It was...as expected. The (now) 0-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were outgunned and outmatched coming into this game. Everyone knew it. Everyone expected New England to roll over them. And they did. What I found interesting in this game was the play calling and some of the substitutions. A long bomb to Brandon Tate, right after he just came off of the PUP. That's more a preseason "let's try the kid out" than a serious play. Ask yourself if they'd try that against Indy or Miami and I'd be willing to bet the answer would be an emphatic NO.
One thing for sure, Sebastian Vollmer and Logan Mankins will be running laps until their feet bleed. Vollmer had 2 holding penalties called on him but Mankins, with 3 false starts and 1 holding, has the German beat for bonehead moves of the game. That was very uncharacteristic of Mankins and something that is, I'm sure, very fixable.
There were enough negatives, which I'll get to in the longer recap tomorrow, but there were plenty of positives:
- Brandon Meriweather has turned into an absolute stud in the defensive backfield and not just because of his pick 6 (it was a thing of beauty though, wasn't it?). He's Mr. Everywhere, prowling the line of scrimmage, disrupting receivers, making big hits. Cool.
- Wes Welker is ridiculous. My only worry about the little engine that can is the possibility of burnout. I mean, the guy can only take so much. Get Julian Edelman back on the field.
- The loss of both Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor didn't seem to impact the ground game today. Laurence Maroney is still bouncing, but he did have some decent runs in key situations. A TD to his name doesn't hurt, either.
All for now. More recap tomorrow.