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The next two games will go a long way in determining if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the team they believe they are.
Tom Brady said he knows that. The Buccaneers will first face the the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football, followed by a date with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 29.
“They are huge games,” Brady told Westwood One radio on Monday. “Every one at this time of year is very important. It’s not that they’re not important early in the year. It’s just that things crystallize as you get closer to the end of the season, and every game becomes more important because there are fewer of them.”
It probably doesn’t make much of a difference when a team plays, but it’s worth mentioning that the Buccaneers don’t yet appear ready for prime time.
Two weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints blasted them on Sunday night, 38-3. They also lost to the suddenly average Chicago Bears on a Thursday night a few weeks before that.
But the Bucs are 7-3, already matching last year’s win total in Brady’s first season. These next two games should tell us just how much they have improved.
“I’ve learned that football seasons always starts after Thanksgiving, and we’re not quite there yet,” Brady said. “This is when teams really start to rise to the occasion. This is where you see the commitment, the discipline, the hard work. This is where you really see how things pay off.”