(Photo courtesy of SportingNews.com) Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones and Buccaneers veteran quarterback Tom Brady
The New England Patriots fell short to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Oct. 3, narrowly losing at 19-17 losing the game narrowly 19-17.
Spotty and unpredictable rain showers popped in and out during the game. Despite this, neither team seemed too fazed as they persisted in their passing attacks.
Mac Jones threw the ball a total of 40 times during the game, completing only 31 of those attempts. Despite an early game interception caused by incoming pressure, he balanced it all out with an impressive two TD and 275 passing yards, ending the game with a passer rating of 101.6
Tom Brady’s return to New England was met with stadium noise shifting wildly between cheers and boos. As Tom Brady took to the field pre-game, Gillette Stadium erupted with cheers and applause for their former quarterback. The stadium erupted with the same cheer midway through the second quarter, as linebacker Matt Judon rushed the edge, beating two blockers for a quick sack.
Neither the rain nor emotional climate could sway Brady from a win. Despite completing only 22 of his 43 passing attempts, which was the second lowest for him in this season so far, and throwing for no touchdowns, Tom Brady still finished the game with 269 yards and surpassed Drew Brees for the All-Time NFL Passing Yards record, racking in at a total 80,362 yards.
The game came to a head as the fourth quarter started. With the two-minute warning closing in, the Buccaneers attempted two back-to-back deep shots to Antonio Brown. The first was a missed throw, the second quickly made up for the prior throw as it landed right in the receiver’s hands. Antonio Brown, however, dropped the pass.
The Buccaneers settled for a field goal, raising their score to 19. With under two minutes to go, the Patriots and their rookie quarterback began their drive down the field to potentially win the game.
With three yards to go on third down at the Buccaneers 37, the Patriots attempted to complete a wide-open quick slant to Jakobi Meyers. However, linebacker Lavonte David made a great play and blocked the pass as he took on center David Andrews.
As the rain poured down on the players and fans, the clock frozen at 59 seconds, the Patriots were left with a tough decision. Wanting to take the lead in a tight back and forth game, the Patriots sent out kicker Nick Folk. A 56-yard field goal was all that stood between the Patriots and a potential Week four win.
Despite a good hold and good power, Nick Folk’s kick ultimately veered left, barely missing its way, slamming on the bottom left of the cross bars.
Before the Sunday night drama, the week had begun with a quick matchup between the winless Jacksonville Jaguars and the 2-1 Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.
Joe Burrow, QB for the Bengals, completed 25 of his 32 pass attempts for 348 yards and two TD. Trevor Lawrence, QB for the Jaguars, took baby steps forward, finishing the game with no interceptions, and completing 17 of his 24 pass attempts for 204 yards and no touchdowns.
In the end, the Bengals would come back against a Jaguars team which started the game strong, and Cincinnati would win off a 35-yard field goal.
The Dallas Cowboys rolled over the Carolina Panthers with a decisive 36-28 win. Sam Darnold threw two interceptions in the loss, yet still finished 26/39 and passed for 301 yards and two TD. Ezekiel Elliott finished with 143 yards rushing and topped it all off with a rushing touchdown.
Justin Fields looked solid in his first NFL win against the Detroit Lions. In 11 completions on 17 attempts, he finished with 209 yards passing. Despite no passing touchdowns and an interception, he looked strong as he took a step forward in the NFL.
The Arizona Cardinals came out and shut down their divisional rival Los Angeles Rams. The undefeated Cardinals continue to look dominant, their passing offense unfazed by the Ram’s top defense.
Kyler Murray finished 24/32 for 268 yards and two TD. Midway through the first quarter, 33-year-old A.J. Green showed flashes of his past while grabbing a contested pass for a 41-yard touchdown.
The New York Jets snuck away with an upset win against the Tennessee Titans. Zach Wilson finished 21/34 and passed for 297 yards and two throwing TD.
Looking forward to Week five, the New England Patriots will be flying out to Houston to take on the Texans. Despite the slow 1-3 start, the Patriots will look to pull away with a win against a team who have not had Tyrod Taylor for a couple weeks.