Photos of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers flag- 10 News sports reporter Bobby Lewis
The Bucs were in search of their first win of the season and an upset of the Patriots.
The Tampa Bay defense held Tom Brady and the New England offense to 12 plays and just 31 yards in the first quarter. The Patriots were forced to punt on their three offensive possessions.
Tampa Bay's offense was able to move the ball against the home team. Josh Freeman led the Bucs twice in to field goal range, but Rian Lindell only converted on one opportunity from 30 yards out. The journeyman place kicker gave the Buccaneers a 3-0 lead capping off a 13 play, 76 yard drive.
But the Patriots would comeback in the second quarter. Tom Brady found Kembrell Thompkins twice for touchdowns giving New England a 14-3 lead.
With less than a minute to go, Josh Freeman tossed his third interception of the season to former Buccaneer Aqib Talib. The turnover setup Stephen Gostkowski for a 53-yard field goal to close out the half with the Patriots leading 17-3.
In the third quarter, the Buccaneers started off with the ball, but the offenses struggles continued. Freeman was sacked in the opening drive of the second half forcing Tampa Bay to punt.
The Patriots drove the ball down the field and on Tom Brady's pass in to the endzone Bucs' safety Mark Barron picked it off. The turnover was the first of the game for New England.
With wide receiver Vincent Jackson sidelined with a rib injury, the Bucs' offense failed to convert the turnover in to a scoring opportunity.
On the Patriots next possession, Gostkowski converted on a 46-yard field goal to give New England a 20-3 lead moving in to the final quarter of play.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots extended their lead to twenty when Gostkowski split the field goal posts from 33-yard's out.
Adding injury to the insult, Bucs' pro-bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered an unknown injury with just over three minutes to play in the contest.
New England made their way in to the red zone once again but the Bucs' defense stopped former teammate LaGarrette Blount's first down try on fourth down.
Freeman and the offense worked their way down to the Patriots 17-yard line, but Tampa Bay couldn't convert the opportunity in to points.
From there the Patriots lined up in victory formation to wind down the clock as New England handed the Bucs their eighth loss in their last nine games 23-3 the final.
Josh Freeman finished 19 of 41 passing for 236 yards and an interception. The Buccaneers fall to 0-3 on the season, and in those games, Freeman has yet to complete more than fifty percent of his passes.