Buccaneers to hold kicker workouts

Bessie Dean
October 7, 2017

A 19-14 loss to the New England Patriots in a Thursday Night Football matchup doesn't mean fans should storm One Buc Place with pitchforks, looking for someone to stick it to in frustration. Winston was erratic early and had 109 yards passing entering the fourth quarter. The Patriots survived Thursday night. For many of them, a win in Week 5 is a must. As a result, the Patriots have just a 2-2 record. He led his team down the field on the final drive of the game, losing on a pass to the end zone where target Cameron Brate and Winston were clearly not on the same page.

Of Gilmore and Butler matching up against Evans and Jackson, McCourty said, "Those aren't two easy guys to cover". Tom Brady would find Chris Hogan for his fifth touchdown of the season making it 10-7 Patriots in the lead.

I look at this way for two reasons. Brady was famously a late-round pick after a largely unremarkable career at MI, while Winston was the best player in college football - and its top villain because of sexual assault allegations and immature stunts like yelling a vulgar phrase in the middle of campus and stealing crab legs.

How do you gauge just how much improvement we saw Thursday night when the Buccaneers were all to eager to help their opponents? We made some plays. We only kicked live in practice one day this week, and Nick was lights out. The Patriots did not report any injuries during the game.

Three of New England's defensive starters had Alabama football roots. We should have won that game 20-19. It was right. And we knew it. They love to go out and compete, and be out there on islands one-on-one against guys. You can blame the snap, the hold, the field, the o-line, whatever, but in the end, the black-and-white numbers don't lie.

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But for a team that came into Week 5 ranked 31st in scoring defense (32 points allowed per game), there was one number that stood out above all others. Thanks to a collective effort on third downs - the Bucs were just 4 for 13 - the Patriots, by and large, kept Tampa Bay out of the end zone. Folk has looked brutal under the lights with six field goals made in 11 attempts, and seven extra points made in nine attempts. The miss kept New England ahead by two scores. Gostkowski is now a ideal 12 for 12 on his field goals in 2017.

As ESPN's Jenna Laine and Mike Reiss reported, Winston and Brady met up after the game, and while the Buccaneers quarterback didn't reveal fully what was said during the conversation, he did give some insight into it. Folk of course missed, but it was alarming nonetheless.

For now, the Patriots can begin preparing for a Week 6 game against the New York Jets, which is also an important contest in the East.

Kickoff is at 8:26 p.m. ET.

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