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5 Things We Learned from New England’s 30-28 Loss vs. Tampa Bay

To calm the unsettled fans of Patriots nation—it’s only the preseason.

However, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said it best following the team’s 30-28 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “We have a lot of work to do. We’re nowhere near where we need to be.”

All in all, it was an ugly game for New England’s starting group, especially for the offense.

“We didn’t do anything offensively except lose yardage and turn the ball over,” Belichick told the media during his post-game press conference.

For what it’s worth, Belichick and New England’s coaching staff certainly have plenty of material to improve on with their preseason finale in just five days.

With that being said, here are five things that we learned from Week 3 of the preseason.


1. Tom Brady wasn’t locked in: Completing 13 of his 20 passes for 127 yards while tossing one touchdown and an interception isn’t very Brady-like, considering he played well into the third quarter—especially when his lone touchdown pass came when Tampa Bay’s defensive starters were well off of the field.

Granted, Brady was consistently under pressure, but it seemed like he just wasn’t seeing the field well. It appeared that Brady was just locking in on one receiver each and every play, and often times forced the ball—much like his interception which was forced to tight end Rob Gronkowski.

For being the team’s “dress rehearsal,” it’s rather alarming to see Brady and the offense play as poorly as they did.


2. Donte’ Stallworth will likely not make the cut: With New England’s wide receiver corps being deep with talent, I now see Donte’ Stallworth being the odd-man out.

Stallworth dropped two passes Friday night while recording three receptions for 40 yards.

If Jabar Gaffney proves to be healthy, I see Stallworth being the man who gets the boot come roster cuts.


3. The offensive line struggled yet again: To be fair on Tom Brady, his offensive line didn’t really give him much to work worth. Actually, I’d like to re-word that: His entire pass-protection didn’t give him much to work with as the running backs struggled in picking up blitzes.

Brady was sacked twice as well as being under pressure nearly every play.

Left guard Logan Mankins was able to return tonight for the first time all preseason, but he wasn’t really much help. Ultimately, left tackle Nate Solder continues to be the weak link and that needs to change if we’re going to see a high-flying passing attack in New England this season.


4. Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd weren’t able to make an impact: New England’s new passing duo were only able to connect on just one pass for 12 yards.

Lloyd was New England’s big offensive signing this off-season and we simply haven’t seen much out of him.

Entering the final week of the preseason, I really don’t have much hope in the Brady-to-Lloyd connection.


5. Jeff Demps made his presence known: Olympic silver medalist Jeff Demps really took advantage of the playing time that he received tonight, as he entered the game late in the third quarter.

The speedster running back ran back two kicks for 44 yards and one punt for 16 yards while running the ball for 41 yards on three carries—which includes a stellar 29 yard run.

If Demps can continue his development, he could evolve into one of New England’s several offensive weapons.

What Demps brings to the table is something that we haven’t seen in Foxboro for quite sometime: Blazing speed.

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