Tom Brady defeats the Patriots in the New England comeback, 19-17
Foxborough, Mass. Tom Brady brought in two decades of touchdown passes, wins and championships in New England.
He came back and reminded his former team of what they had lost.
Brady rallied the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 19-17 victory over the Patriots on a rainy Sunday night, with Ryan Sukop scoring the 48-yard winner late in the fourth quarter.
Brady was on 22 of 43 for 269 yards without touchdowns, but he engineered leadership in the fourth quarter to overpower the team that led him to six Lombardy titles. Ronald Jones added 8 yards to the scoring to defend Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay (3-1).
Brady said the Patriots made them win on an emotional night for him.
“It’s not that I’m anticipating what’s going to happen,” Brady said. “There have been some emotional moments that I think about people that have meant a lot in my life. My football journey has taken me to another place.”
Brady broke Drew Bryce’s NFL career by breaking the yardage record and becoming the fourth player with a win against all 32 of the NFL teams, joining Bryce, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
“In the tough times when we needed a field goal, he pushed us down the field,” Boss coach Bruce Arians said. “He wouldn’t make any mistakes that cost us the game.”
New England had a chance to win, but Nick Falk’s 56-yard volley hit the left upright less than a minute into play. The Patriots 1-3 for the first time since 2001. Bill Belichick has fallen to 8-12 since Brady left New England.
“The Bucs won this game,” Arians said. “Everyone wanted to make this game Brady vs. Belichick. I don’t think Bill took a shot.”
Belichick didn’t say anything that surprised them Brady.
“We were playing Tom Brady every day, practically every day defensively,” Belichick said. “So it’s not like we’ve never seen Tom Brady before.”
Patriots rookie Mac Jones finished 31 of 40 for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
“I still have a long way to go, I just try to do my best every day, and we all want to win,” Jones said.
The Buccaneers made multiple errors in defense and played sporadic special teams – characterized by poor kicks, early field goal losses and hefty penalties.
But Tampa has been able to make just-in-time plays to stay in the game, including Antoine Winfield Jr. who forced J.J. Taylor into disarray and was recaptured by Richard Sherman – playing his first game since signing a one-year deal last week – to thwart a promising campaign in early third quarter.
Down 17-16, the Brady and Buccaneers took charge on their own 25 and needed only seven drive-in plays to the Patriots 30. After Antonio Brown failed to hold a pass in the end zone, Succop quietly called out at 48 yards with 2:02 left.
The Patriots took a 7-6 lead, and Matt Slater looked to be snatched back by Jaydon Mikens. But the penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct on Slater invalidated the play.
The Bucs took on the job and finished an eight-play, 52-yard run with an 8-yard run managed by Ronald Jones.
The Patriots responded on their next possession, using six consecutive finishes from Jones to lead to Box 1. Jones then found Juno Smith at the back of the end zone to put the Patriots back ahead 14-13.
Tampa marched to the Patriots 8 on their next lead before they were forced to settle for Sukop’s third field goal to make it 16-14.
New England got the job back with 7:58 left and quickly moved down the field, entering the red zone in a trick game that ended with receiver Jacoby Myers throwing a 30-yard pass to Nelson Agulor. The drive stopped there and the Patriots lunged back in front 17-16 on Nick Falk’s 27-yard field goal.
Brady was greeted with cheers during the pre-match before taking the field to a stream of boos on the Buccaneers’ first flight of the night.
Some cheers returned in their second offensive series of the night when he completed a 28-yard pass to Mike Evans to cross the Breeze mark of 80,358 yards to become the NFL’s professional passing leader in the regular season.
The pass helped set up a 29-yard field goal to put the Bucs 3-0 ahead.
Tampa Bay’s defense increased pressure on Jones in the Patriots’ next lead. Linebacker Devin White had a free run at Jones Center, forcing him to speed up with a pass that Ross Cockrell had intercepted and intercepted by Winfield.
The Patriots made the mistake, stopping the third-placed Buccaneers down inside the red zone. The Buccaneers attempted another field target, but this time it was Succop at 36 yards.
Pirates: Davis III was helped off the field in the second quarter with a quadruple injury and hasn’t come back. …Winfield went to the locker room in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
Patriots: De Henri Anderson left the game in the second quarter with a chest injury and never came back. … RB Damien Harris was shaken after an injury in the second quarter but managed to come back. … DB Cody Davis left the game in the third quarter due to a knee injury. … Jonathan Jones left the game late in the fourth quarter.
Pirates: Host dolphins on Sunday.
Patriots: In Texas on Sunday.
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