A low scoring affair compared to Carolina last week, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots stuck to the plan and eventually came out with the 19-14 victory in Tampa Bay while reaching another historical milestone for the future H.O.F. quarterback.
Following the loss at home against Carolina, mistakes for New England carried over, giving up 409 yards to the Bucs offense, as you can notice enormous gaps between the offensive lineman for running backs such as Doug Martin, who returned after serving a four game suspension for violating drug policies, creating big chunks of yardage play after play. Martin finished his first regular season game of 2017 with 13 carries for 74 yards and scored on a 1 yard goal line jump. Protecting Brady has issues throughout the game, allowing 3 sacks on the 40 year old quarterback and numerous close calls to have Brady improvise last second.
While being under pressure numerous times, Brady delivered anyways, going 30/40 on total completions for 303 yards, and a touchdown to Chris Hogan but unfortunately throwing his first interception of the season to rookie safety Justin Evans . For the running backs, Dion Lewis led the way with 53 yards on 7 carries, one was a 31 yard pick up early on to help New England secure the first points of the game for either side. Speedster wide receiver Brandin Cooks topped the receiving stats with 85 yards on 5 receptions (8 targets). Fellow receivers Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan had 77 and 74 yards respectively while Hogan was the lone receiver to find the end zone.
Tampa Bay gave New England a hard time with four days of rest from last playing, but it ultimately came down to special teams which did not favor the now 2-2 Bucs. Third year quarterback Jameis Winston had a solid game statistically and kept New England on its feet. Going 26/46 on completions with 334 yards in the air and finding his lone touchdown pass to tight end Cameron Brate, Winston had a nice game despite making a few errors on simple flat passes and dangerous throws in coverage. The one area Tampa Bay could not get by was the special teams squad. Kicker Nick Folk did not find his rhythm, going 0/3 on field goals while making both PAT attempts.
Defensively, very similar for both sides, each team allowing 3 sacks on their quarterbacks (3.5 for Tampa Bay). A slug fest to say the least, Tom Brady comes out victorious while securing win number 186 of the regular season, tying Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for most regular season wins by a quarterback.
Next game for NE- Oct 15 @ New York Jets