Breaking Patriots’ red zone progress against Bucs


Defense gets last two corners without breaking

After the Patriots regained the lead, the Bucs offense implemented a worker-like training that included two third-place conversions before arriving inside the 10-yard line of the New England. A stop-for-loss happened on the first try, followed by two incomplete completions forced by excellent back cover. Tampa settled for another basket and took a manageable two-point lead.

Once again, the Pats responded, with Jakobi Meyer’s pass to Nelson Agholor for 30 yards. But two incompleteness and a pass without gain later and the Pats themselves had to settle for their own field goal to regain a point from a point. It was a place where the Patriots could have really used a better red zone finish, which would have really put pressure on the Bucs offense to land a touchdown.

Instead, down just one, Brady was looking to put the game aside and run a seven-game workout that brought the clock back to the two-minute warning. They would only hit New England 30 yards and the New England run defense would hold Fournette to just two yards on the first down, before Brady fired two shots into the end zone for the kickoff. Grace. Jonathan Jones covered Antonio Brown on both plays. The first, a little beside Brady and the second fell narrowly incomplete as Brown got his hands on it but couldn’t lock himself in.

Sometimes you just survive and that’s kind of what happened against Brady here at the very end as the quarterback got aggressive. However, in the critical fourth quarter, the defense forced two field goals as touchdowns would have put the game out of reach. At first, especially against the Dolphins and Saints, the defense couldn’t play a final game. While New England didn’t win this game, the defense certainly gave them the opportunity.

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