The Patriots defense did give up some big plays on the ground.
AT 2-2, the Bucs aren't dead, but they can't feel very good about how this played out. I think Jameis Winston will play well in this game, but Tom Brady will be better. Stephon Gilmore, the most maligned member of the Deltha O'Neal Tribute Quartet that was masquerading as an National Football League defensive backfield against the Panthers, appears to have achieved what we call Getting Your Act Together. That's about the best that can be said for a game that will eventually go down as the door opening for a defensive turnaround, or remembered as just another lackluster Thursday night game.
The veteran kicker was signed in free agency to rectify a mistake the team made in drafting Roberto Aguayo in the second round a year ago, however he's been anything but a solution through four games.
Despite the low scoring effort, Tom Brady threw for over 300 yards and a touchdown.
Brady completed 30 of 40 passes for 303 yards, one touchdown touchdown and one interception. Keeping a steady lead atop of the division keeps the pressure on the Patriots.
RT Marcus Cannon (ankle) is questionable for Thursday night's game versus Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers would go up 7-3 but the lead wouldn't last long.
Stephen Gostkowski once again used his leg to keep racking up the points as he hit his lone extra point attempt and all four field goal tries which included a 48-yarder. With 10 days now until their next game, there is ample time to scheme up new plays to improve the defense. He and his receivers often weren't on the same page, including on the final throw to rookie tight end O.J. Howard in the end zone down the middle of the field, instead of, say, Mike Evans, who was on the outside and has a well-earned reputation for making tough catches.
This will be a game, likely, that makes New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seethe because of his team's sloppiness. New England accumulated 108 penalty yards on 12 accepted penalty flags, and the team committed back-to-back roughing the passer penalties when the game otherwise would have gone to halftime.
The Patriots took the deep ball away from Winston and made the Bucs patiently execute their offense. The next three weeks will be a good opportunity to build on this week's improvement. Both of their losses have come at home with tonight marking their second road game of the year. Not to mention, the defense this season has struggled giving up a lot of points and yards so Brady needs his top weapons the most now than ever.
Who: New England Patriots vs.