WHAT HAPPENED IN TAMPA BAY’S 23-3 LOSS AT NEW ENGLAND
Tampa Bay had six trips inside the New England 40-yard line and only came away with a field goal in a 23-3 defeat at Gillette Stadium. As a result, the Bucs now have an incredibly disappointing 0-3 record to start the 2013 season and head coach Greg Schiano is squarely on the hot seat as the team is 1-8 in its last nine games dating back to last year.
The Bucs came into the game without its two top tight ends in Tom Crabtree and Luke Stocker and saw the team’s starting wide receivers go down with injuries. Mike Williams missed significant playing time in the game due to a leg injury after catching four passes for 61 yards in the first quarter, and Vincent Jackson suffered a rib injury in the third quarter after catching three passes for 34 yards and did not return.
Despite the return to action of starting left guard Carl Nicks, the Bucs offense continued to struggle, producing just three points, was 0-for-4 on fourth down conversion attempts and had a turnover as quarterback Josh Freeman threw his third interception of the season in as many games. Freeman also didn’t complete at least 50 percent of his passes, which is something that has been occurring all season.
Freeman completed 19-of-41 passes for 236 yards with one interception and was sacked three times. Williams finished the game with five catches for 65 yards, followed by Eric Page, who caught three passes for 55 yards.
Running back Doug Martin rushed for a quiet 88 yards on 20 carries, but dropped a couple of passes and finished with two catches for 20 yards.
A missed field goal by Rian Lindell, missed blocks, dropped passes, an interception by former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib and bad throws by Freeman at different stages of the game cost the Bucs offense a chance at more points.
“I’m going to have to look at the tape before I give you precise reasons,” Schiano said when asked about the Bucs’ offensive futility. “We certainly had our opportunity. We had 14 plays in their territory at the very beginning of the game and we came away with three points. I know the results as you do. To get to the bottom of the cause and why it’s not working the way we believe it should – we have to study the tape and it starts with me. We have to get better. There’s no magic pill.
“Hopefully we’ll start to get into a little bit of a groove. We did some things offensively at times, but we weren’t able to finish drives. You’re not going to win in this league that way.”
When asked if Freeman continues to give the Bucs the best chance to win, and if there was any consideration of pulling him in favor of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, Schiano said: “He does, and no there wasn’t.”
While Tampa Bay’s defense registered three sacks and had an interception, it couldn’t prevent New England’s offense from scoring six times. Strong safety Mark Barron led the way for the Buccaneers with a team-high 11 tackles, half a sack, an interception and a pass breakup, but the team's usually stout run defense was shredded for 156 yards on 33 carries (4.7 avg.).
Tom Brady was 25-of-36 for 225 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while former Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount led the Patriots in rushing with 65 yards on 14 carries.
At 0-3, Tampa Bay falls behind Carolina, who is 1-2 after a 38-0 win over the 0-3 New York Giants, as the current cellar dweller in the NFC South. The Bucs host the Arizona Cardinals (1-2) next week at Raymond James Stadium and will try to get their first win of the season prior to the team’s bye week.HOW DID THE TEAMS SCORE? – BUCS vs. PATRIOTS SCORING SERIES
First Quarter – Buccaneers 3, Patriots 0
Mike Williams caught a 28-yard pass against former Tampa Bay cornerback Kyle Arrington and then drew a pass interference call against him for 20 yards. After missing a 38-yard field goal earlier in the first quarter, Lindell drilled a 30-yard field goal to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead.Second Quarter – Patriots 7, Buccaneers 3
Tom Brady hit rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson with a 15-yard strike for a first down on third-and-6 at the Tampa Bay 45. On fourth-and-2 at the Tampa Bay 37, Brady hit Dobson for a gain of six yards down to the Tampa Bay 31. After a 9-yard run by Stevan Ridley, Brady hit Kenbrell Thompkins for a 16-yard touchdown to give New England a 7-3 lead.Second Quarter – Patriots 14, Buccaneers 3
Rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks was flagged 28 yards for pass interference on third-and-5, which gave New England a first down at the Tampa Bay 17. On second-and-goal from the Bucs’ 5-yard line, Thompkins beat Banks for a touchdown as the Patriots took a 14-3 lead right before halftime.Second Quarter – Patriots 17, Buccaneers 3
With 11 seconds left in the first half, Freeman was intercepted by Aqib Talib at the Tampa Bay 43-yard line. After a 3-yard pass to Brandon Bolden, Brady rushed for five yards on a QB sneak up the middle to get New England in field goal position. Stephen Gostkowksi’s 53-yard field goal was good to give the Patriots a 17-3 lead.Third Quarter – Patriots 20, Buccaneers 3
Brady was 4-of-4 for 43 yards on the drive, including throws to tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who had catches of 15 yards and 16 yards to get the Patriots into field goal range. Gostkowski’s 46-yard field goal was good to give New England a 20-3 lead in the third quarter.Fourth Quarter – Patriots 23, Buccaneers 3
Brady drove the Patriots down for another field goal, completing 4-of-5 passes for 47 yards. Bolden caught a 17-yard pass, followed by 12-yard and 11-yard catches by Julian Edelman. The Patriots’ drive stalled and Gostkowski kicked a 33-yard field goal to give New England a 23-3 lead.WHAT WAS NOTABLE ABOUT SUNDAY’S GAME FOR THE BUCS?
