Patriots at Buccaneers: Highlights, score and recap

Doug Martin is fighting for his career as he returns from a league-imposed four-game suspension

The Bucs have made 9 similar plays for an average of three per game while the Patriots average 7.

Dallas cruised to an easy win at Lambeau Field during the regular season previous year only to allow the Packers to come into AT&T Stadium in January and knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs.

"Every offseason, every rep I get during the season that I'm trying to be better and better because I know that he's still out there playing", Winston said.

Buccaneers: Begin stretch in which they'll play six of eight games on the road, visiting Arizona on October 15.

Through the first quarter of the 2017 season, New England has been very un-Patriot-like on defense, especially on the back end.

The veteran kicker missed a 31-yarder, a 49-yard field goal attempt and a 55-yarder as well.

Consecutive passes Tom Brady had attempted without throwing an interception before Bucs safety Justin Evans picked him off in the first quarter. On more than one occasion against the Panthers, New England's secondary got its signals crossed and it led to it allowing five pass plays of 24 or more yards. Opponents have thrown 10 touchdowns and only one interception in such situations.

New England's defense is the worst in football in surrendering 32 points per game. Trailing 16-7, with third-and-goal from the Patriots 3-yard line, Winston scored on a scramble, but the play was negated by an illegal-use-of-hands penalty on offensive lineman Evan Smith. Tampa was unable to convert, though, getting off the field in only four plays, then picking up a stop before having another fruitless drive. Neither player practiced on Monday or Tuesday, making it unlikely they would play against New England.

Offensively, Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin returns after a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs (he sat out the final week of 2016). Gostkowski tacked on a 23-yard field goal with 40 seconds remaining in the half. Alexander missed his third consecutive game. If the first quarter of the National Football League season is any indication, Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and co. should be looking forward to feasting on New England's secondary tonight.

But don't tell that to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Beating the team now might bring a little bite off of it's impact, but with Gronkowski or not, defeating the defending Super Bowl Champions is never a bad thing.

The Patriots and Buccaneers will meet in the regular season for the first time since 2013 and the ninth time overall.

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