2015 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know from Patriots' 23-3 win over Bucs

By HOWARD ULMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-23 03:32

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson had a huge challenge as the Patriots' rookie starting receivers.

With veteran Danny Amendola injured, they were replacing Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, who combined for 192 catches last year. And no NFL player had more than Welker's 672 receptions over the past six seasons.

``I just feel like you can't think about it,'' Dobson said after New England beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-3 Sunday. ``You just have to go out there and have fun. We've been playing this game since we were little kids.''

Five things to know from the Patriots' rout of the Buccaneers:

1. HAVE A LITTLE FAITH: Tom Brady is showing enough faith in his rookies to throw to them in key situations. As if he has a choice.

Amendola is sidelined with a groin injury so three of Brady's top four wide receivers are rookies. In the first two games, he completed 20 passes to veteran Julian Edelman. But on Sunday, Thompkins caught his first two touchdown passes and Dobson led the Patriots with seven catches and 54 yards receiving.

In their previous game, a 13-10 win over the New York Jets, Brady showed his displeasure with the rookies, raising his hands to his helmet and speaking animatedly on the sideline.

``Mistakes are going to happen, but you just have to learn from it,'' Dobson said.

He and Thompkins are, after combining for just nine catches in the first two games.

``They've worked really hard to understand what we're trying to do,'' Brady said. ``We did a good job of adjusting (during the game).''

2. UNBEATEN, BUT ... : OK, so the Patriots are 3-0 for the first time in six years. But look who they beat. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets with rookie quarterbacks. And now the Bucs, who have struggling veteran quarterback Josh Freeman. Not exactly the best teams in the NFL.

That changes starting next Sunday with a tough three-game stretch - road games at Atlanta and Cincinnati and a home game against New Orleans.

Regardless of the opponent, the Patriots are 3-0.

``It's the best we can be right now,'' safety Devin McCourty said. ``Everyone will continue to pick apart what we do well and what we don't do, but coming into the season if you said after the first three games, `Where would you want to be?' we would want to be 3-0. We've got to keep building and getting better because the games get harder and harder.''

3. WINLESS AND GETTING WORSE: The Bucs lost their first two games by a total of three points, losing on a field goal with 2 seconds left and on another on the final play. On Sunday, they never threatened after Rian Lindell's 30-yard field goal late in the first quarter.

Now coach Greg Schiano may have to worry about his players' attitude.

``I have great confidence this team will stick together,'' he said. ``We have a lot of football to play and I am confident that we will improve and we will win.''

4. STICKING WITH `EM: Schiano is sticking with Freeman and Lindell despite their shaky performances.

Freeman completed 19 of 41 passes for 236 yards and one interception and has connected on 45.7 percent of his passes this year. But Schiano isn't ready to switch to rookie Mike Glennon.

Asked if Freeman gives Tampa Bay the best chance to win and whether any consideration was given to pulling him, Schiano said, ``He does. And, no, there wasn't.''

But Freeman couldn't come up with big plays. The Bucs managed just three points despite getting inside the Patriots 40 six times.

On one of those trips, Lindell missed a 38-yard field goal attempt.

``I like Rian,'' Schiano said. ``I think he is going to be our kicker.''

5. TOUGH DEFENSE: The Patriots have allowed 34 points, their fewest through three games since 1979. Former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted his third pass of the season in the final minute of the first half, leading to Stephen Gostkowski's 53-yard field goal.

``Three weeks in a row we've raised our level of play,'' defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

Joique BellJul 29 07:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (undisclosed) was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday, July 29, as he recovers from offseason surgery. It is unclear what the [ More ]

James WrightJul 29 06:43p

Free-agent WR James Wright (Bengals) was placed on Reserve/Injured Wednesday, July 29.

Jordan ReedJul 29 05:43p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (knee) has been cleared for full participation in training camp, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Chase CoffmanJul 29 04:53p

Free-agent TE Chase Coffman (Titans) re-signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, July 29, according to a source.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) can be placed on the Non-Football Injury list if/when he signs his franchise tender. Owner John Mara said the team would like [ More ]

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:23p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) is receiving his own medical treatment and rehabilitation at his home. There is currently no timetable for his return. Pierre-Paul, however, could [ More ]

Roddy WhiteJul 29 03:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (knee) had his left knee drained before minicamp, and he could have it drained again before the season ends. White isn't concerned about it, [ More ]

Ryan KerriganJul 29 01:43p

Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday, July 29, worth $11.5 million per season, according to a source. The deal includes a $16 million signing bonus.

Cyrus GrayJul 29 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray was released Wednesday, July 29.

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group