NFL Week 5 TNF pick: Take Buccaneers and points vs. Patriots

The Patriots were at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island on Wednesday before taking their customized aircraft to Florida, where they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.

Now, here's a look at how I see things shaking out for a few New England Patriots players before I give my game prediction.

The wait is finally over for the return of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back, Doug Martin, who will make his season debut Thursday when the Bucs host the New England Patriots.

A thunderstorm can not be completely ruled out.

While coach Ben McAdoo wouldn't say precisely how the Giants would change for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium, but it's obvious that he is trying to take some pressure off his team and to get them to play more instinctively.

There will be a gusty wind out of the northeast at 10- 20 miles per hour, potentially gusting over 20 miles per hour at times.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won games by 22 points and 2 points. His numbers Thursday night could be his best of the season.

Thursday's betting line is similar to the one in Week 2 when New England was a 6.5-point road favorite in New Orleans.

Due to the Buccaneers' originally scheduled Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins being postponed as a result of Hurricane Irma, Martin's suspension did not start until Week 2 against the Chicago Bears.

After all, it's New England.

The easiest way to keep Tom Brady and his offense from scoring 30+ points on your team is to keep him and his offense on the bench.

The offense can score in a blink, averaging 32.2 points a game (second in the NFL) and leading the league in yards per game (423.8) and passing yards (328.2). Since 2000, the Patriots' average point differential in games after a loss is plus-11. Through four games he leads the National Football League in passing yards (1,399) and touchdown passes (10, tied with Aaron Rodgers), and is second in quarterback rating (116.6).

The New York Giants are going to simplify things in an effort to get a win.

"No one likes where we're at", Brady said, referring to the Patriots' 2-2 record, "but we're the only people who can do something about it". Tight end Rob Gronkowski was nowhere on the injury report this week, which is a rarity. In other words, don't expect much of a Patriots ground attack. They throw a lot of high balls to him and he goes up there and can take it away from the defenders.

Two teams have already upset the Patriots at home, and New England needed an impressive game-winning drive in the final two minutes to avoid another loss.

  • Julie Sanders