By The Associated Press
NEW ENGLAND (2-2) at TAMPA BAY (2-1)
Thursday, 8:25 p.m. EST, CBS/NFL Network/Amazon
OPENING LINE - Patriots by 3
RECORD VS. SPREAD - New England 1-3, Tampa Bay 1-2
SERIES RECORD - Patriots lead 6-2
LAST MEETING - Patriots beat Buccaneers 23-3, Sept. 22, 2013
LAST WEEK - Patriots lost to Panthers 33-30; Buccaneers beat Giants 25-23
AP PRO32 RANKING - Patriots No. 8, Buccaneers No. 17
PATRIOTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (1), RUSH (20), PASS (1)
PATRIOTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (32), RUSH (26), PASS (32)
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (9), RUSH (26), PASS (3)
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (30), RUSH (6), PASS (31)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Patriots off to 2-2 for second time in four seasons. Have not had losing record beyond 0-1 since starting 1-2 on way to 12-4 in 2012. ... Patriots visiting Tampa in regular season for the first time since 1997, when Buccaneers won 27-7. ... Tampa Bay is one of seven teams Tom Brady (3-0) is undefeated against. Others are Atlanta (4-0), Chicago (4-0), Dallas (4-0), Detroit (4-0), Jacksonville (5-0) and Minnesota (4-0). ... Bill Belichick is 4-1 in career against Bucs (3-1 with New England). ... With 185 regular-season wins as starting quarterback, Brady is one shy of tying Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for most regular-season wins by quarterback in NFL history. He has 25 postseason victories ... Brady is first player in league history to have 1,000-plus yards passing, at least 10 TD passes and zero interceptions through team's first four games in two seasons. He also did it in 2015. ... Patriots RB James White tied career best with 10 receptions vs. Carolina last week. With 22 catches, he's tied for second among NFL RBs. ... Bucs QB Jameis Winston coming off season-best 332-yard, three-TD, zero-interception performance against Giants. Overcame two fourth-quarter deficits to beat New York. ... Bucs have won six straight home games, with Winston throwing for nine TDs vs. three interceptions. ... WR Mike Evans has 20 receptions for 307 yards and two TDs in past two appearances on Thursday night. ... RB Doug Martin returns after serving four-game suspension for violating NFL's policy on performance enhancers. Two-time 1,000-yard rusher hasn't played in regular-season game since last Dec. 18 at Dallas. Fantasy Tip: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, third in AFC with 318 receiving yards, has had at least 80 in past three games. Has 100-plus in last two road games vs. NFC opponents. Winston's favorite target is Evans and deep threat DeSean Jackson is clamoring for ball, but TE Cameron Brate led Bucs with 80 receiving yards last week. His 10 TD catches since start of last season tops league TEs.
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Updated October 4, 2017