By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) – Tom Brady is the winning quarterback in NFL history, so it’s safe to say he’s motivated to win every game he plays. But for his Week 4 return to New England, the 43-year-old would always be a little extra motivated to win a win.
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And now, after he and the Bucs were beaten hard in Los Angeles, he gets the extra motivation to desperately not want to lose two in a row.
Brady was not bad on Sunday – he completed 41 of his 55 passes for 432 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed 14 yards with a QB sneak for another touchdown as well. Still, Tampa’s defense had zero response to Matthew Stafford and a Rams offensive that worked with tremendous efficiency en route to a 34-24 victory.
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Stafford completed 27 of his 38 passes for 343 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, with DeSean Jackson (three catches, 120 yards, TD) and Cooper Kupp (nine catches, 96 yards, 2 TDs) making major injuries. After the Bucs tied the game at 7-7 late in the second quarter, the Rams scored going in and out of the break, maintaining a healthy lead for the rest of the game.
The loss dropped the Bucs to 2-1 in the season prior to their game in Week 4 with the Patriots, who lost Sunday to fall to 1-2 on the season.
Sunday’s loss also saw the Bucs lose first place in the NFC South as they now track the 3-0 Panthers. Coincidentally, the Saints’ victory over New England also improved New Orleans to 2-1, putting them tied for second place with the Buccaneers.
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It is not store news for the Patriots. Brady and the Bucs went 4-1 after their five losses a year ago, with Brady throwing 11 touchdowns and three interceptions in those games. Brady has obviously lost consecutive games several times over the course of his long career, but a loss like Sunday should help the Bucs take stock of some of their weaknesses ahead of next week’s national television match on Sunday night. While the season opener against the Cowboys probably gave the Bucs some lessons, there is something about a loss that helps teams understand these shortcomings much more clearly.
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