Remember last season when head coach, Raheem Morris, proudly declared that he believed he coached the best team in the NFC? Last season finished on such a high note after achieving their goal towards ten wins after being a team who had only won 3 games the previous season. Not only had they met their dreams, but they also showed that they had enough to take on their rivals, the Saints and the Falcons. After shutting out the Chiefs in their first preseason game, maybe we all started getting a little comfortable in thinking the Bucs could really challenge elite teams now. Then the Patriots came into Tampaand showed the Buccaneers what an elite team is supposed to look like. The Bucs looked lost, confused, and weak against New England’s starters. The offensive line did absolutely nothing, Blount went nowhere, and the defense let Brady walk effortlessly down the field. The good thing I noticed is that the second Brady was off the field, the Patriots couldn’t score, and the 2nd and 3rd string of the defense looked pretty good. Believe me it was hard to find positive things in this game, as it was hard to watch.
The Buccaneers defensive line looked sluggish and unmotivated against the Patriots. They failed to generate a consistent pass rush on Tom Brady, and allowed the Patriots to rip off big yards on the ground. Although the defensive line looked weak, Gerald McCoy looked like he came to play some football. He had a rough start after having RB Danny Woodhead at his fingertips and watching the speeding running back run for 29 yards before being tackled by Sean Jones. He had an amazing quick first step and seemed unfazed by his recent shoulder injury and looked strong against being double teamed. McCoy looked good as the first line of defense against the run. He didn’t make all of his tackles, but he caused disruption on most of his downs. As Brady was in the process of passing on a 3rd down play, McCoy hit Brady forcing an incomplete pass and 4th down.