FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI/AP) — The New England Patriots welcomed Tom Brady back inside Gillette Stadium on Sunday for one of the most anticipated and historic games in NFL history.
Brady was 22 of 43 for 269 yards with no touchdowns, but engineered the fourth-quarter drive to beat the team he led to six Lombardi trophies.
Brady said the Patriots made them earn the win on an emotional night for him.
“It’s not that I would predict what would happen,” Brady said. “There were a few emotional moments thinking about the people that meant so much in my life. My football journey took me somewhere else.”
Brady was welcomed with cheers during the pregame before taking the field to a stream of boos on the Buccaneers’ first drive of the night.
With 6:10 remaining in the first quarter Brady passed former quarterback Drew Brees to become the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader.
A 28-yard completion gave the seven-time Super Bowl champion 80,358 career passing yards. The pass helped set up a 29-yard field goal to put the Buccaneers in front 3-0.
In the second quarter, Mac Jones threw to Hunter Henry with an 11-yard pass for the touchdown. That gave the Patriots a 7-3 lead.
Later, the Bucs kicked a 44-yard field goal closing the Patriots’ lead to 7-6 heading into halftime.
Ronald Jones II ran it for the touchdown giving the Bucs a 13-6 lead in the third quarter.
Patriots retook the lead in the fourth quarter with Mac Jones to Jonnu Smith for the touchdown. Patriots were then ahead 14-13.
Soon later the Patriots’ defense held the Buccaneers to only a field goal. Tampa regained the lead, 16-14, with 7:58 minutes left to play.
Nick Folk delivered his only field goal of the night allowing the Patriots to retake the lead. But with 2:02 left, Ryan Succop kicked a 48-yard field goal, giving the Buccaneers a 19-17 advantage.
New England had a chance to win, but Folk’s 56-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright with less than a minute to play.
The Buccaneers held on to beat the Patriots 19-17. New England is now 1-3 for the first time since 2001.
Brady is now the fourth quarterback with victories against all 32 NFL teams, joining Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
Outside Gillette Stadium on Sunday, fans were ready for what would no doubt be an exciting matchup.
12 News caught up with many fans who said they will be supporting Brady but still wanted to see their team win.
“I’m a Patriots fan, but I’m cheering for Brady.”
“Mac Jones is the man. Tom Brady who?”
“I think you’re gonna see Belichick change things up because of the way the team’s been playing.”
“Brady has the edge because he’s seen everything, no matter what you throw at him, he’s already seen. So I think Bill’s got a tough game ahead of him, but I think Brady’s ready.”
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