Bucs K Nick Folk - Photo by: Getty Images
With every scouting report, every free agency signing, every draft pick, one eye was one the celebration in the moment, but the other was always on the season, and when it came to the brightest of lights, the reason the weapons and the big names were brought in, this was the game they were brought to play in.
Unfortunately, it didn’t matter, as the Buccaneers fell to the Patriots by a score of 19-14.
The Patriots started with the ball, though not by their own choice. Brady and the Pats offense was moving the ball down the field well, as was expected, up until rookie safety Justin Evans, who was making the first start of his career in place of the injured Keith Tandy, intercepted him on the Buccaneers side of the field.
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, they couldn’t capitalize and get points off the turnover, something that turned out to be a theme for the game. Minus the first play of the drive going for a Mike Evans first down, the Bucs offense stalled.
The Bucs and the Patriots would then go through a series of punts to one another until the Patriots capped off a 13-play, 89-yard drive that ended in a Stephen Gotskowski field goal.
The Bucs were again slow to respond, but thanks to running back Doug Martin, who was making his debut for the 2017 season, they found pay dirt and took the lead 7-3 – the only lead they would have that game.
In classic Patriots fashion, Brady and the Pats offense responded with a strong 9-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a touchdown. The Patriots scored another field goal before the half was over, but took a 13-7 lead going into that half.
The Bucs started with the ball to begin the second half, a crucial drive for momentum. But, unfortunately, they once again stalled early for a quick three-and-out.
The Pats extended their lead on the next drive to 16-7, and as a response, the Bucs again punted. Just as all momentum was getting away from them, and the game slipping for good, linebacker Ardarius Glanton came off a blitz and got a sack fumble that the Buccaneers recovered. Following the fumble, the Bucs had a 22-yard, 7-play drive that showed promise, but stalled in field goal range. That field goal was eventually missed.
Entering the fourth quarter, with hope bleak, things started to change – with the Bucs worst field position of the day, mind you. Starting from basically their own goal line, the Bucs began a long drive that included a huge 41-yard pitch and catch to DeSean Jackson. But, after a few more first down catches, the drive stalled in the red zone and the field goal was once again missed by Folk.
Following that drive, the Bucs forced Brady and the Pats to punt. This led to a nine-play, 74-yard drive that finally ended in a touchdown for the Buccaneers to bring the score to 16-14.
After a long Patriots drive and a field goal, the score was 19-14.
However, that’s how it stayed, and that’s how it ended.
Winston ended the game 26-for-46 with 334 passing yards, one touchdowns and no interceptions. in his first game back, Martin recorded 74 rushing yards on 13 carries. DeSean Jackson led the team in receiving yards with 106 on five catches. Mike Evans was next with 49 yards on five grabs. Cameron Brate had 58 yards on five catches and a touchdown, but also some key drops.
Kendell Beckwith and Justin Evans were the best defensive players for the Bucs on the night. Beckwith ended the game with 13 tackles and Evans had nine with an interception. The Bucs did record three sacks in the game. Those getting the sacks were Clinton McDonald, Gerald McCoy and Adarius Glanton.
Nick Folk was 0-for-3 on field goals ranging from 31, 49 and 55 yards.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Folk better be gone.
That was a horrible performance…bring someone in please
He should be cut tonight. There is no excuse for the amount of kicks he’s missed in the past 4 days. The kicking game almost cost us the giants game (by a miracle). It definitely cost us the game tonight. He makes those kicks.. we win.
I can’t believe this sh*t, I’m legit so mad over seeing this game. How is kicking so effing hard to nail down on this team? Even if Folk was just mediocre, this game was won.
Folk caved for certain but as a team, and sorry but JW in particular, we looked half baked out there. Sloppy, erratic play. Not sure we deserved to win this game even though we could have if Folk didn’t have the yips. We need to play under command the entire game, way too many forced ‘slinging it’ throws.
I actually like the coaching staff and think we’ll get there, but our QB needs another 2-3 years of seasoning. Bucs fan since ’76 I’m willing to wait but realize the knuckle dragging crewe will cry mutiny if they haven’t already and wring their hands about why we aren’t going to the SB with our young, immature but improving QB and a roster that as I’ve said for a long time now has no proven quality depth at multiple important positions. Take a breath folks, this is a marathon not a sprint…
That was my take away from the game, JW is still a couple years away. He was too hyped up facing Brady during a prime time game. Hopefully he learns from the experience. The difference between Brady and every other QB is that he seems to calm down during the biggest games. Which allows his teammates to do the same. Until Jameis calms down big time he will not be capable of handling the big games in Jan/Feb
Ok, I get missing the 56 yarder, But the other two missed field goal attempts would have won this game. Somebody needs to explain why after the first touchdown we stopped running the ball. Given all the injuries I’m looking for a way to be forgiving, but we’re not going to win many games if we can’t get a more effective pass rush and the secondary improves – goes hand in hand. There were bright spots but too few to rationalize this loss. All things considered, we shoulda won this game!!!
