|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
Now this is more like it. After destroying the Titans in the year’s first snow bowl, the Patriots headed to London and dismantled another winless team, Tampa Bay, 35-7. The Pats wasted little time doing anything, when Brandon Meriweather intercepted a pass and ran it back 39 yards for a touchdown, on just the fifth play of the game. Meriweather intercepted another pass later in the quarter.
The Bucs returned the favor in the 2nd quarter, when Tanard Jackson and Aqib Talib each intercepted a pass from Brady, the former coming in the end zone on a red zone drive. Each team also scored on a deep pass in the quarter (54 yards for Sam Aiken and the Pats, 33 yards for Antonio Bryant and the Buccaneers), and the quarter ended when Darius Butler intercepted Josh Johnson’s hail mary pass. If he had backed off, Meriweather was in perfect position for a third interception.
The Bucs tried to feel good about themselves, but couldn’t quite get it together against the tough Pats team. The Pats scored a touchdown in each remaining quarter, driving the final nail in the Bucs coffin. Both teams will soon return to the U.S. for their bye weeks and prepare for the future. However, the future only looks bright for one of the teams.
Two interceptions in one quarter, one of them being returned for a touchdown, set the momentum for another steamrolling by the Pats offense.
Again, two interceptions lead to problems. The Pats could have racked up even more points to rival their performance against Tennessee. Fortunately for them, they were facing Tampa Bay.
“I think we overall pressured a good amount in this game.” – Bill Belichick on the Pats Defense Sunday.