Bucs to try out kickers after 3 more Folk misses

Without Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots got a much needed victory against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston nearly made magic happen, but a last-ditch chance at the end zone from 18 yards out, but couldn't convert, thus giving them the 19-14 lead. Amazon paid $50 million earlier this year to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games, and tonight marks the second game of the season that will be aired via Amazon Prime.

"As far as what happened I think it was a terrible tragedy", said Buccaneers fan Kerrie Stallard.

The Patriots enter the game searching for those answers defensively. Brady finished the night with 303 yards passing and one touchdown while Brandin Cooks (five receptions for 85 yards) was his primary target. That's a couple feet off, that's a 60-yard touchdown. "You've got to do something".

"So again, these last two weeks haven't been exactly what we're looking for".

"You can build off this as a defense", said safety Devin McCourty, one of the team's captains. We made some plays. You take adversity and it helps you bond as a team. "We had to come together, we had to stick together through a rough Sunday and on a short week when we couldn't practice hard and run around". He threw an 18-yard TD pass to Cameron Brate to trim Tampa Bay's deficit to 16-14 with just over two minutes left, and almost led his team downfield to win after Stephen Gostkowski kicked his fourth field goal to put the Patriots up by five. I'm trying to (get) better and better because I know that he's still out there playing. It was a rather odd game to see as many saw both offenses likely to play strong tonight.

One reason for the improved performance might center the coverages New England played Thursday night. It was just the third time in his past 20 games that Evans has been held below 50 yards. Offense isn't always going to have a great day; defense isn't always going to have a great day. Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith said while it's imperative Tampa Bay get pressure on Brady, that alone won't contain the quarterback, who leads the National Football League with 1,299 passing yards and is tied for first with 10 TD passes. Their abysmal defense was let off the hook thanks to Bucs kicker Nick Folk missing three key field goals during the game. His first miss, from 56 yards at the end of the first half, is understandable.

Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said after the game there will be no "rash decisions" regarding Folk.

New England's pass rush problems were obvious to anyone with a spare two minutes to look over the depth chart.

New England led 13-7 at the half despite its first drive's ending with an interception, with Tom Brady throwing well behind receiver Chris Hogan.

Since winning the job by default, Folk has struggled. Gostkowski is now a ideal 12 for 12 on his field goals in 2017.

New England did allow the Buccaneers to gain 409 total yards Thursday night, 229 of which came in the final period. With time running out, the Patriots committed back-to-back roughing the passer penalties that gave Tampa Bay a chance to attempt a field goal. Folk of course missed, but it was alarming nonetheless.

For now, the Patriots can begin preparing for a Week 6 game against the New York Jets, which is also an important contest in the East. Kickoff is Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m.at MetLife Stadium.

  • Julie Sanders