I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. And for a change, I was right.
A lot of people felt Tom Brady was going to walk into Foxboro on Sunday night and light up the Patriots. Not me. I felt Bill Belichick would have something up his sleeve, and he did. It took a “doink” on Nick Folk’s 56-yard field goal attempt that allowed Tampa Bay to secure the victory, 19-17.
For all the talk about Brady returning to Gillette Stadium, this wasn’t his best performance. He missed some throws. He had some drops. But he did not turn the ball over, and led the Bucs into field goal range in the closing minutes.
Another bright spot: Leonard Fournette. This was by far his best performance of the season, with 91 yards on the ground and 47 receiving. It is for this reason that I’ve chosen to feature his photo this week.
As for the pass defense: yikes. I figured this would be the Patriots’ best chance to win, and Mac Jones completed a high percentage of his passes. No improvement in this unit at all. And not only that, Carlton Davis got hurt again (on special teams no less) and Antoine Winfield Jr. suffered a concussion. These Buccaneers are extremely banged up in the secondary, so expect Bruce Arians to address that this week.
All said, a gutsy win on the road. And with the other three teams in the division losing, the Bucs moved into a first-place tie with the Panthers atop the NFC South.
Photo courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers