Patriots battle the Bucs, win 25-21
Friday, August 16, 2013
This just in - Tom Brady is fine, thank you.
Knee injury? Sure didn't look like it. After a Wednesday practice "tweak" of his left knee that sent New England into semi-shock, Brady led the Patriots offense on a 15-play, 80 yard drive after the opening kickoff. He found his new favorite target Danny Amendola for a 26 yard score. And instead of a simple extra point try, Brady found rookie TE Zach Sudfeld for a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
His knee appears to be ok. So is his arm. Oh yeah, almost forgot. The Patriots also managed to hold off Tampa Bay 25-21 Friday night at Gilllette Stadium.
Brady's night - 11-for-12 passing for 107 yards and the touchdown to Amendola, playing two series' which took up the first quarter. Ryan Mallett entered to lead a drive that turned into a Stephen Gostkowski 39-yard field goal in the second quarter, as the Patriots extended their lead to 11-0 with 9:14 to play before the half.
Mike Glennon led the Bucs on their first scoring drive after stepping in for starter Josh Freeman, taking Tampa 65 yards in nine plays and connecting with Kevin Ogletree from 13 yards for the score to make it 11-7. And before anyone at Gillette Stadium could say Tim Tebow, Mallett and the offense kick-started the "hurry-up" mode. It worked pretty well, with Sudfeld on the receiving end of a 22-yard laser from Mallett - making a great juggling catch of his own. With 3:45 to play before halftime, NE held an 18-7 lead.
Mallett had the Patriots in position to extend the lead further, but two offensive penalties turned a Gostkowski make into a Gostkowski miss from 50. With a quick strike from Glennon to former Patriot Tiquan Underwood for 41yards, Derek Dimke hit a 37 yard field goal to bring the score to 18-10 at the half.
With 8:47 to play in the third quarter, the defense got into the act as Logan Ryan, a rookie CB from Rutgers, picked off Glennon and returned the ball 53 yards for a score...bringing the margin to 25-10.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Patriots' defense had an apparent goal-line stand turned away after a defensive holding penalty in the end zone was called on safety Tavon Wilson. With a new set of downs, it took two plays for Glennon to hook up with David Douglas on a one-yard scoring pass. Mike James converted on a two-point run, and Tampa pulled back within one score at 25-18, with 12:11 to play.
With Tebow in at QB, an overthrown pass intended for Kenbrell Thompkins was intercepted by Mason Robinson, setting the Bucs up in great shape at the NE 29. The defense stiffened this time, with Dimke connecting on a 23-yard FG to make it 25-21, and 8:34 remaining.
The Patriot defense finally got their 4th down stand, turning the Bucs over on downs with a James run stuffed by LB Mike Rivera, giving the offense the ball at the Tampa 45 and 3:20 remaining. From there, Tebow and the offense managed to run the clock out...giving the Patriots a 2-0 start to the pre-season, and undoubtedly making Tom Brady's night a little bit better.