The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 0-3.
A 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots sent the Bucs to their third straight loss to start the season and eighth defeat in nine games stretching back to last season.
Two touchdown passes from Tom Brady to Kenbrell Thompkins in the second quarter put the Pats ahead and they never looked back.
They added to their lead with three field goals by Stephen Gostkowski to make it 23 unanswered points for the Patriots.
The Bucs had taken the lead through a Ryan Lindell field goal, but this was after he missed yet another routine kick.
The Buccaneers were inside the Patriots 40 yard line six times and came away with a total of three points all afternoon.
The Bucs offense came out firing as Mike Sullivan opened the playbook with new schemes and formations but were undone by their inability to find the endzone. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman was firing in the first quarter, but drops by his receivers, notably by Timothy Wright in the endzone and Vincent Jackson, held the offense back.
To make matters worse for the Bucs, Jackson didn’t play in the second half due to a hip injury, while Mike Williams battled through an injury all game when he really should have been sat on the sidelines. Jackson caught three passes for 34 yards; Williams 5 catches for 65 yards. Rookie Erik Page filled in admirably (3 catches, 55 yards) while Kevin Ogletree snagged two passes for 35 yards.
Freeman was 19 of 41 for 236 yards with an interception, as he was picked off by former Buc Aqib Talib which led to a field goal by Gostkowski right on half time. Doug Martin racked up 88 rushing yards on 20 attempts.
The Bucs secondary was suspect all afternoon. Mark Barron played well with good tackles in coverage and he also picked off Brady in the endzone, but Dashon Goldson was a non-factor, while Darelle Revis was also relatively quiet in the pass game, although both did make a number of tackles.
The pass rush was the lone bright spot for the Bucs as they pressured Brady all afternoon. Rookie Akeem Spence picked up his first career sack, while Adrian Clayborn, Lavonte David and Barron found their way to the quarterback. When the Bucs failed to get the sack they made Brady move around in the pocket causing enough distraction to force Brady into some errant throws.
The Bucs only committed four fouls all game, which will please the coaching staff, but the bottom line is the Bucs are failing and their 0-3 record highlights that perfectly.
See if the Bucs can turn it around and get there first win of the season at home next week against the Arizona Cardinals. Get your Buccaneers tickets here.