I do not care what anyone says, this was a good game. It was a defensive battle through and through, a Belichick classic. Sure my team didn’t win, but it felt like a win in a weird way. There was a lot of bright spots that makes me excited moving forward. Tom Brady gets his records, but at a cost.
The Pariots Defense: The biggest takeaway, for me at least, is the firm grip the Patriots Defense had on the game. While the weather played a role in both team’s performance, both defenses were as good as they could be. Brady targeted JC Jackson twelve times, only completing 6 of those passes. Jackson and Mike Evans were battling all night. Matthew Judon was a pressure generating machine, recording a sack and forcing Tom Brady out of hte pocket on many occasions. A bright spot was rookie Christian Barmore who was demanding attention from the interior lineman, and still collpasing the pocket. This defense has the potential to carry the team far, but that requires the offense to hold it’s own.
Leonard Fournette and the Buccaneers’ Run Block: Fournette was a force to be wreckened with, almost impossible to take down. He had 20 rushes for 91 yards, with an additional 47 yards in the air, he was easily the bright spot on that Buccaneers offense. This is a testamet to Fournette’s skill of breaking tackles, but also that killer run blocking o-line. Tristan Wirf was quick to his assignments, creating plenty of space for Fournette and Ronald Jones II. Those outside runs to Wirf’s side, on top of the great run blocking receivers, allows Fournette to eat.
Mac Jones: He had 19 straight completions, which tied the record held by: Tom Brady. Sure he had 1 interception, but that was more on Agholor than Jones. Mac Jones was thriving in the hurry-up offense and against blitz packages. He took his licks, slung the rock, and had a better night than Brady. Does this make him better than Tom Brady? No. He’s young and there is still a lot we have yet to see, like passing the ball down field better (if at all). Much like Fournette said, “They don’t play like a 1-3 team”. There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to the Patriots’ new QB.
Patriots Special Teams: It’s really hard to put that ENTIRE loss on Nick Folk. He made the field goal earlier in the game, and both extra points. I don’t think this makes him less clutch, but it’s definetly gonna haunt him. Jake Bailey was the britest spot here, scoring 2 out of his 4 punts inside the 20. One of which was a beautiful punt that landed inside the 10. The biggest surprise was the penalty call on Matthew Slater. Something about Slater getting called for Unsportsmanlike Conduct feels wrong. Despite being forced out of bounds, and walled off from entering for most of the play, I think he could’ve gotten back in bounds. It’s a tough call to make, but again I don’t think it was entirely Slater’s fault. Special Teams needs to step up moving forward.
Tom Brady: Tom Brady looked mortal against the Patriots. The rain might’ve messed up his throws but he didn’t play up to his usual standards. A mediocre 70.8 passer ratting, he missed 21 out of his 43 throws. He played smart, but Brady always plays smart. I attribute part of this was a lot of familiarity to Brady’s game that the Patriots took advantage of. That being said, he still played well and some of those misses came off of drops. He poked a few holes in the secondary, mainly Jonathan Jones and Justin Bethel.
Patriots Run Game: Negative one yards rushing. Negative one. 8 rushes, and we didn’t get anything started. James White’s value really shined this game, because he is a key to our rushing game. With him injured we lose our key receiving back that helps open up the back field. Damien Harris needs to REALLY get rolling if we want to succeed without White. Bolden stepped up a bit, no surprise there, he’s a vet in the Belichick system. What hurt was J.J. Taylor, who has shown a lot of promise, losing a fumble and contributing little to the rush attack. You can also attest this dismal showing to the Buccaneers’ great run defense, but we didn’t help outselves either.
The Media: I hope to all hell that Brady never plays the Patriots again. Like a flock of annoying pigeons the media when nuts. They annoyed the Patriots, the Buccaneers, and….the Titans? Even Mike Vrabel got hounded about Brady’s return and left the interview. I would to. This game was way overhyped for what it actually was. Sure, you can milk the story for views, but after 2 questions this story gets old. IF you want to milk a story, which all major sites do, don’t hammer questions on each player. Write your article, stir up the fans, but try to keep the players out of all the drama-lust.
The New England Patriots (1-3) are looking to climb back to the above .500 world, and they will be visiting the Houston Texans (1-3) to hopefully rebound. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM EST on Sunday October 10th.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) are at home, and they’ll be hosting their neighbor Miami Dolphins (1-3). Kickoff is at 1:00 PM EST on Sunday October 10th.