Patriots - Buccaneers: Game Balls and Goats

The New England Patriots have made their statement game. They're back and they're back with an attitude. After suffering through an unbelievable rash of injuries which led to a string of win-one lose-one games this season, New England has rolled off 3 victories in a row, and has staked their claim to the playoffs by shutting down a surging Tampa Bay team. New England wins 28- 0 at home to improve to 9-5 and clinches the AFC East division title.

PHOTO: New England Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, left, sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms in the first half during their NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday Dec. 17, 2005. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)


Tampa Bay00000


The statistics tell the tale of this game. The scoreboard tells you how predicable and one-sided the matchup was. New England rolled over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28 - 0 to secure their place in the postseason.

Tampa Bay was considered one of the toughest teams to play in the NFC. With an emotional win last week against the Carolina Panthers, the Buccaneers shared the lead for the NFC South and carried with them a two-game win streak headed to Foxborough.

A young quarterback, cold conditions and bad karma led to the unraveling of a Tampa Bay offense, which was expected to pave the way for their rookie running back to surpass the 1,000 yard barrier. Instead, the story of this game was the New England defense which not only shut down the aforementioned rookie running back, but stifled every attempt made by the Tampa Bay offense to score.

To use head coach Jon Gruden's own words. New England played an all-around better game then Tampa Bay did.

Tom Brady set a new career passing record. Tom Ashworth hauled in his first career touchdown. The Patriots defense posted their first shutout of the season. It was an all around butt kicking as some of those watching it called it.

Want to talk about the game, or get your name in lights... here's your chance.

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