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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots 9/22/13 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes

Final Score: New England Patriots 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3

September 22, 2013

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Today’s game between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers provided a turning point for both teams. The Patriots were coming into the game at a shaky 2-0 after barely pulling out two divisional wins in the first couple of weeks. For the Bucs, this one was a chance to gain some momentum after suffering a pair of close losses to open the season.
Let’s take a look inside the numbers and see how things played out in this game, then we’ll examine each team’s impending schedule so we can see where they’re headed in the immediate future.

What Happened: Buccaneers kicker Rian Lindell booted a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead, but they’d never see the scoreboard again. The Patriots offense took over the scoring from then on, rattling off a pair of touchdowns followed by three field goals. New England would take the decisive win 23-3 and move to 3-0 on the year.
The loss leaves Tampa Bay shaking their heads in an early 0-3 hole that doesn’t exactly bode well for the remainder of their season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots 9/22/13 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Stars: After suffering from his butterfingered and inexperienced receiving corps for the first two games of the season, Patriots QB Tom Brady finally developed some chemistry with the youngsters out there. He was able to post the same type of efficiency he has for most of his career, finishing with a 25-for-36 line for 225 yards and an interception.
Brady’s main beneficiary was the undrafted free agent Kenbrell Thomkins, who finished with just three grabs, but made them count with a pair of scores on 41 yards receiving. The Patriots’ rushing game was also pretty effective, with statistics split relatively evenly between LeGarrette Blount (65 yards), Stevan Ridley (35 yards) and Brandon Bolden (51 yards on just three carries).
Tampa Bay’s only real impact player was the talented Doug Martin, who rushed 20 times for 88 yards and added another 20 yards on two catches.

The Goats: The final score indicates that this one was a blowout--and it was, really--but the Buccaneers certainly had their chances to keep pace. Lindell missed a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter that would have put them up six early, and QB Josh Freeman tossed a costly interception in the waning minutes of the first half, leading to a Patriots field goal which put them up 17-3 at the break.
Speaking of Freeman, he’s played pretty poorly thus far. He was under 50 percent passing once again (19-for-41) and finished with an ugly 54.5 QB rating. Freeman threw for just 236 yards in this one, and has yet to top 250 in any game this year.

Injuries: Both teams emerged relatively clean from this one, but there are some issues to keep track of for both sides. The Patriots were once again without Rob Gronkowski (back) and Danny Amendola (groin), but there’s a decent chance for both players to take the field next week. We’ll keep you posted on their status.
As for the Buccaneers, they lost their best receiver in Vincent Jackson during this one. He suffered an abdominal injury and had to come out after finishing with 34 yards on three grabs.

Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 4, the Buccaneers have to start getting desperate now. They’ll host a sputtering Cardinals team that’s coming off a blowout loss to New Orleans, and a big win could help provide some sorely-needed momentum.
Meanwhile, the Patriots will be heading into a primetime showdown on “Sunday Night Football” against the Falcons. That one has all the makings of a shootout, so a focused (not to mention healthy) receiving corps will be crucial to getting a win.

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

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