Patriots - Buccaneers: Game Balls & Goats
Warrick Dunn rolls over Jerod Mayo (AP Photo)
Warrick Dunn rolls over Jerod Mayo (AP Photo)
PatriotsInsider.com
Posted Aug 18, 2008


The story of the day was all about Tamp Bay looking like they were ready for the regular season while the New England Patriots looked like they never got off the plane. Buccaneers trounce Pats 27-10. Here's our game observations and awards for who looked good and who didn't.

GAME BALLS

Stephen Gostkowski - it's sad when the kicker is the first bright spot you can think of to give a game ball to. Gostkowski earned it with a clutch 53yard field goal in the first half to prevent the Patriots from heading to the locker room with a goose egg on the board in the first half. Gostkowski is now a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals this preseason. It was his career best field goal preseason, regular season or postseason.

Shawn Crable - The rookie linebacker got burned on one play but bounced back to have a decent night, causing pressure, recording a sack and a forced fumble

Titus Adams - you probably won't see much from Adams for the regular season, but he turned in a decent performance worthy of a game ball. If he makes the final roster it will inevitably be tied back to his continued effort throughout this game.

Honorable Mentions:
The Buccaneers - Brian Griese (9/10 for 44 yards), Luke McCown (7/10 for 79 yards and TD), Michael Bennett (8 carries 57 yards), Antonio Bryant (1 run 16 yards, 2 rec. 37 yards), and a defense that made the Patriots look like a Pop Warner offense.

John Lynch - Signs this week then shows up to play more than a few snaps. Lynch didn't do anything outstanding on Sunday night, but at least he didn't look as bad as his teammates who were supposed to know what to do.

Wes Welker - the one guy the Patriots need to come up big is doing just that. Welker had no trouble snatching balls out of the air, even with defenders on him. He had his trademark quickness and looks ready to go.

GOATS

Matt Cassel - Matt, Matt, Matt… Jackson was the problem last week, but with Randy Moss, Wes Welker and most of the first string offense in the game, Cassel went just 6/10 for 57 yards and almost recorded another interception (overturned by replay). His receivers didn't do him any favors dropping a couple of passes, but this offense just hasn't looked good with Cassel at the helm. One more chance to show what he's got.

Defense - What was that? The Buccaneers looked like All Stars in the first half scoring on three drives of over 50 yards. Brian Griese looked like Tom Brady going 8 of 8 on the first possession - a 17-play 80-yard touchdown drive. Luke McCown looked just as good completing passes of 18, 11 ands 13 yards on a 86-yard drive resulting in another Buccaneers touchdown.

Kevin Faulk - He shows up to the party late and then fumbles the ball. That's not the way to keep LaMont Jordan on the bench Kevin.

Honorable Mentions:
Patriots Offensive line, secondary, playcalling the NFL for making people pay to watch that debacle

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