Final, Patriots 25-21: The Patriots mercifully ended Tim Tebow’s dreadful performance by having him kneel on the ball. He finished 1-for-7 passing with -1 yard. Tebow also ran the ball four times for 32 yards.
We’ll have more for you here at NESN.com about the game later on. The players of the game were Jamie Collins, Tom Brady and Brandon Spikes. Tim Tebow, Tavon Wilson and Duron Harmon had some struggles — Tebow more than some.
Fourth quarter, Patriots, 25-21, 2:00: Tebow has two minutes to get his total yardage into the positives.
Fourth quarter, Patriots, 25-21, 3:59: Mike Rivera came up with the big stop there on fourth down. The Patriots take over at the Bucs’ 45-yard line.
And the Patriots’ drive started with a dreadful pass from Tebow. 1-for-7 now.
Fourth quarter, Patriots, 25-21, 7:08: Tebow’s last two incompletions generated some boos from the Gillette Stadium crowd. And well, they weren’t pretty. Tebow’s now 1-for-6 for -1 yard.
Brandon Bolden showed some nice burst on a 25-yard run, though.
Fourth quarter, Patriots, 25-21, 8:34: The Buccaneers cut the lead to 25-21 on a field goal from Derek Dimke.
The Patriots’ second-string defensive line hasn’t impressed much in the preseason so far, but Marcus Forston, Michael Buchanan and Cory Grissom have had their moments. Jake Bequette disappears when he’s in there.
Fourth quarter, Patriots, 25-18, 11:17: Well, that was a quick drive. Tim Tebow got picked off by Mason Robinson as he overthrew Kenbrell Thompkins.
Fourth quarter, Patriots, 25-18, 12:11: The Buccaneers’ epic drive is finally over. Jamie Collins had four really nice plays that flashed his athleticism. It wasn’t a strong drive by Tavon Wilson, who was late on a deep ball, was called for holding when the Patriots had stopped Tampa Bay, then gave up a touchdown to David Douglas in man coverage.
End third quarter, Patriots, 25-10: The Buccaneers’ long drive will continue into the fourth quarter. Jamie Collins had the play of the half shooting his gap and suplexing Mike James for a tackle for loss.
The Bucs will continue their drive on the 12-yard line.
Third quarter, Patriots, 25-10, 5:00: Tim Tebow had a nice 13-yard scramble, but it got called back by a holding penalty on Luke Patterson. Tebow’s designed draw couldn’t get it done on 3rd-and-21.
Third quarter, Patriots, 25-10, 7:23: Derek Hagans’ big play was called back for interference. The Buccaneers couldn’t get anything else going on that drive. Jamie Collins and Steve Beauharnais made nice plays on that drive.
Third quarter, Patriots, 25-10, 8:47: Logan Ryan made quite a play to put the Patriots up 25-10. He jumped the route to take an interception 53 yards back for a touchdown.
Third quarter, Patriots, 18-10, 10:01: That was a very Tim Tebow drive. The Gillette Stadium crowd went wild as Tebow came onto the field. He ran a designed draw for four yards. Brandon Bolden lost three yard on the next carry. Tebow chucked the ball into the dirt to end the drive. It was credited as a target to Aaron Dobson, but it was really to no one. It looked like Tebow and Brandon Bolden saw different things in the defense.
Third quarter, Patriots, 18-10, 11:04: The Patriots’ second team defense wins out again. They came out in a 3-4 with Jamie Collins and Marcus Benard at OLB, Mike Rivera and Steve Beauharnais at ILB, Cory Grissom and Justin Francis at 5-tech DE and Marcus Forston at the nose.
Logan Ryan is getting a long look at cornerback. He got lucky on the last play of the drive, stumbling, but Gannon threw it too close to the sideline.
Tim Tebow is in.
End first half, Patriots, 18-10: The Patriots first team had another strong showing. Tom Brady was the star on offense, going 11-for-12 with 107 yards and a touchdown.
Chandler Jones and Brandon Spikes shined on defense as the Patriots were able to come away with four sacks on Josh Freeman.
James Develin got a surprising amount of snaps with the first team at fullback and tight end. That’s something we haven’t seen much of in training camp.
Kenbrell Thompkins and Danny Amendola have emerged as the starting receivers, though Dobson got two snaps with Brady and Boyce and Edelman were out there as well. Ballard and Sudfeld got the majority of snaps at tight end.
Second quarter, Patriots, 18-10, :03: That could have got a lot worse, but Jamie Collins timed the pass perfectly for a nice pass defense.
The Bucs put the field goal through to make the score 18-10 at the half.
Second quarter, Patriots, 18-7, :27: The Patriots could have had an easy three, but penalties pushed them back. Ryan Mallett was up and down again. He overthrew Zach Sudfeld and underthrew Shane Vereen on the final play of the drive.
