turn around their fortunes this year but didn’t get off to a good start after falling to the Baltimore Ravens 44-16 last week. To the Bucs credit, a lot of the damage came against their second and third stringers as the starters held their ground and even managed an interception off Raven starting quarterback Joe Flacco.
Bucs fans would love to see a strong showing from quarterback Josh Freeman tonight. Freeman, the future of the Bucs franchise at quarterback, was without his two starting guards and managed to march his offense down the field for a field goal last week. The return of those guards should open up the run game more for the offense and allow Freeman more opportunities to throw the ball.
Tonight’s NFL preseason game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots kicks off at 8/7c on Fox in high definition (HD). Though the game is televised, Fox is not offering a free live stream to watch. Instead, you can alternatively watch an online streaming version here via the NFL’s Preseason Live package for $19.99. The Patriots are at home and the Bucs coming off a rough loss, so I expect New England to pull ahead early and run away with a victory.