Tom Brady is headed back to New England to lead the Buccaneers against the Patriots in an early October showdown at Gillette Stadium.
It’s one of many games to highlight on the NFL’s 2021 slate, and ultimately Bill Belichick going against Brady was the biggest win of the league’s schedule release Wednesday night. The unsurprising fact the game will be on “Sunday Night Football” makes it all the better, too.
Pat McAfee, though, doesn’t seem to like the spot for the 43-year-old quarterback and the defending champion Bucs. And he made that very clear Wednesday during an episode of the “Pat McAfee Show” after hearing a reported leak with how Tampa Bay’s schedule fell.
“Are they setting Tom Brady up to lose?” McAfee said. “Do the schedule makers want the worst Tom Brady we can have?”
McAfee expressed how the Buccaneers’ lead up to that Week 4 contest makes it seem like the NFL wants the Patriots to win. Tampa Bay, for reference, travels out to Los Angeles to take on the Rams at SoFi Stadium in a Week 3 clash the week prior. Brady and Co. then will board the planes after a 4:25 p.m. ET game and fly back to Tampa Bay, only to leave for New England a few short days later. (You can find Tampa Bay’s full schedule here.)
“Everybody assumed that the NFL was anti-Tom, but they always assumed that was anti-Tom and the Patriots. Now, it’s very clear that the schedule makers have an agenda. And that agenda is to get Bill Belichick at his best, and Tom Brady at his absolute worst,” McAfee said. “What’s that all about for that Week 4 primetime matchup?”
When McAfee found out the Patriots will host the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium in Week 3, meaning no travel was required, it essentially cemented the theory in his mind.
“… Bill Belichick is sleeping on that yacht he has for what three weeks straight, probably?” McAfee said. “That’s unbelievable. I never would have expected that. But Tom Brady doesn’t mind, that’s why he eats avocado ice cream, to get through this thing.”
If you’re to ask Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., though, it won’t make much of a difference. Brady Sr. expects the Buccaneers to beat the Patriots “rather handily.”
Oddsmakers have Brady’s Bucs as the road favorite, too, with Tampa Bay favored by 3.5 points at FanDuel SportsBook.
We’ll find out Oct. 3.