Vereen had a very impressive 23-yard run. Aaron Dobson may come away with better stats in this game, but Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins have performed better. Dobson struggles with his physicality and speed out of his breaks.
Second quarter, Patriots 18-7, 2:50: The Patriots’ second team made quick work of the Buccaneers’ second team that drive. We saw some nice pressure from Joe Vellano, Michael Buchanan and Justin Francis.
Second quarter, Patriots 18-7, 3:48: What a catch by Zach Sudfeld. A Buccaneers’ player knocked the ball from his grasp, but he recovered and pulled it in for a touchdown.
Overall, Ryan Mallett was shaky again. He made a nice throw to Aaron Dobson, but got Julian Edelman absolutely laid out. His last pass to Sudfeld was a beaut, though.
Second quarter, Patriots 11-7, 5:05: The Buccaneers were able to drive on the Patriots’ second defense. Everyone but Steve Gregory, Brandon Spikes, Logan Ryan and Dont’a Hightower came out.
Mike Glennon completed his touchdown to Kevin Ogletree. It looks like some signals got mixed up in the defense. Marquice Cole didn’t keep tracking him into the end zone.
Second quarter, Patriots 11-0, 9:14: Well, Ryan Mallett still isn’t helping himself much. He’s looked fine on the dink and dunk passes, but when he’s had to throw it down field, he’s lacked touch. It didn’t help Aaron Dosbon wasn’t physical enough to get open and down field on the third to last play of the drive.
Stephen Gostkowski hit the field goal to put the Patriots up 11-0.
Second quarter, Patriots 8-0, 11:46: Chandler Jones is having one heck of a game. He’s in the backfield on almost every play. Of course, the same could be said for Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes. Jones is credited with two tackles for loss and a sack so far. Spikes has two sacks, Ninkovich has one.
The Patriots’ coverage has been great, too, though. If receivers were open, Josh Freeman and Mike Glennon would (probably) be getting the ball out quicker.
Marcus Forston replaced Vince Wilfork at one-tech defensive tackle on that drive.
Second quarter, Patriots 8-0, 13:45: Well, Ryan Mallett didn’t do much on his first drive. He completed one pass to Kenbrell Thompkins and bounced another one into the dirt.
This will be a good chance to see what Mallett can do. He won’t have the first-team offensive line, but he’ll have a lot of solid targets to throw to.
End first quarter, Patriots 8-0: The Buccaneers’ offensive line is having a hard time keeping Chandler Jones away from Josh Freeman. Of course, the fact that Freeman isn’t getting rid of the ball isn’t helping to keep himself upright.
Jones and Spikes both recorded sacks on that drive. We may see Spikes blitz up the middle a lot on third down. Helps beef up the interior with a smaller player like Benard playing defensive tackle.
First quarter, Patriots 8-0, 2:36: BREAKING: Tom Brady threw an incompletion. The Patriots were looking good again on their second drive before Brady finally threw one that hit the ground.
We saw Aaron Dobson just one time on that drive. For now, it looks like Kenbrell Thompkins and Danny Amendola are the team’s No. 1 receivers.
Brady’s likely done for the night after 23 snaps. Ryan Allen got the first crack at punting. He booted it for a touchback.
First quarter, Patriots 8-0, 6:32: The Patriots’ defense made quick work of the Bucs in their first drive. Brandon Spikes starting things off with a bang, sacking Josh Freeman after blitzing up the middle.
Logan Ryan was the third cornerback, playing outside while Kyle Arrington moved to the slot. Adrian Wilson and Steve Gregory started at safety.
First quarter, Patriots 8-0, 8:12: It didn’t look like there were many issues there for Tom Brady. He was a perfect 8-for-8 on the drive. He was 9-for-9 if you include the completion to Zach Sudfeld for two.
Brady connected with Danny Amendola for a 26-yard touchdown pass. It was a 15 play drive that had the team mixing runs with passes all drive. Kenbrell Thompkins and Amendola were the near constants with the first team, though James Devlin, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden, Shane Vereen, Julian Edelman, Jake Ballard, Zach Sudfeld, Michael Hoomanwanui and Aaron Dobson also got work.
First quarter, 13:51: Patriots first team offense for the night was James Develin, Stevan Ridley, Kenbrell Thompkins, Danny Amendola, Jake Ballard, Nate Solder, Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, Will Svitek and Sebastian Vollmer.
8:10 p.m.: Gillette Stadium held a moment of silence for MIT officer Sean Collier, who was gunned down by the alleged marathon bombers. He was supposed to have season tickets for the first time this season.
Patriots won the coin toss and chose to receive. We’re just about ready to get this game underway.
