The Patriots hope they leave the mistakes where they made them on Saturday night -- in the preseason, in Tampa Bay's new Raymond James Stadium.
Each of the Tampa Bay scores in the first half were a direct result of Patriots missed tackles, penalties and turnovers. After all was said and done, New England dropped their second game of the preseason, 45-14 leaving them with a record of 1-2.
The Buccaneers struck first on a drive set up by a John Lynch interception of a Bledsoe pass intended for Terry Glenn. Glenn seemed wide open when Lynch came over from his strong safety position and cut in front for the pick. The play set the Bucs up on their own 47.
A big completion to tight end Dave Moore brought Tampa Bay down to the Patriots 13. After Warrick Dunn was stopped for a 3-yard loss, he rebounded on the next play for a pick-up of 15 yards. The Dunn run was followed by fullback Mike Alstott diving over the top for the game's first touchdown.
It was yet another set of miscues that led to the next Tampa Bay score. After a Patriots three and out series, the Lee Johnson punt was fielded by Tampa's Jacquez Green deep in his own territory. Tebucky Jones was first down and in position on coverage but missed Green badly and Green scampered up to the Patriots 41 for a return of 38 yards.
Three plays later, Ty Law was flagged for pass interference on one-on-one coverage with Bert Emmanuel along the right sideline. That play put Tampa on the Patriots 8-yard line. A couple of Alstott runs later, the Bucs were up, 14-0.
Late in the second quarter, it was a Kevin Faulk fumble that opened the door for Tampa Bay's final score of the first half. From the Patriots 30, Dilfer hit Abdullah on a well-formed screen pass that the running back took down the left sideline untouched for the score. The touchdown and ensuing extra point put the Bucs up, 28-7.
More mistakes. Poor coverage allowed kick Tampa Bay kick returner Yo Murphy to take a Johnson touchdown 93 yards. Bucs, 35-14.
A Lamont Warren fumble near the end of the third quarter. The Buccaneers take over and wind up with a 24-yard field goal. Bucs, 38-14.
A Michael Bishop mishandle of a snap in the red zone and a Buccaneer recovery. Tampa Bay drives 95 yards. Bucs, 45-14.
There were some bright spots.
In what Patriots fans hope is an indication of things to come, it was the Terry Glenn show on the Patriots fifth drive of the game.
The Patriots were trailing 14-0 and starting from their own 31. Four plays and two minutes later, they were in the end zone for their first score. Three consecutive Bledsoe to Glenn completions for 9, 21 and a 15-yard touchdown was all the Patriots needed to get back in the game. What made the drive special was the precision between the receiver and quarterback. It rendered the Buccaneer secondary helpless and showed the awesome affect Glenn can have on a game.
In the third quarter with the Patriots starters still in the game, Bledsoe went to work, hitting Tony Carter for 8 yards, Shawn Jefferson for 16 and then pitching to Faulk for a 17-yard pick-up. Then No. 11 went over the top, to Tony Simmons for 40 yards and the touchdown. It was another four-play whiz-bang drive that showed the Patriots quick-strike ability, closing them to 14 points after trailing 28-7.
Bledsoe finished the game 14-of-19 passing for 178 yards, with 2 touchdowns and one interception