Patriots bounce back, hold off Buccaneers for win

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is rare to single players out, but some great leadership when they needed it most caught his eye this week. However, that was a far cry from what the fans got on Thursday night.

Coming off an ugly performance on Sunday, the New England Patriots traveled to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But one week after the Patriots' defense only forced one punt, the team didn't allow a second touchdown until there was just over two minutes left. Sure, that flag against Amendola could just have easily not been thrown, but he did fully extend his arm, so the penalty was called. This time, it was the team's beleaguered defense that stepped up late in a 19-14 victory in Tampa. Simply put, they need to stop making dumb mistakes. Despite an interception on an early overthrow, he showed why on Thursday night.

The New England Patriots might be on the road to kick off Week 5, but they're still getting about six of every ten tickets in books across Vegas.

It's been well-proven in past years that the best way to bother Tom Brady is to provide pressure against him right up the middle.

The Patriots have been troubled by a serious of injuries, especially to their already thin Wide Receiver corps. Also, the Patriots have faced some solid personnel, which deserves some credit, too. This will be New England's first game in Tampa since November 16, 1997 when the Buccaneers played at Houlihan's Stadium. Brady finished the night with 303 yards passing and one touchdown while Brandin Cooks (five receptions for 85 yards) was his primary target. They've allowed a league-worst 456.8 yards per game, while also yielding almost as many points (128) as the defending champs have scored (129).

Three of New England's defensive starters had Alabama football roots.

Then again, in the case of the Bucs, they may even be able to willing to give up a first-round pick these days if it came with a guarantee that they would get good kicking production.

Three thoughts from the Patriots' 19-14 win against the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. At anytime, the Patriots can get hot and start winning games. The offense appeared to be clicking just fine, but the defense left so much to be desired and was a huge reason that they had fallen out of favor with oddsmakers to be the top choice to win a championship this year. Their abysmal defense was let off the hook thanks to Bucs kicker Nick Folk missing three key field goals during the game. The former Arizona Wildcat went 0/3 in his field goal attempts and his team lost by five points.

The veteran kicker missed two field goals and an extra-point before beating the New York Giants on a last-second kick last week.

  • Julie Sanders