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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Key Takeaways from Buccaneers vs. Patriots

The Buccaneers' running backs showed promise in the team's loss to the Patriots.


Pictures from the Buccaneers' Week 5 matchup with the Patriots.

  1. Tampa Bay's ground game upgraded as Doug Martin returns**
    Running back Doug Martin looked comfortable, despite not seeing regular season action since Week 16 of last year. The workhorse tallied 74 yards on 13 carries and drove in Tampa Bay's first score of the game on a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Both RB Charles Sims and RB Jacquizz Rodgers proved viable receivers for quarterback Jameis Winston to balance the ground game as well. Look for this unit to develop as the season goes on.


  1. Rookies make a statement on defense**
    Charged with helping to contain one of the league's best offenses, linebacker Kendell Beckwith and safety Justin Evans answered the call with stellar performances. Beckwith led the team with 14 total tackles, 12 of which were solo, while Evans, making his first career NFL start, added nine tackles (eight solo) of his own. Evans also provided the defensive catalyst on New England's first drive of the game, as he picked off quarterback Tom Brady at the Tampa Bay 36-yard line.

3. Defensive depth chart steps up to fill holes left by injured players
Rookies weren't the only guys stepping up. In a depleted defense, with star linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David both out, it was next man up against New England. Linebacker Adarius Glanton recorded a highlight-worthy sack of Tom Brady to force a fumble in the third quarter. Defensive tackle Will Clarke, who came in for the injured DT Gerald McCoy, recovered Glanton's fumble to give the Buccaneers offense another shot.


  1. Bucs' kicking game still struggling to find consistency**
    The most obvious blemish on Tampa Bay's performance Thursday night was kicker Nick Folk's continued struggles. Despite making both extra points, Folk could not convert on any of his three field goal attempts, missing from 56, 49 and 31 yards.

5. Low third-down success rate prevents offense from finding rhythm
Going into the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay was just one-of-13 on third down, with their first conversion coming in the third quarter. The Buccaneers would punt the ball away six times and finish with a 31-percent third-down efficiency rate. It's notable that the Patriots offense didn't fare much better, going just four-of-12 on third-down attempts on the night, marking a season low.

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