The New England Patriots improved to 3-0 in 2013 with a 23-3 win over Tampa Bay. The Patriots are 3-0 for the eighth time in team history, for the first time since 2007. New England is now 3-0 for the fourth time under Head Coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots also started 3-0 in 1964, 1974, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2007. In the NFL since 1990, 75.4 percent of teams (86 of 114) that started 3-0 have made the playoffs.
PATRIOTS DEFENSE ALLOWS THREE POINTS IN SOLID DEFENSIVE EFFORT
The New England defense allowed only three Tampa Bay points, marking the third consecutive home game the Patriots defense has allowed 10 points or less and the first time since 1997 that the Patriots defense has allowed three points or less in a September game. New England closed out the 2012 regular season with a 28-0 shutout of Miami at Gillette Stadium and opened its 2012 home slate with a 13-10 win over the New York Jets on Sept. 12. The last time New England allowed three points or fewer in a September game was in a 31-3 win over Chicago at Foxboro Stadium on Sept. 21, 1997. Before today, the last time the Patriots defense held an opponent to less than 10 points in a September game was on Sept. 23, 2007, in a 38-7 win over Buffalo in Foxborough.
PATRIOTS DEFENSE STARTS 2013 SEASON STRONG; TEAM ALLOWS FEWEST POINTS THROUGH THREE GAMES SINCE 1979
The Patriots have allowed a total of 34 points through three games this season. The Patriots defense has allowed only 27 points this season (seven opponent points came on a fumble return). The 34 total points allowed by the Patriots are the fewest for the team through three games since 1979, when New England started the season by allowing 33 points in the first three games (losing 16-13 to Pittsburgh in overtime, beating the New York Jets 56-3, and then winning 20-14 at Cincinnati). The 34 points allowed are the second fewest in team history in the first three games, trailing only the 1979 team.
PATRIOTS GROUND GAME TOTALS 156 RUSHING YARDS
The Patriots gained 156 rushing yards on 33 carries (4.7 avg.) against Tampa Bay, marking the second time in three games this season that New England has broken the 150 rushing yard mark. The Patriots had 158 rushing yards in the season opener at Buffalo. Against Tampa Bay, the Patriots racked up their rushing total against a Buccaneers defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL in 2012 (82.5 yards per game).
The Patriots have now forced a turnover in 30 straight games dating back to 2011, and including all 16 regular season games of 2012 and now the first three games of 2013 after CB
PATRIOTS STOP TAMPA BAY ON FOURTH DOWN FOUR TIMES
The New England defense stopped Tampa Bay on fourth down four times in Patriots territory today, holding the Buccaneers to 0-for-4 on fourth downs. The Patriots stopped two Tampa Bay fourth-down conversion attempts in New England territory in the first half as the New England defense allowed only three first-half points. New England added two more fourth-down stops in the fourth quarter. The first-half fourth-down stops occurred at the Patriots’ 34-yard line and 38-yard line. The fourth-quarter fourth-down stops happened at the Patriots’ 34-yard line and 17-yard line.
BRADY EXTENDS HIS STREAK TO 51 GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE TOUCHDOWN
BRANDON BOLDEN MAKES 2013 DEBUT AND MAKES FIRST CAREER START, TOTALS 100 SCRIMMAGE YARDS
RB Brandon Bolden had a career-long 46-yard run in the third quarter. His previous best was a 27-yard run at Buffalo on Sept. 30, 2012. It was the longest run by a Patriots player since Nov. 18, 2012 when WR
BOLDEN HAS CAREER-BEST RECEIVING PERFORMANCE
Brandon Bolden set career highs with five receptions and 49 receiving yards. Coming into the game, Bolden had two career receptions for 11 yards.
KENBRELL THOMPKINS SCORES FIRST NFL TOUCHDOWNS
Rookie WR Kenbrell Thompkins scored his first two NFL touchdown today against Tampa Bay. Thompkins tallied his first career score on a 16-yard pass from QB Tom Brady in the second quarter. He added his second touchdown on a 5-yard reception from Brady with 47 seconds to play in the first half.
BELICHICK ONE WIN AWAY FROM TYING CHUCK NOLL FOR FIFTH PLACE ALL-TIME
Bill Belichick won his 208th career game, bringing him within one win of Chuck Noll for fifth place on the NFL’s all-time wins list.
STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI TIES CAREER HIGH
GOSTKOWSKI TIES PATRIOTS RECORD WITH HIS EIGHTH FIELD GOAL OF 50 OR MORE YARDS
Stephen Gostkowski’s 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half was his eighth 50-yard field goal. He is now tied with Adam Vinatieri for the most field goals of 50 or more yards in team history with eight.
TALIB HAS THIRD INTERCEPTION OF 2013
Aqib Talib intercepted a Josh Freeman pass at the Tampa Bay 43-yard line with 16 seconds left in the first half to set up a quick Patriots field goal that gave New England a 17-3 halftime lead. Talib’s interception was his third in as many quarters, having had a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions against the Jets last week.
TOM BRADY IMPORVES ON HIS HOME DOMINANCE
Tom Brady now has an 88-16 record at home. It is the best record among starting quarterbacks in home games since the 1970 merger. In all games, Brady is now 35-9 all-time against the NFC as a starter in the regular season.
PATRIOTS ARE SHARP AT GILLETTE
The Patriots now own an overall record of 74-15 (.831) at Gillette Stadium in regular season games. New England has won 32 of its past 35 games at home.
EDLEMAN SURPASES 2012 RECEIVING TOTALS
Julian Edelman has 27 receptions through three games in 2013, already surpassing his 2012 season total (21). Edelman’s career high for receptions is 37 catches, achieved as a rookie in 2009.
EDELMAN HAS THE HIGHEST PUNT RETURN AVERAGE IN NFL HISTORY
Edelman returned two punts for 29 yards against Tampa Bay and now has returned 83 punts for 1,076 yards during his Patriots’ career and has the highest punt return average in NFL history with a 13.0-yard average.
DEFENSE QUICK HITS
- Dont’a Hightower provided tight coverage on Doug Martin, forcing an incompletion on a second-quarter sideline pass attempt deep in Patriots territory.
- Tommy Kelly brought pressure on Josh Freeman on third down in the second quarter, forcing a Tampa Bay incompletion and a fourth down that the Buccaneers did not convert.