August 24, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) rushes past Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Erik Lorig (41) and tackle Donald Penn (70) during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The Buccaneers marched down the field during the first possession of the game, featuring multiple comeback routes by newly inked wide receiver Vincent Jackson and heavy doses of rookie running back Doug Martin. The offense looked out of sync early as they found themselves in a 7-0 hole, and a missed connection between Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski led to a Mark Barron pick 6.
The starters for the Patriots offense stayed in for three quarters, finally salvaging a couple of touchdown drives led by a run by Stevan Ridley and an excellent end zone catch by Rob Gronkowski. All in all, a day best to improve from for the first offense with many three-and-outs and several drives stymied by a handful of penalties. Ryan Mallett came in during the fourth quarter and strung together a couple of sharp drives including a touchdown grab by Jeremy Ebert. Another found Mallett scrambling out of the pocket to buy time, making a pinpoint throw to receiver Jesse Holley.
The defense was the bright spot of the game highlighted by a handful of disruptive pressures by defensive end Chandler Jones—including a sack of quarterback Josh Freeman. Brandon Spikes looked sharp while shedding blockers and recording several run-stopping tackles.
There was even a Jeff Demps sighting—and it was glorious after he rebounded from an early false start penalty.
Use this thread to discuss your thoughts on the game!