The Buccaneers returned home victorious in a hard-fought 19-17 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
Tom Brady did not have his best game, but like he has done so many times throughout his career, he did enough to help his team get the 19-17 win.
He also passed Drew Brees to become the all-time leading passer in NFL history. Brady has now passed for 80,560 yards in his career and will add to that mark significantly before he hangs up his cleats.
The Patriots’ rookie quarterback Mac Jones outplayed Brady at times, but Brady and the Buccaneers did enough to win the game.
Brady had a below-average game by Tom Brady standards, completing 22/43 passes for 269 yards. Brady did not have a touchdown pass and was sacked one time.
Mike Evans and Antonio Brown came up big for the Bucs in the passing game. Evans had seven catches for 75 yards, while Brown had seven catches for 63 yards.
This was a game where the Bucs looked to establish the run early, and that’s exactly what they did. Leonard Fournette had a monster game, both running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield. Fournette had 91 yards on the ground and averaged 4.6 yards a carry. Fournette also had 47 receiving yards on three catches.
This was the best running attack that we have seen from the Buccaneers this season. Ronald Jones, in a limited role, had six carries for 25 yards. With Miami next up, the Bucs will look to add to those numbers.
The Bucs offense continued to struggle inside the red zone going one for four, and penalties continued to haunt this team as they racked up another 74 yards.
After the game, Bruce Arians talked about the effort on both sides of the ball. “Defensively, we got the turnovers we talked about. Offensively. I’d liked to have seen more touchdowns.”
What was it precisely that kept the Buccaneers out of the end zone? According to Arians, it was execution.
We didn’t execute at all. Our routes weren’t good our spacing wasn’t very good. We didn’t throw the ball very well down there. It’s a disappointing part of the game to watch us play in the red zone in that game.
Defensively, newly signed Richard Sherman played 58 of 59 snaps and played well for having only three practices before taking the field on Sunday night. Sherman admitted as much on Twitter that this performance was not up to his standard but would get better with more practice time.
A lot of work to do. Not my best day of football, but grateful for the win. Felt great to be back. It will get cleaned up! Preciate the support from everyone.
Richard Sherman will get better. There is no question about that. He takes too much pride in his game and will need to be the leader in the defensive backfield now that Carlton Davis may be looking at missing a few games with his injury.
Pierre Desir was promoted from the practice on Saturday and played 26 snaps. Arians was impressed with how Sherman and Desir could step in and play well with minimal practice time.
It’s amazing. Sherman played really, really well. He had the one penalty but, no, I was really, really pleased with Sherm and Pierre. I thought they both went out there and played really, really good. The bright side is, it’s just going to get better, too, the more they learn what the hell they’re doing.
Antoine Winfield Jr. suffered a concussion in the second half. At his Monday press conference, Arians sounded as if Winfield might miss at least one game:
Getting back so late, for Antoine, it’s going to be hard to get out of the concussion protocol this week, probably, just because of the timing and the trip. Carlton’s in the MRI tube. I don’t know how or long the injury’s going to be, so we’ve got more guys that are going to have to step in and step up.
One highlight defensively for the Bucs was their ability to shut down the running game. The Patriots just could not run the ball against the Buccaneers’ front seven. New England finished with minus one-yard rushing.
Because of their inability to run the ball, Mac Jones completed 33 of his 42 pass attempts, forcing him to throw more than Bill Belichick would have liked.
Despite being outgained in total yards, and having the ball eight minutes less than the Bucs, New England was able to win this game until Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal with under two minutes remaining.
This was also the game where the pass rush returned from the dead and kept Mac Jones on the run a good portion of the night. The Bucs had four sacks of Jones, two by rookie linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.
With their in-state rivals from Miami coming to Tampa this weekend, the Bucs have plenty to improve on. Red zone execution, improved play in the secondary, and the elimination of stupid penalties.
The Bucs are in first place in the NFC South with a 3-1 record.