Tampa Bay left guard Carl Nicks made his first start of the 2013 season. … Bucs tight end Nate Byham got the start in place of Luke Stocker, and Danny Noble saw his first action of the season in a Bucs uniform. … Bucs defensive tackle Gary Gibson got the start in place of Akeem Nicks, and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers got the start in place of Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. … Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David and strong safety Mark Barron split a sack in the first quarter. David has at least one half of a sack in each of the last four games for Tampa Bay, and leads the team with 3.5 sacks this season. Barron recorded his first interception of the season in the end zone in the third quarter. … Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn has recorded sacks in back-to-back games and has two on the season. … Tampa Bay wide receiver Eric Page caught his first NFL pass, a 22-yard gain, in the second quarter. … Bucs rookie nose tackle Akeem Spence recorded his first NFL sack against Tom Brady in the third quarter. WHICH BUCCANEERS WERE INACTIVE?
The following Bucs were inactive against the Patriots: TE Tom Crabtree, CB Michael Adams, LG Gabe Carimi, DT Derek Landri, TE Luke Stocker, DE Steven Means and QB Dan Orlovsky.
The following Patriots were inactive against the Bucs: WR Danny Amendola, LB Steve Beauharnais, TE Rob Gronkowski, DL Chris Jones, WR Matt Slater, OT Will Svitek and RB Leon Washington.WHICH BUCS GOT HURT?
• Defensive tackle Gary Gibson suffered a head and hip injury early in the first quarter while being blocked on a screen pass. He did not return.
• Wide receiver Mike Williams went down with a leg injury early in the second quarter and missed the rest of the first half.
• Wide receiver Vincent Jackson injured his ribs in the third quarter and did not return.
• Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy walked off the field slowly in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.WHAT WILL UPSET GREG SCHIANO WHEN HE WATCHES THE FILM?
• Buccaneers kicker Rian Lindell missed his first field goal of the game, a 38-yarder, in the first quarter. Lindell missed a 47-yard field goal at the end of the Saints game. Tampa Bay decided to go for it on fourth-and-5 at the New England 34-yard line (and fail) instead of allowing Lindell to try a 51-yard field goal in the early second quarter.
• Bucs tight end Tim Wright dropped a touchdown pass from Josh Freeman in the end zone in the first quarter. The team had to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Rian Lindell.
• Tampa Bay failed to pick up a first down on fourth-and-1 from the New England 38 when Patriots inside linebacker Brandon Spikes stuffed running back Doug Martin for no gain. The Bucs were 0-for-2 on fourth down in the first half against the Patriots, and were 0-for-4 in the game on fourth down.
• Rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks was flagged for a 28-yard pass interference penalty on third-and-5 in the second quarter. Five plays later, Banks surrendered a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins.
• Freeman threw an interception to former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib. That set up a last-second, 53-yard field goal to give New England a 17-3 lead at halftime. Freeman completed less than 50 percent of his passes on Sunday, which marks the third straight game he has not completed at least half of his passes.
• Tampa Bay’s offense converted just 5-of-14 third down attempts (36 percent) against New England.WHAT’S UP NEXT FOR THE BUCS?
Tampa Bay (0-3) returns home to play the Arizona Cardinals (1-2). Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. ET and the game will likely be blacked out.
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