Two touchdown passes from Tom Brady to Kenbrell Thompkins has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trailing the New England Patriots 17-3 at halftime in Foxborough.
The Bucs took a 3-0 lead on a Ryan Lindell field goal midway through the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Bucs, Lindell has missed another routine field goal beforehand, bringing into question his future with the team.
The Buccaneers defense stood firm in the first quarter but began to unravel in the second especially in pass coverage.
Brady hit Thompkins for a 16 yard score midway through the second in which the Bucs have defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn covering Thompkins.
Brady would hit Thompkins again for a 5 yard score, that was set up on a pass interference call on rookie corner Johnthan Banks.
It got worse for the Bucs as Josh Freeman was picked off by former teammate Aqib Talib with 11 seconds left in the half which set up a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
To be fair, the Bucs are playing much better than the scoreline indicates. Mike Sullivan has opened up the offense this week, with different formations and personnel being used.
Freeman is 9 of 20 for 124 yards but his receivers stone hands have not aided the Bucs quarterback. The usually steady Vincent Jackson has dropped a handful of easy passes, while Timothy Wright, promoted from the practice squad for todays game, dropped what would have been a touchdown pass.
Doug Martin has 13 carries for 50 yards as he continues from where he left off last week.
The Bucs rush defense has been great as they have got to Brady all game long. Clayborn has himself a sack, while Mark Barron and Lavonte David each have a half sack. Even when the Bucs haven’t hit Brady they’ve forced him to move in the pocket with regularity.
The Buccaneers have been inside the Patriots 40 yard line three times, but have only come away with the one field goal, showing the inconsistency on offense that has bothered them so far this season.
Mike Williams has four catches for 61 yards but he left the game in the second quarter and hasn’t been back on the field since.