Patriots Can Exploit Matchups With Buccaneers’ Young Cornerbacks If Rookie Receivers Step Up (Video)

FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots have an unexpectedly tough matchup with the Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon.

The game looked like it could have been a breeze before the season began, but Tampa Bay’s defense appears to be destined for a Top 10 showing this year. The Buccaneers’ front four, linebacker corps and secondary all have a top-tier player who could give the Patriots fits.

Gerald McCoy will be a burden for New England’s offensive line, Lavonte David is a speedy playmaker at weak-side linebacker and everyone knows how dominant Darrelle Revis can be. The Patriots will have to avoid Revis, especially, in order to move the ball on offense. That means throwing to second-year slot cornerback Leonard Johnson and rookie Johnthan Banks. Banks struggled against the Patriots during the summer when the teams held joint practices together. He will likely be covering either Aaron DobsonĀ orĀ Kenbrell Thompkins, so it will be up to the rookies once again to step up.

NESN.com Patriots writer Doug Kyed and MassLive.com’s Nick Underhill broke down the tape on Wednesday night. Watch the video above to hear what they saw from the Buccaneers in the first two weeks of the season.

Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here.