It was a sloppy, penalty-filled effort.
But the scoreboard at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday read in favor of New England when the clock hit 0:00: Patriots 19, Buccaneers 14.
The game ended when cornerback Jonathan Jones batted down a pass in the end zone intended for rookie tight end O.J. Howard.
The teams combined to commit 21 penalties for 178 yards. The Patriots alone piled by 12 flags for 108 yards.
For the fifth straight game, the Patriots’ defense allowed its opponent to total more than 400 yards of offense. Quarterback Jameis Winston, however, was not sharp, completing 26 of 46 passes for 334 yards, a touchdown, and an 86.7 rating.
Meanwhile, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for more than 300 yards for the 80th time in his career and was in sync with receiver Danny Amendola, who caught all 8 of the passes thrown his way for 77 yards. Brady finished 30-of-40 passing for 303 yards, a touchdown, an interception, a fumble, and a 94.1 rating. He was sacked three times and hit six. In the second quarter alone, Brady was a perfect 10-of-10 passing for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Buccaneers kicker Nick Folk had a bad outing, missing all three of his field goal attempts. His counterpart, Stephen Gostkowski, converted all four of his field goal attempts, making him 12 for 12 on the season.
4th quarter: Patriots 19, Buccaneers 14
New England padded its lead with another Stephen Gostkowski field goal, this one coming with fewer than 2 minutes remaining. It was a 48-yarder for Gostkowski, his fourth attempt and make of the contest.
4th quarter: Patriots 16, Buccaneers 14
Tampa Bay got into the end zone before the two-minute warning with quarterback Jameis Winston finding tight end Cameron Brate for an 18-yard score.
The touchdown capped off a 9-play, 74-yard drive.
4th quarter: Patriots 16, Buccaneers 7
The Buccaneers pieced together an 84-yard drive, but failed to come up with any points as a 3-yard touchdown run by Jameis Winston on third down was wiped out by a penalty and Nick Folk missed a 31-yard field goal, his third attempt and miss of the game.
4th quarter: Patriots 16, Buccaneers 7
Tampa Bay couldn’t turn a fumble into any points as kicker Nick Folk missed his second field-goal attempt of the game. It was a 49-yard attempt.
A second turnover
Buccaneers linebacker Adarius Glanton sacked Tom Brady, forcing a fumble. Defensive end Will Clarke recovered, and Tampa Bay took over at its own 47-yard line.
It was the third time Brady was sacked in the game. He has been hit five times so far.
3rd quarter: Patriots 16, Buccaneers 7
On their first possession of the second half, the Patriots added to their lead on a 45-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, his third attempt and make of the game.
It capped an 8-play, 67-yard drive.
On the drive, Tom Brady hit Brandin Cooks on a beautiful throw for 34 yards.
A few halftime stats:
Total yards: NE 234, TB 123
Total plays: NE 38, TB 27
Yards per play: NE 6.2, TB 4.6
Pass yards: NE 159, TB 66
Rush yards: NE 75, TB 57
Penalties: NE 7 for 75 yards, TB 5 for 45 yards
Time of possession: NE 18:09, TB 11:51
Tom Brady: 18 of 22, 169 yards, TD, INT, 94.9 rating
Jameis Winston: 8 of 16, 71 yards, 62.2 rating
NE: Chris Hogan 4 catches, 29 yards, TD; James White 6 catches, 54 yards; Danny Amendola 6 catches, 50 yards; Brandin Cooks 2 catches, 36 yards.
TB: Mike Evans 3 catches, 46 yards; Cameron Brate 1 catch, 16 yards; DeSean Jackson 1 catch, 11 yards; Chris Godwin 1 catch, 8 yards; Charles Sims 2 catches, 10 yards.
2nd quarter: Patriots 13, Buccaneers 7
New England’s drive stalled and it had to settle for a field goal. Stephen Gostkowski hit a 23-yarder to add to the lead just before halftime.
Tom Brady was perfect in the second quarter, going 10 for 10 for 100 yards.
The Patriots are outgaining the Buccaneers, 234 yards to 118.
Tampa Bay CB ruled out
Buccaneers cornerback Josh Robinson has been ruled out with a concussion.
2nd quarter: Patriots 10, Buccaneers 7
The Patriots answered the Buccaneers’ score by putting together a 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 5-yard pass from Tom Brady to Chris Hogan. It was Hogan’s fifth touchdown reception of the season and Brady’s 11th touchdown pass of the year.
Brady was 7 for 7 for 84 yards on the drive. Through five possessions, Brady is 15-of-19 passing for 153 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and a 95.8 rating.
Hogan leads the way in targets so far with six. James White and Danny Amendola each have five. Brandin Cooks has three.
2nd quarter: Buccaneers 7, Patriots 3
On a penalty-laden drive, Tampa Bay took the lead on an 1-yard run by Doug Martin, who is making his season debut returning from suspension.
It was an 11-play, 68-drive by the Buccaneers that included four penalties, two of which were on Tampa Bay tight end O.J. Howard. Martin accounted for 38 rushing yards on the possession.
