TAMPABAY — The Patriots avoided the first 2-3 start under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady with an ugly but gutsy 19-14 victory that was decided by the kickers.
Stephen Gostkowski was 4-for-4 on field goals, while his Tampa Bay counterpart, Nick Folk, was 0-for-3.
The Patriots' defense as vastly improved in this game. They ended up surrendering 409 yards, but most of that came late after the Patriots took a 16-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Patrick Chung was a standout with three passes defensed against tight end Cameron Brate. Top receiver Mike Evans was held to five catches for 49 yards as he constantly drew double coverage.
Tom Brady overcame an early interception to complete 30 of 40 for 303 yards and the lone touchdown to Chris Hogan.