Tom Brady rallied the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 19-17 victory over the Patriots on a rainy Sunday night in his return to New England, with Ryan Succop hitting the winning 48-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Brady was 22 of 43 for 269 yards with no touchdowns, but engineered the fourth-quarter drive to beat his former team. Ronald Jones added an 8-yard scoring run for defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay (3-1).
Brady broke Drew Brees’ NFL career passing yardage record and became the fourth quarterback with victories against all 32 NFL teams, joining Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
New England had a chance to win, but Nick Folk’s 56-yard field-goal try hit the left upright with with less than a minute to play. The Patriots are 1-3 for the first time since 2001.
Patriots rookie Mac Jones finished 31 of 40 for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
The Buccaneers were hurt by multiple mistakes on defense as well as spotty special teams play — marked by poor punts, a missed early field goal and costly penalties.
But Tampa was able to come up with timely plays to stay in the game, including Antoine Winfield Jr. forcing a fumble by J.J. Taylor that was recovered by Richard Sherman to thwart a promising drive early in the third quarter.
With Tampa Bay down 17-16, Brady and the Buccaneers took over on their own 25 and needed just seven plays drive to the Patriots 30. After Antonio Brown failed to hang onto a psss in the end zone Succop calmly connected on a 48-yarder with 2:02 left.
Leading 7-6, the Patriots punted and Matt Slater appeared to recover a fumble by Jaydon Mickens. But an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Slater negated the play.
The Bucs took over and finished an eight-play, 52-yard drive with an 8-yard scoring run by Ronald Jones.
The Patriots responded on their next possession, using six straight completions by Jones to drive to the Bucs 1. Jones then found Jonnu Smith in back of the end zone for to put the Patriots back in front 14-13.
Tampa marched all the way to the Patriots 8 on their ensuing drive before being forced to settle for Ryan Succop’s third field goal of the game to make it 16-14.
New England took back over with 7:58 left in the game and quickly moved down the field, getting into the red zone on a trick play that ended with receiver Jakobi Meyers throwing a 30-yard pass to Nelson Agholor. The drive stalled there and the Patriots nudged back in front 17-16 on Nick Folk’s 27-yard field goal.
Brady was welcomed with cheers during the pregame before taking the field to a stream of boos on the Buccaneers’ first drive of the night.
Some cheers returned on their second offensive series of the night when he completed a 28-yard pass to Mike Evans to surpass Brees’s mark of 80,358 yards to become the NFL’s career passing leader in the regular season.
The pass helped set up a 29-yard field goal to put the Bucs in front 3-0.
Tampa Bay’s defense dialed up the pressure on Jones on the Patriots’ next drive. Linebacker Devin White got a free run at Jones up the middle, forcing him to hurry a pass that was tipped by Ross Cockrell and intercepted by Winfield.
The Patriots made the mistake moot, stopping the Buccaneers on third down just inside the red zone. The Buccaneers attempted another field goal, but this time Succop was wide right from 36 yards.
New England took advantage of Tampa Bay’s injury-riddled defense to nudge in front just before the half.
The Bucs entered the night with a pair of key injuries, with cornerback Jamel Dean (knee) and linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) both sidelined.
Sherman was signed to a one-year deal by Tampa Bay on Wednesday and was in the starting lineup in place of the Dean.
But Sherman looked a step slow at times. He was flagged for pass interference in the second quarter and gave up a 16-yard reception to Kendrick Bourne.
Carlton Davis III also was whistled for a third-down pass interference during an 11-play, 74-yard Patriots drive that was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Hunter Henry to put New England in front 7-3.
Buccaneers: Davis III was helped off the field in the second quarter with a quad injury and did not return. … Winfield went into the locker room in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
Patriots: DE Henry Anderson left the game in the second quarter with a chest injury and did not return. … RB Damien Harris was shaken up after a hit in the second quarter but was able to return. … DB Cody Davis left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. … Jonathan Jones left the game late in the fourth quarter.