Through four Patriots possessions, quarterback Tom Brady has been sacked twice and hit three times. He has now been sacked 15 times and hit 31 on the season. He was sacked 15 times all of last year.
Tampa Bay came in with just one sack on the season. Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald each reocorded their first sack of the season against New England.
1st quarter: Patriots 3, Buccaneers 0
New England got on the board first, capping a 13-play, 89-yard drive with a 27-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
On the drive, Dion Lewis got loose for the longest run of his career at 31 yards.
Gostkowski is now 9 of 9 on field goals this season.
Pick it off
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw his first interception of the season on New England’s first possession of the game.
Safety Justin Evans made the interception at Tampa Bay’s 36-yard line, and the Bucs took over at their own 38.
Brady's first interception of the year on his 108th pass attempt— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 6, 2017
Jameis Winston and the Bucs’ offense couldn’t do much with it, punting after four plays.
The Patriots lost the coin toss and will receive the opening kickoff.
New England called heads, and the coin came up tails.
For Color Rush, the Patriots are wearing all white and the Buccaneers are wearing all red. Here is a look:
A few Patriots taking the field for pregame warmups:
For the Patriots, tight end Rob Gronkowski, cornerback Eric Rowe, running back Rex Burkhead, defensive lineman Alan Branch, offensive linemen Cole Croston and LaAdrian Waddle, and linebacker Harvey Langi.
Special teams ace Matthew Slater will make his season debut. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, and linebacker Elandon Roberts, who were all questionable on Wednesday’s injury report, are active.
The offensive weapons available for Tom Brady:
Running backs: Mike Gillislee, James White, Dion Lewis, James Develin, Brandon Bolden
Tight end: Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister
Receiver: Chris Hogan, Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Phillip Dorsett
For the Buccaneers, safeties Keith Tandy and T.J. Ward, linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander, tackle Leonard Wester, center Joe Hawley, and defensive tackle Sealver Siliga.
Gronkowski will not play vs. Bucs
TAMPA — The Patriots will be without one of their biggest weapons for Thursday night’s game against the Buccaneers as Rob Gronkowski was a late scratch with a thigh injury.
The news was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The big tight end popped up on Wednesday’s injury report with the ailment after not being listed on Monday’s or Tuesday’s report.
It’s unclear when Gronkowski got hurt as the Patriots didn’t hold any contact practices this week, rather just a couple of walkthrough sessions because of the quick turnaround.
Gronkowski played 100 percent of the 70 offensive snaps in last Sunday’s 33-30 loss to the Panthers.
It’s the latest in a string of injuries for Gronkowski, who left the Saints game in Week 2 with a minor groin injury, and missed the final five games of the regular season and the playoffs last season because of back injury that required surgery.
Gronkowski is second on the team with 20 receptions for a team-leading 318 yards this season. He also has a pair of touchdowns.
— Jim McBride, Globe Staff
The Patriots are 11-0 without Rob Gronkowski since the start of 2016, and have averaged more points per game without him than with him pic.twitter.com/PbZ1J90Gj7— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 5, 2017
Welcome to gameday
Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play host to the reeling Patriots in New England’s third meeting of the season against an NFC South opponent.
Tampa Bay is coming off of a 25-23 victory over the Giants while New England was upset, 33-30, by the Panthers in Week 4.
On a short week, Tom Brady and New England’s top-ranked offense will go against Tampa Bay’s 30th-ranked defense as the Bucs try to move to 3-1 and the Patriots try to avoid falling to 2-3. But all eyes will be on the Patriots’ defense, which is ranked dead last in the league.
We’ll update this post throughout the game.
And for some pregame reading, here are five Bucs players to keep your eye on, and Jim McBride’s thorough scouting report, including keys to victory for both teams. Also, Why covering Mike Evans will be a tall task for the Patriots, The Brent Grimes Effect, and DeSean Jackson doesn’t know why he hasn’t clicked with Jameis Winston.
Kickoff: 8:25 p.m.
TV/Radio: CBS, NFL Network, Amazon Prime / WBZ 98.5.
A few notes on the matchup
Tampa Bay hosts New England for the first time in 20 years. The Bucs were the home team in 2009, but the teams played in London . . . Tom Brady has never played in Tampa as a professional . . . Bill Belichick has never beaten the Bucs in Tampa, as a head coach or assistant . . . Buccaneers running back Doug Martin returns from suspension for this game . . . While the Patriots’ defense sits in the cellar of the league, the Bucs’ unit is not too far away, ranked 30th in total yards . . . Tampa Bay has just one sack this season on 127 dropbacks by opposing quarterbacks . . . The Bucs’ rushing attack ranks 26th in the league (84.7 yards per game). The Patriots rush defense ranks 26th in the league (132.8 yards per game) . . . DeSean Jackson has not crossed the 10-catch mark yet and has the lowest catch percentage on the Bucs’ (nine receptions of 20 targets).