Matchup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-4) at New England Patriots (8-5)
Where: Gillette Stadium in Foxoborough, Massachussetts
When: Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. ET
VegasInsider.com Spread: Patriots by 4
TV Announcers: Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston
Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Radio Announcers: Gene Deckerhoff and Scott Brantley
Last Week: The New England Patriots defeated the hometown Buffalo Bills last Sunday, 35-7. Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 29-of-38 passes for 329 yards and tossed two touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Corey Dillon carried the ball 22 times for 102 yards (4.6 avg.) and a touchdown. New England produced 494 total yards, and 159 of them came via the ground game. The Patriots converted 11-of-16 third down tries. The Bills were held to just 14 yards rushing. Bills QB J.P. Losman completed 10-of-27 passes for 181 yards and tossed one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers left Carolina with a 20-10 win over the Panthers last Sunday. Bucs rookie RB Cadillac Williams carried the ball 29 times for 112 yards (3.9 avg.) and scored two touchdowns. Tampa Bay converted 10-of-17 third down tries, and QB Chris Simms completed 20-of-27 passes for 138 yards and tossed no touchdowns and no interceptions. Tampa Bay’s defense held Carolina to 278 yards of offense and sacked QB Jake Delhomme twice. Bucs CB Ronde Barber came up with a big interception in the fourth quarter. The Panthers rushed for 82 yards on 20 carries vs. the Bucs.
Covers.com Injury Report: Bucs: CB Juran Bolden (leg) and K Matt Bryant (hamstring) are probable. LB Marquis Cooper (chest) is questionable. DT Anthony McFarland (hamstring) is doubtful.
Patriots: Ts Tom Ashworth (knee) and Nick Kaczur (shoulder), QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/shin), RBs Corey Dillon (calf), Heath Evans (shoulder) and Kevin Faulk (foot), TEs Daniel Graham (shoulder) and Ben Watson (head), Ss Artrell Hawkins (thigh) and Michael Stone (ankle), WR Bethel Johnson (pelvis), FB Patrick Pass (hamstring) and CB Asante Samuel (infection) are questionable. T Matt Light (ankle) is doubtful.
The Last Time These Two Teams Met: Tampa Bay and New England last clashed in September of 2000 at the old Foxborough Stadium. The Bucs handed the hometown Patriots a 21-16 loss in that Week 1 contest.
Bucs-Patriots Series: Tampa Bay is 2-3 all-time in the regular season vs. New England. The Bucs are 1-2 on the road vs. the Patriots. The Bucs have beaten the Patriots in their last two meetings.
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