Neither of the mistakes led to points for Tampa Bay (2-2), which was unable to do much offensively until the fourth quarter.
The storyline of the night was absolutely rancid field goal kicking of Nick Folk for Tampa Bay. In the last two games, they’ve faced teams with passing attacks that had been dormant – and gave up over 300 yards to each. While the offense has been playing well, the defense has arguably been the worst in the league. We’ve had enough time and we need to be better at executing what we’re doing and making sure that we have more guys doing their jobs than what we’ve had, and that’s how we can get things corrected on offense. But to be fair, the problems were not exclusively defensive.
Other than that things were really improved. In a close game, that can make the difference.
The Patriots’ star tight end was a late addition to the team’s injury report Wednesday and had been listed as questionable for the game.
Did Tampa Bay miss a golden opportunity? “That’s what happened tonight by me”. The third quarter, however, was brutal as the Pats ran just 11 offensive plays and punted on both drives.
New England would get on the board first with a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. Ragged performances, subpar football and bad games.
Frank Gore gets back at his former team? In his first three games as the starter, Jacquizz Rodgers averaged 0.68 yards before a defender closed within one yard of him, the seventh-highest mark among backs with 25-plus carries (NFL average – 0.32). Tampa was unable to convert, though, getting off the field in only four plays, then picking up a stop before having another fruitless drive.
Through all five Super Bowl wins, however, the one common denominator to the prep has been communication whether the superstar or the role player ended up being the key cog. Like the buccaneers of old, not the Buccaneers of Koetter. They have played there six times in the preseason. They have a rare chance to catch the Patriots when they are reeling a bit, at least on one side of the ball.
That’s “Thursday Night Football”.
Winston completed 26 of 46 passes for 334 yards, but he went 14 of 21 for 225 yards in the fourth quarter. They’re also 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games despite failing to cover in three of their first four games.
On Thursday night, maybe that’s the best you can hope for. The Pats guards will obviously be heavily involved as well, but Andrews anchors this line and must get a good piece of McCoy on each passing play.