Sunday, September 22, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Patriots 23, Buccaneers 3
By Pat Yasinskas
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
What it means: The Buccaneers are 0-3. If you thought the past two weeks were crazy around One Buccaneer Place, get ready for more of the same. Quarterback Josh Freeman is under the microscope and there is a lot of room to question coach Greg Schiano, who has lost eight of his past nine games, dating back to last season. This loss was much worse than the previous two, which came by a combined three points. This time the Bucs were blown out by a team that didn’t have its full complement of receivers and tight ends. The Bucs have the look of a team in disarray, and it appears they're in for a long season.
History not on Bucs' side: Of the teams to start 0-3 since 1990, only 3 percent have made the playoffs.
Stock watch: Kicker Rian Lindell missed a 38-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter. That might have played a role in Schiano’s decision to go for it, rather than attempt a long field goal, on fourth down later in the second half. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs look for a new kicker this week.
Stock watch II: The Bucs had been holding a starting job as a carrot for defensive end Da'Quan Bowers. The coaches must have liked what they saw from Bowers in recent practices, because he got his first start of the season.
Talib’s revenge: New England cornerback (and former Buccaneer) Aqib Talib intercepted a Freeman pass with 47 seconds left in the first half, allowing the Patriots to kick a field goal to take a 17-3 lead into halftime.
Jackson out of action: Wide receiver Vincent Jackson left the game with a rib injury in the third quarter and did not return.
What’s next: The Bucs host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.