Buccaneers vs. Patriots Social Rewind The Buccaneers headed to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots. The Buccaneers started strong early on both offense and defense, but couldn't answer Tom Brady's two touchdown passes to rookie WR Kenbrell Thompkins. Here is how Twitter saw it. The 1 PM kickoff was forecasted to be overcast and rainy on the first day of fall in New England, but quickly turned to perfect football conditions as kickoff approached. Fox13's Kevin O'Donnell reports:
0-2 Buccaneers looked to notch their first win against a Patriots team missing two of its top offensive weapons. Before kickoff, SportsCenter reported:
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Danny Amendola are officially inactive today. — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 22, 2013
Buccaneers won the toss and deferred. On the first possession of the game, the Buccaneers offense picked up where they left off, quickly notching their 10th team sack.
After forcing a punt, the Buccaneers offense looked good early, with an early 28-yard completion to Mike Williams. The drive stalled at the 20-yard line and Rian Lindell failed to connect on the field goal. After quickly getting the ball back, the Bucs drove again, this time putting three points on the board.
With each teams' first two drives in the books, the stats leaned in favor of the visitors. Tampa Bay Times' writer Greg Auman breaks it down:
Bucs outgaining Patriots 106-29 after two drives for each ... Josh Freeman 6-for-11 for 84 yards, Tom Brady 3-for-5 for 25 ... — Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 22, 2013
Trying to answer the field goal, Tom Brady led the Patriots onto the field. The Bucs forced a three-and-out again, highlighted by an Adrian Clayborn eight-yard sack. Senior Buccaneers.com writer, Scott Smith noted:
Think the pass-rush is better this year? It took the Bucs 28 quarters to get 11 sacks last year. They hit that total in 9 quarters this year — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) September 22, 2013
As the clock hit zero to end the first quarter, the Buccaneers looked to be in the driver's seat. WEEI.com Patriots writer, Mike Petraglia showed the stats:
The third Buccaneers drive ended in a failed fourth-down conversion, giving the Patriots the ball at their own 34. Their offense showed signs of life, posting an 11-play, 66 yard scoring drive.
TD pass, Tom Brady to Kenbrell Thompkins. — Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) September 22, 2013
The Buccaneers took over possession with half of the second quarter remaining. The offense plugged away, getting to the Patriots' 38-yard line, but again couldn't convert on their fourth-down attempt.
After getting the ball back on their own 38-yard line, the Patriots meticulously drove down the field. The 10-play drive again ended with Tom Brady finding his rookie receiver Thompkins.
With 47 seconds left, the Buccaneers maintained their aggressive attitude, trying to get into scoring position to put more points on the board before halftime. After a quick first down, Freeman looked for Vincent Jackson near midfield.
Freeman's former teammate Aqib Talib just picked him off. Brady and Co. with the ball. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) September 22, 2013
The late turnover would result in three more Patriot points before the teams went into the locker room for halftime.
The Patriots first drive of the second half began with a 46-yard Brandon Bolden run to the right side, putting New England in scoring range. A 20-yard reception by Thompkins put the ball at the six-yard line. After two big defensive stops, Tom Brady dropped back and was intercepted by S Mark Barron.
Tom Brady intercepted in end zone. It is Brady's 1st regular-season end-zone interception since 2011 Week 14 vs Redskins — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 22, 2013
Tom Brady just gave the Bucs a chance to get back into this game. Let's see what they do with it. Big opportunity here — Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) September 22, 2013
The Buccaneers again were forced to punt. Two 15 -yard plays to TE Michael Hoomanawanui set up the Patriots third field goal.
Patriots get a FG from Gostkowski and it's now 20-3 New England. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) September 22, 2013
More bad new rolled in for the Buccaneers as Vincent Jackson was seen on the sideline. ESPN's John Clayton reports the injury, with an additional look into another 1 PM matchup.
Vincent Jackson has rib injury. return questionable. Miles Austin hurt hamstring, return questionable. — John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) September 22, 2013
On the ensuing drive, the Buccaneers started driving, breaking across the 50-yard line as the whistle blew on the third quarter. WDAE 620 notes the positive gains:
Trying to take a chunk out of the Patriots' lead, the Buccaneers again opted for a bold move in their opponent's territory. Rick Brown of the Lakeland Ledger has the call, giving the Patriots possession again.
Incomplete. 4th and 15 — Rick Brown (@LedgeronBucs) September 22, 2013
The previous turnover-on-downs would result in three more Patriots points, putting them up 23-3 with 8:19 remaining. With a number of unfortunate series in the game, TBO.com's Ira Kaufman notes the play of Buccaneer quarterback Josh Freeman as the fourth quarter winds down.
Freeman's numbers may not show it, but he played markedly better today. He threw a lot of catchable balls that ended up on the ground — Ira Kaufman (@IKaufmanTBO) September 22, 2013
The Buccaneers defense would again show their red zone strength. After forcing three Patriots' field goals, the unit would hold them on their fourth down attempt from the 11-yard line. From there, Martin ran up the middle for nine yards before Freeman connected with Kevin Ogletree, Eric Page and Brian Leonard on three consecutive plays, moving the team into the red zone.
Three straight completions by Freeman have Bucs in scoring position. Too little too late however, Pats giving up underneath routes. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) September 22, 2013
The offense would fail to reach the end zone. With a minute and a half left in the game, the Patriots would take victory formation, ending the game.