This past Thursday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a chance to measure themselves against one of the NFL’s best teams and to build on early preseason success. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay came up short, losing 31-17 to the New England Patriots.
New England quarterback Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns and completed 58% of his passes (11 out of 19). Brady showed no rustiness, considering this was his first start of the preseason. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis also helped the Patriot cause, with 51 yards rushing on 11 carries and two touchdowns.
Last week’s offensive output against the Kansas City Chiefs is a distant memory. Against the tough New England defense, quarterback Josh Freeman passed for 33 yards and only completed half his passes; he was also sacked twice.
The rushing game wasn’t much better. The Bucs only rushed for 64 yards, although one of their two touchdowns came on a 2-yard run by Allen Bradford. The other Tampa Bay touchdown was by cornerback Elbert Mack on a 69-yard interception return.
The biggest thing that hurt the Buccaneers, though, was penalties. Tampa Bay had 10 penalties for 85 yards in the first half alone, which helped give the Patriots a 28-0 halftime lead.
One positive for Coach Raheem Morris and the Bucs is that it was only a preseason game; it doesn’t hurt their standing, only their pride. Tampa Bay has high hopes for the upcoming season, and should bounce back from this loss. You can be sure that Coach Morris and his staff will spend a lot of time this week reviewing game film and making necessary corrections to get better results.
Can the Bucs turn it around next game and get back to their winning ways? Come out to Raymond James Stadium, or fire up the TV, and find out. Go Bucs!