FOXBORO, Mass. — After two disappointing performances to start the season out of the rookie wide receivers, Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson finally stepped up in Week 3.

Perhaps that will put the idea to rest that the Patriots need to acquire a veteran wide receiver. The defense bailed the offense out in the first two weeks, but New England’s win over Tampa Bay showed more of a balanced attack.

The defense certainly had their stops, but the offense put together some impressive drives. And the two times the Patriots were able to get in the end zone, it was Thompkins on the receiving end of a Tom Brady touchdown.

Perhaps Brady would feel more confident throwing to Deion Branch or Brandon Lloyd, but the rookies won’t learn and develop unless they’re thrown into game situations. There were far fewer drops in this game than in Week 1 or 2 and the rookies appeared to be where Brady expected them, which is an improvement.

To hear more about how the offense and defense performed, watch Patriots writer Doug Kyed and’s Nick Underhill discuss the game in the video above.

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