What we learned: Patriots gaunt on invulnerability in victory


The Patriots are used to thespian endings by now. This time, it was a team’s beleaguered invulnerability that stepped adult late in a 19-14 victory in Tampa.


Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston’s pass from a 19-yard line fell deficient as time expired, a wise finale on a night where a NFL’s last-ranked invulnerability hold Tampa to 7 points and underneath 200 yards entering a fourth quarter. Patriots manager Bill Belichick has expected seen adequate furious comebacks and high-scoring shootouts newly to final a lifetime, so this old-school event competence have felt like a thing of beauty to a maestro coach.


Now 3-2, a lapse to form for a Patriots’ delegate was a best news for Belichick on a night that enclosed other familiar, discouraging elements of this unsuitable Patriots season. Tom Brady was strike too much. The using diversion struggled to salt a diversion away. But one week after a Patriots’ invulnerability usually forced one punt, a group didn’t concede a second touchdown until there was usually over dual mins left. When Brady incited a round over Thursday night — twice for a initial time given a 2015 deteriorate — a Patriots’ invulnerability picked him adult with stops.

That’s an instance of a interrelated football that has helped to conclude a Belichick epoch in New England. For a group that didn’t demeanour able of winning nauseous early this season, it’s a start.

Here’s what else we schooled from a Patriots’ victory:

1. Brady has simply been a best quarterback in football this season. Despite an interception on an early overthrow, he showed because on Thursday night. Playing but Rob Gronkowski, Brady had a series of pleasing hold throws into parsimonious windows and finished 13 true passes during one indicate as New England dominated yardage and time of possession by 3 quarters. Brady certainly will bewail a team’s inability to put a diversion divided late, usually gaining 42 yards on 3 fourth-quarter drives.


2. Bucs ubiquitous manager Jason Licht contingency feel like he’s accursed during a kicker position. Nick Folk, a team’s hand-picked deputy for breeze bust Roberto Aguayo, missed 3 margin goals in what could be his final diversion in a Bucs uniform. Folk has missed 5 kicks in a final dual weeks.

3. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has been too haphazard with his correctness this deteriorate to take a subsequent step in his development. The Bucs’ offense got off to a delayed start, punting on 4 of a initial 5 possessions. Winston flat-out missed a series of open throws that short-circuited drives. His final numbers (334 yards on 46 attempts) don’t simulate a struggles he had for most of a night. He and his receivers mostly weren’t on a same page, including on a final chuck to rookie parsimonious finish O.J. Howard.

The Patriots took a low round divided from Winston and done a Bucs patiently govern their offense. Now 2-2 on a season, a Bucs couldn’t lift it off until their final recklessness drives.

4. Brady focused roughly exclusively on 4 receivers. Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and using behind James White all saw during slightest 8 targets and held during slightest 5 passes. Amendola’s lapse to a lineup final week has generally helped Brady on third downs, using some of a choice routes that Julian Edelman used to make his own.


5. Bucs using behind Doug Martin pronounced he was going to demeanour like a “2015 Doug Martin this season.” Strange use of a third chairman aside, he should be right. Martin ran by tackles with an implausible burst, usually like he did behind in 2015 when he finished second in joining rushing. No NFL actor — during any position — tender me some-more this preseason. Martin clearly came into this deteriorate looking to make amends. Finally off suspension, he gave a preview to what could be a beast deteriorate with 74 yards and a touchdown on usually 13 carries. His effort should usually boost from here.

6. This Bucs invulnerability will urge as a deteriorate wears on. They were blank 4 pivotal defensive starters in a back-seven, and a team’s pass rush finally came alive Thursday with Brady removing knocked down during slightest 9 times. Brady can’t continue to take a pulsation like this all season, with left tackle Nate Solder being a biggest emanate during a line.


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