The pass rush improved tonight, even if it was a battered down pats OL
I re-watched the game last night and the pass rush did improve. Defense in general still needs improvement, but to be fair, the offense had opportunities to win this game even if Folk missed every kick. We will get better, we have to get better on both sides of the ball if we want to see Buc football in January. Go Bucs!
Well we loss. Time to find another field goal kicker, play more aggressive defense, call a better offensive game as it sucked. Enjoy your 10 days off and fine a way to come back ready to win win win. Go Bucs!
We found a way to lose to Super Bowl Champions. On paper, should have been expected, but losing by missing 3 kicks, and Winston taking forever to get into the game? Oh crap. Here we go again with the Kicker. Pats did what we knew they would do. Even with a lackluster Defense, they concentrated on Evans and he came away with 49 yds. Lets get a new Kicker and move on. Winston needs to get back to peak form.
Yea this kicking is ridiculous. And the play calling. Winston missed a couple key throws yes and was 24-42 but thats also with a game plan that was just crap with no commitment to the run. And there were quite a few drops as well. Most notably the perfect throw to Brate in the endzone. He holds onto that the Bucs win in spite of a horrid kicker…
It does not matter how much Talent these Bucs bring in. They are Mental Midgets. IN essence all they can do is Talk the Talk, can never Walk the Walk. Every Single Game some player resorts to nothingness. I honestly think this Bucs team has more overall talent than the late 90s, early 00s Bucs. Yet NONE can even come close to the Work Ethic those Bucs had. These Bucs are Soft, Weak, and Timid. Once the season is over I am sure they will dangle that “Potential” stuff, but it is all meaningless.
All that talk before the season, before this game, and this is what they produce? What a Joke. They remind me of some guy who KNOWS they cannot win the Fight, starts a Fight, then acts with just enough effort to convince others they “Might” have won. Pathetic.
Fact is the ONLY problem with this team is they Refuse to put the Work in it takes to win Consistently in the NFL.
If Folk had made one FG I would have won $100. Get rid if the bum
I agree there is too much talking about being great. Let others do the talking, focus on actually BEING great.
This game and the situation we’re in shows how hard It is to be a GM. Bad decisions have a compounding effect. If we have Barth and a productive player in an area of need drafted in the second round, we win this game and maybe another game that goes against us this season. The difference between a winning season, or not? Maybe.
I will say that if VH3 doesn’t end up being a top flight QB, and we think about Roberto, ASJ, Sims and a few other players drafted in the first 3 rounds who are still on the bubble as far as performing up to expectations, the track record is still better than it has been at One Buc for a long time but not the ‘walking on water’ level that PR and some posters have anointed Licht with.
Sorry DB not QB
Folk Hero!? I saw that title on PR last week and didn’t say boo, because they won. He sucked last week & luckily made 1 that won the game. He “Oh no he sucked again” last night, and lost the game for the BUCS.
He should be gone!!! Whatever Aguayo had is infectious, so don’t let Folk meet the new kicker on the way out!!
I see Folk as the 3rd reasion we lost
1.) Stubborn Playcalling
2.) JW’s accuracy on the more simple throws that have been thrashing the porous NE D this season so far
1.) is most important, we continued to force mid-deep throws into a soft zone D. A Zone D that Billicheck was using to hide his confused secondary. When Doug showed burst, vision, and decisiveness, with his fresh legs. CLEARLY we change the gameplan to a run heavy attack. He was good for 5 yards every touch, no problem. WHY, did Koetter find it neccessary to not adjust gameflow to what was working and go back to his preferred plays? Stubborn.
Our Defense was very impressive, a very bright shining star from a boring, frustrating night.
Run. The. Ball. especially when your D is playing lights out, give them rest. Even with the 0-7 start on 3rd down they were playing fantastic.
Run…. THE… BALL.
This loss is on Koetter, not Folk.
The best Defense against Brady, is to keep him off the field and rule TOP. We were set up to do that last night with our running attack and we squandered it by calling way too many passes. You don’t beat the Patriots kicking field goals, you beat them with long drives that end in TDs. Take the pressure of the bright lights off of Jameis by handing the ball off. Even that stupid flash jet reverse that resulted in a fumble that we were VERY fortunate to recover. DUMB, waste of a play, give that play to Doug or Jacquizz and let our oline MASH north-south.
I posted earlier in the preseason that the loser of the Bengals kicking contest should be the next BUCs kicker. Guest what the loser was Jake Elliot who just kicked a winning 62 yard FG for the Eagles against the Giants. I’m the same guy that has been ripping Licht for the whole Brindza and Aguayo experiment from the beginner. Licht I will give you my number if you need advise on selecting a kicker.
Ridiculous. It is not that hard to pick a kicker.
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