New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

3 takeaways from the Patriots – Buccaneers game

Brandon Bolden  Photo by: USA Today Sports Images

Brandon Bolden
Photo by: USA Today Sports Images

The New England Patriots defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 – 3 Sunday.

The defense for the Patriots was easily the most impressive thing in the game but we have 3 other things we saw out of this win.

1. Brandon Bolden adds versatility to the offense

Brandon Bolden had been battling a knee injury the past two games but Sunday he got the starting nod in a surprise move from the Patriots. Bolden can catch and run out of the backfield which makes him ideal to take over for the injured Vereen. Bolden caught five receptions for 49 yards and rushed three times for 51 yards, totaling 100 yards of offense. Bolden finally breathed life into the run game on Sunday, something the Patriots really needed.

“To go out there and you work all week and then to see how everything turned out today was awesome, especially being the first game back,” Bolden said. “It’s exciting to get back out there and play with my teammates.”

2. Aqib Talib is the real deal

Talib shadowed WR Vincent Jackson for the entire game Sunday and shutdown Jackson. He held the Buccaneers’ top receiver to three receptions for 34 yards on six targets. He intercepted one pass and broke up another. Talib has forced four turnovers this season and has three interceptions to lead the team.

In 2011, a season before the Patriots traded for Talib, Jackson played with the Chargers and torched New England in the 2nd game of the season. Jackson caught 10 passes for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. This year, with Talib covering him, Jackson caught 3 passes for 34 yards.

Talib has shown he is the number one corner on the team, and can cover any receiver in the game.

Talib took a one year deal to show teams he could stay healthy and play up to the level of a high paying deal. He has shown it through 3 games.

“I’m sure they missed [Jackson] when he went out, but I thought Aqib [Talib] did a good job competing against him and played him tough at the line of scrimmage,” Bill Belichick said. “Jackson made a couple, but Talib made a couple. It was a good, competitive matchup.”

3. The rookie receivers developing chemistry with Brady

The rookies have improved with each game this season and yesterday was their best showing yet. Aaron Dobson was Brady’s go to guy on 3rd down. Dobson earned Brady’s trust enough during the game that Brady went to him on a few 3rd downs and a 4th down play.

Thompkins caught 2 touchdown passes yesterday.

The rookie duo combined for 10 catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns. They only had two drops, one each.

While Sunday showed they still have improving to do, it also showed their chemistry with Tom Brady has taken significant step forward.

“We’re trying to keep elevating and improving every week,” Dobson said. “We’re not trying to backtrack. We’re trying to keep the level up and move forward.”

 


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