The Patriots' 19-14 win over the Buccaneers averaged an 11.1 overnight household ratings, according to Deadline. "From starting out on Sunday to (Thursday) - bad week". That's where playing without tight end Rob Gronkowski (thigh) hurt them most.
New England (2-2) enters the match searching for answers on defense, trying to avoid falling below.500 beyond the second week of a season for the first time since 2012. As a result, the Patriots have just a 2-2 record.
That's "Thursday Night Football".
The ever-reliable Brady threw an interception on his first drive of the game, his first pick of the season. Some receivers, including Cooks, Amendola and Chris Hogan, did have nice games, but Tom Brady needs to know he can trust all of his receivers.
So I dove into the game logs for the Pats and the numbers are pretty astounding. We didn't take advantage when we got those two turnovers. If they would win a close game against a team like New England, they might learn to develop a culture of their own.
"You can build off this as a defense", said safety Devin McCourty, one of the team's captains. We made some plays. "I thought that's what helped us tonight". They're also 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games despite failing to cover in three of their first four games. With three seconds left on the clock, Winston's final pass attempt would fall incomplete in the New England end zone. Following Evans, so that made it a little easier. But if this is the best it gets, 2017 is going to be a long season. This includes two playoff games, one in which there was a bye involved (when they beat the Ravens in the infamous formation game) and one in which they beat the Jaguars the week immediately following Week 17. Needing a touchdown instead of a field goal, the Bucs were forced to cover more field in the final minute. They have allowed 128 points and 1,827 total yards, an average of 32 points and 456.8 yards per game.
The beneficiaries of four first downs by penalties, the Bucs had trouble converting on third down.
And you might want to put an extra man on kicker Nick Folk, who missed three field goal attempts, including a 31-yarder in the fourth quarter that could have been the difference maker. He also misfired from 56 and 49 yards.
Did Tampa Bay miss a golden opportunity? Despite the improvement, New England still allowed over 400 yards of offense.
That's great news if you're a Patriots fan. While Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski went 4/4 in his field goal attempts (he made from 27, 23, 45 and 48) Folk had a awful night.
After some fits and starts, Brady got them far enough downfield for Gostkowski to deliver his third field goal of the night, but on their next series, Brady was sacked and fumbled, giving Tampa the ball at its 47. Gostkowski is now a ideal 12 for 12 on his field goals in 2017.
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston said he expects to get New England's best shot. I thought the guys after a tough loss were good in the locker room. Folk of course missed, but it was alarming nonetheless.