7:46 p.m.: Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen and Zach Sudfeld all took first-team reps during warmups with Tom Brady. Jake Ballard was also mixed in for Boyce.
We’ll likely see most of the receivers, tight ends and running backs mixed in with the first unit, but Thompkins, Boyce and Amendola may be the first wideouts on the field.
7:34 p.m.: Ras-I Dowling, Alfonzo Dennard, Devin McCourty, Markus Zusevics, Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon, Jermaine Cunningham, Armond Armstead, Daniel Fells, Rob Gronkowski and Mark Harrison have all not been spotted at this point.
7:25 p.m.: Tom Brady jogged on the field with the quarterbacks to his entrance song “Public Service Announcement” by Jay Z. Brady’s in full uniform. As he jogged by Adrian Clayborn, who was the Buccaneer that bull rushed Nate Solder into Brady’s knee, the quarterback tapped him on the shoulder pads.
The Patriots’ returners are also on the field: Josh Boyce, LeQuan Lewis, Danny Amendola, Matthew Slater, Kenbrell Thompkins, Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman.
7:04 p.m.: Danny Aiken, Mike Zupancic, Ryan Allen, Zoltan Mesko and Stephen Gostkowski are the first Patriots players out on the field in uniform. The Patriots will be in blue jerseys and silver pants. The Buccaneers are in white jerseys and pewter pants.
6:44 p.m.: Lawrence Tynes, Danny Gorrer, Davin Joseph, Chris Owusu and Zach Miller did not make the trip with the Buccaneers. Therefore, they obviously will not be playing.
6:08 p.m.: We’re here live at Gillette Stadium where Buccaneers players are starting to warm up on the field in T-shirts and shorts. Zoltan Mesko and Tim Tebow are the only Patriots so far.
Tom Brady is expected to play tonight, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. He’ll likely only play a couple series’. It appears the Patriots really avoided disaster with Brady’s knee injury. He appeared to be moving fine during the walk through on Friday afternoon.
8 a.m. ET: After a week of eventful joint practices, the Patriots and Buccaneers are ready to square off Thursday night.
The Patriots averted disaster on Wednesday when Tom Brady was taken down in the backfield by his own blindside protector, Nate Solder. Solder was bull rushed by Tampa Bay defensive end Adrian Clayborn and backed into the start quarterback.
Brady is fine, and may even play against the Buccaneers. Brady took the majority of the snaps in Thursday afternoon’s walk through and looked fine in doing so. He walked without a limp and delivered strong, accurate passes all day.
Ras-I Dowling, Alfonzo Dennard, Marcus Cannon, Dan Connolly, Daniel Fells and Jermaine Cunningham are not expected to play against Tampa Bay. Mark Harrison, Rob Gronkowski and Armond Armstead will definitely not play since they are still on the NFI and PUP lists. Devin McCourty was still wearing his red non-contact jersey on Thursday, so he likely won’t suit up, as well.
If McCourty does not go, the two safety spots will likely be divvied up between veterans Steve Gregory and Adrian Wilson and rookie Duron Harmon. Harmon has been playing the backup free safety role, so he’ll likely take some snaps with the first team. He played well in the Patriots’ first preseason game, arriving on time when the ball was reaching its destination.
Without Fells, reps at tight end will be split between Jake Ballard, Zach Sudfeld, Michael Hoomanawanui and Evan Landi. Ballard was mostly used as a blocker last Friday in Philadelphia, so it will be interesting to see if he goes out on more routes in this game. Landi, who has struggled in practice so far, will get some valuable reps.
Will Svitek will likely take first-team reps at guard with Cannon and Connolly hobbled. Markus Zusevics could be worked in at guard with the first team, as well. Marcus Benard should continue to see snaps with the nickel defense in the interior rush role with Cunningham still nowhere to be found.
This will be a big game for a couple of cornerbacks. With Dowling and Dennard still not practicing fully, Logan Ryan and Marquice Cole will get a lot of playing time with the first-team defense. Ryan will likely take snaps on the outside and in the slot, while most of Cole’s reps will come on the inside. Cole has had the better camp so far, but both players should make the team in late August due to the uncertainty at the position. Cole was a quality contributor last season with the team at slot corner and in special teams.
Finally, watch Quentin Sims carefully when Tim Tebow is on the field. Tebow really keys in on the 6-foot-3 receiver when the two are taking snaps together. Sims could find a spot on the Patriots’ practice squad, as long as he passes through waivers if he gets cut in late August. If guys like Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce weren’t having such solid training camps, Sims would be a bigger story. He really excels in the redzone, grabbing jump balls.
Stay here all day for the latest updates before the Patriots and Buccaneers kick off at 8 p.m. We’ll be updating live from Gillette Stadium all game.