Brady returns to New England and pulls out a thrilling victory in the rain 19-17
Tampa- Tom Brady once again pulls magic out of his shoulder pads in a victory over the Patriots.
One of the most anticipated match-up to date was Tom Brady coming back to New England to face his former team. Since the NFL released this years' schedule, everyone and their mothers had the date between the Patriots and Bucs circled. The build-up to the match-up was electrifying and now it was time for this chapter to finally close between coach and former player.
With the rain coming down hard, both teams struggled to get anything productive going on the ground as well as through the air early on. Leonard Fournette finally got the ball rolling with 10-yard run, as well as 13-yard catch and run to give the Bucs some momentum. With a 27-yard pass to Mike Evans, Brady broke Drew Brees' record for the Most Passing Yards in NFL history. Despite, history being made in the redzone, the Bucs had to settle for a field goal, 3-0.
After the Bucs picked off Jones, they had a chance to extend their lead with a field goal early in the second, but Ryan Succop pushed the kick wide right. Drop balls and not converting on third downs had everyone flustered and frustrated on the Bucs' sideline. On the defensive side of the ball, Jones was picking on a not in sync Richard Sherman, who just got to the Bucs' organization. Sherman defended on three plays that turned into huge gains for New England. A couple plays later, the Patriots hit the scoreboard with Jones hitting Hunter Henry for the 11-yard touchdown. For the first time in the game, New England had their first lead of the night, 7-3.
Tampa Bay tacked on a field goal at the end of half to cut the Patriots' lead to one point, 7-6. Brady finished the half frustrated 15 out 27 for 182 yards and had no help on the ground. The Bucs only had 44 yards on the ground and wanted to get back to running the ball effectively in the second half.
It looked like the Bucs were in business after they recovered a fumble at the start of the second half, but once again, overthrown balls killed the Bucs' drive. Tampa went back to the run gain mid-way in the third, which got the offense rolling just a bit. Fournette and Ronald Jones II hit the smash and speed button, which put the Bucs back in the redzone. For the first time in the game, the Bucs finally punched the ball in the endzone, with a Jones nine-yard run to retake the lead, 13-7.
Despite the offense picking up for Tampa, their defense was getting ripped to shreds. After the Bucs' scored a rushing touchdown, Mac Jones said hold my beer. Jones went seven plays, all passes and hit Jonnu Smith for a one-yard touchdown to help the Pats retake the lead, 14-13 at the start of the fourth. Hold onto your britches, Brady was not done putting up points on the scoreboard. He got his team close to the goal-line, but they could not get into the endzone. Tampa had to settle for a field-goal, which gave them the lead back, 16-14.
The Bucs' stopped New England from getting into the endzone and forced them to kick a field-goal with under five minutes left to go in the game. The Patriots nailed the field-goal and retook the lead 17-16. With a lot of time on the clock and two timeouts left, Brady did what he has been doing his entire career and that was to win the game in thrilling fashion. He got his team down the field and set up Succop for a potential game winning field goal. Succop hit the field-goal and gave the lead back to the Bucs 19-17, but Jones and crew had enough time on the clock to potentially shatter the Buc's heart.
New England's young rookie showed a lot of poise with the game on line. Jones got his team into field goal position for a game winning kick. It looked like the Pats was going to escape with a win, but the field goal attempt was no good. Tampa escaped in a thriller.