October 23, 2017
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In short week, can Patriots find some defense?

The Associated Press
Updated:
Greg M. Cooper | USA Today Sports | BDN
Greg M. Cooper | USA Today Sports | BDN
Oct 1, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) carries the ball while chased by New England Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise (91) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England doesn’t have much time to work on patching up that leaky defense.

And next up are Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and perhaps the returning-from-suspension Doug Martin for the Buccaneers.

Only Indianapolis has yielded more than the 128 points the Patriots have given up. Mobile quarterbacks (Alex Smith, Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson) have given them fits.

The Patriots have scored 129, so the offense is in good form. Is there finger pointing among the New England players heading into Thursday night’s game?

“Well I’ve been on teams where we didn’t score many points and we just relied on the defense to do everything,” Tom Brady says. “That’s just the way football is. There’s going to be games this year where we don’t do well on offense and we’re going to need our defense to play well. It’s four games in. We’ve got … a long way to go.

“This team has never been about ‘Hey, what are you guys doing wrong?’ We just focus on what we need to do. It’s score more points than the other team. It doesn’t matter if it’s three points or 30 points or 50 points. Whatever they score, we need to score more and if they score three then we need to score four. That’s how you win. That’s all we care about. That’s all we’ve ever really cared about.”

The Patriots, No. 8 in the AP Pro32 — seems weird to see them so low — are 3-point favorites over No. 17 Tampa Bay. These teams hardly ever play, with the Patriots leading the series 6-2 and not having lost to the Bucs since 2000, before Brady was a starter. They haven’t visited Tampa Bay since 1997.

A loss drops New England to 2-3. Can’t see that.

PATRIOTS, 36-30

Patriots have new plane

WARWICK, Rhode Island — The New England Patriots are celebrating the inaugural flight of their very own Boeing 767.

The team will be at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island on Wednesday before heading to Florida, where they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.

They’ll take their customized aircraft, which is painted with the team’s logo and red-white-and-blue colors, and includes the Pats’ five Lombardi trophies painted on the tail.

In a video the team posted online , Jim Nolan, chief operating officer of Gillette Stadium, explains the team can now bring all their people and equipment on every trip. He says they’ve installed the widest and largest seats the plane can handle, and added five inches of legroom beyond a typical first-class seat.

The team has two of the planes and will use one as a backup.

 


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