Neither of the mistakes led to points for Tampa Bay (2-2), which was unable to do much offensively until the fourth quarter. Hopefully, the Patriots will be able to fix the defensive issues and get back in the win column on Thursday.
The Patriots are teetering on 2-2 after a slightly disappointing start to the new season. Their abysmal defense was let off the hook thanks to Bucs kicker Nick Folk missing three key field goals during the game.
Late Tuesday, Gronkowski didn't indicate his availability would be in question when he talked about the quick turnaround for a Thursday night game.
So far in 2018, the Birds are 2-1 in contests with a margin of seven points or less - one more win than they had all of past year. If only every aspect of the team can come together and work to its fullest potential in each game, then it might be hard to think the Pats would lose another game this season.
Brady is still dominating, even at the age of 40, but this doesn't mean that there aren't young quarterbacks who are carving their own path, and Winston is certainly one of them. In the four games that followed, he's been stellar, connecting on 73.6 percent of his attempts for 1,435 yards, 11 touchdowns and just one pick. As expected, it ended up being a close game.
Winston finished 26 of 45 with 334 yards and zero interceptions. Two plays after Jackson's 29-yard catch and run, safety Patrick Chung had his back turned - and thus had no idea where the ball was - as tight end Cameron Brate beat him to the post. For Week 5 in the NFL and for the second time during the 2017 season, New England kicked things off with a Thursday Night Football contest.
This has been an uneventful first month of the season for the Patriots who carry a 2-2 record into Raymond James Stadium on Thursday.
There was one solid positive, however, for the defending Super Bowl champs.
Patriots: Gronkowski was added the injury report after Wednesday's practice, listed as questionable. If David Andrews and Shaq Mason can contain these two big guys, then the Patriots should win this game. Throw in the doubtful Keith Tandy and T.J. DE Ryan Russell injured his shoulder in the second quarter and did not return. An NFL team is typically only as good as its starting QB, so with that in mind, how numerous career leaders in wins for NFL quarterbacks can you name in six minutes?