New England Patriots: Review of dramatic loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots suffered a dramatic, costly, and heartbreaking loss by a score of 19-17 to the NFL champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady.

They lost when a 56-yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk hit the left upright and fell away. It was a tough, tough loss after a solid effort by the Patriots.

Brady’s return was surrounded by all the media hype that football fans could stomach without indigestion and maybe more.

Thankfully, that whole media circus is over except for the analysis stage. So let’s take a look at some of the positives and negatives of this excellent football game from a New England Patriots’ perspective.

It was a game that delivered on all that it promised and more, except a win for the home team, the New England Patriots.

The negatives for the New England Patriots against Tom Brady and the Bucs

First and foremost, the Patriots lost the game. That’s always the biggest negative of all. This was a game that was there for the taking, a huge upset, and they fell short.

The Patriots played fairly well in run defense, holding the Bucs to 119 yards on the ground, good for an average of four yards per carry. Not bad at all.

That’s OK, but Leonard Fournette was just too good for Tampa Bay. Fournette gashed the Patriots for 91 yards on 20 carries and a 4.6-yard average.

The big back also had 47 yards on 3 catches, a backbreaker for the Patriots. He was the difference in this game. The Patriots couldn’t contain him and it cost them big time.

And key defensive players Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy combined for a measly four tackles. That’s just not good enough for these defensive centerpieces.

And while Brady wasn’t his usual dominant self at all (more on that later), he did enough to win the game.

He deftly avoided sacks, only taking one, and he threw no picks. Tampa won the turnover battle, and that usually is a key determinant in the outcome.

And, as usual, Brady characteristically made the big play at right time to get the win. That’s why he’s always been the best of the best.