Tom Brady defeats Patriots at Return to New England

FOXBOROUGH, Mass .– Tom Brady’s high-profile return to New England to face his former team, the Patriots, and longtime coach Bill Belich...


FOXBOROUGH, Mass .– Tom Brady’s high-profile return to New England to face his former team, the Patriots, and longtime coach Bill Belichick was not the homecoming he envisioned.

The warm welcome he received during pre-match warm-ups from fans who had adored him for two decades turned into a steady downpour as he took to the Gillette Stadium pitch to boo himself .

Brady’s former teammates also treated him rudely, not allowing him to find his rhythm passing the ball and limiting it to 269 passing yards and no touchdowns.

But in this first and perhaps the only showdown between Brady and Belichick at Foxborough, Brady’s play was good enough to win in a sloppy game filled with field goal penalties, dropped passes, missed tackles. and costly penalties. The Buccaneers won 19-17 to move up to 3-1 as they try to defend their Super Bowl title. The Patriots fell to 1-3, despite a stellar performance from replacement Brady rookie Mac Jones.

After the game, Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said Brady had played “very careful”.

“He wasn’t going to make any mistakes that would cost us the game,” Arians said.

Brady, 44, was fortunate enough to come away with a win after what he called an “emotional week” preparing to play against dozens of his former Patriots teammates, and in a region where he started his career and raised a family.

“These are guys I’ve shared my life with,” Brady said.

Brady’s return had been one of the most anticipated moments of the season since the day the NFL announced this season’s schedule in the spring.

The game had all the elements that broadcasters in the league need: a star player, feeling abandoned, facing his old team led by the longtime coach who discovered and developed him. Last season, Brady answered the biggest question – if he could win without Belichick – when he led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title.

But as details emerged of Brady’s departure, with his allies claiming Belichick had failed to respect the quarterback’s contribution, Sunday night’s game looked like a grudge.

Brady and Belichick both played down the alleged feud, and the Buccaneers posted a photo of Brady speaking warmly to Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft ahead of the game.

“So much is done about our relationship,” Brady said of Belichick after the game. “Nothing is really precise that I have never seen. “

On Sunday he was dominated by Jones, 23, who is almost half the age of Brady and who showed why the Patriots drafted him in the first round this spring.

Brady looked unsteady for much of the game, knocking down receivers and settling for field goals instead of touchdowns. Still, when he completed a 28-yard pass to receiver Mike Evans in the first quarter, Brady became the NFL’s career passing leader, surpassing the record of 80,358 yards set last year by Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback who retired at the end of the season. Brady now has 80,560 passing yards. He also has the most touchdown passes in NFL history, with 591 assists, having thrown 20 more than Brees.

New England saw the passing yard record on the stadium video screens and there was an explosion of cheers, but otherwise it was business as usual as fans got back into shape.

They roared when Patriots linebacker Matt Judon sacked Brady for an 8-yard loss in the second quarter.

Brady, however, did what he’s done so many times: He came alive when the stakes were high. Down 7-3 with less than two minutes to go in the first half, Brady quickly completed four passes for 69 yards to put the Buccaneers in scoring position. Then he missed three consecutive assists and the team settled for a field goal to reduce the lead to 7-6 at halftime.

Brady and the Buccaneers found their place late in the third quarter when they used their running game to run 52 yards down the field and score their first touchdown to regain the lead, 13-7. After the Patriots scored their second touchdown, Brady relied heavily on running back Leonard Fournette, who finished with 91 rushing yards. Brady even ran for 6 yards and a first down, extending a practice that ended with a Ryan Succop kick on the third of his four field goals to help the Buccaneers regain the lead, 16- 14.

Jones overcame poor pass protection and no running play to keep the Patriots in the game. He completed 31 of 40 passes, including 19 in a row at one time, for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also called two rounds, including one in which receiver Jakobi Meyers threw to receiver Nelson Agholor for a gain of 30 yards.

Many of Jones’s assists went to receivers defended by Richard Sherman, the All-Pro cornerback who was signed last week as a free agent by the Buccaneers. Sherman, who missed most of 2020 with an injury, was called up for late-game pass interference.

The Patriots had a shot at winning the game with less than a minute to go, but Nick Folk’s 56-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright. Spared the need to mount the kind of last-minute comeback he perfected in New England, Brady knelt down and the clock went down to zero.

“We’re not really making moral wins,” Jones said of the Patriots loss. “These are always forgotten. But you just have to take it for what it’s worth and move on.

Belichick had even less to say about his former quarterback, although he and Brady met privately after the game. To them, the outcome of the game mattered more than any of their interactions off the pitch. The Buccaneers had beaten the Patriots at home and Brady left Foxborough with the ball he used to set the career passing yard record. And given his age and the way the NFL schedule is built, there was a good chance he had his last victory here as well.

“It’s been a big stadium for me for a long time,” Brady said. “I don’t know what the future holds. Obviously, this could be an opportunity to come back here. We’ll see.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Tom Brady defeats Patriots at Return to New England
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