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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Hot Reads: A tale of two first downs

First down

Offensively, the Bucs have struggled on first down through the first two weeks. Defensively, they’ve been outstanding. Tampa Bay’s average of 2.93 yards on 46 first-down snaps ranks next-to-last in the league, ahead of only Seattle (2.84). The Bucs are fourth overall and No. 1 in the NFC defensively on first down, with opponents averaging only 3.9 yards on their 61 snaps.

Stat of the day

Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots own the NFL’s best home record (74-15) during the regular season.

Clutch performer

Seven of Vincent Jackson’s 12 catches this season have come on third down, accounting for an NFL-high 177 yards. Jackson has also reinforced his reputation as a big-play target. A year after leading the league by averaging 19.2 yards per reception, Jackson’s current average (19.3) tops all players with more than 10 catches.

Too much yellow

Of the 43 first downs allowed by the Bucs through two games, nine have come via defensive penalties. No other NFC defense has yielded more than six first downs by penalty.

Quote of the day

“We didn’t come into the season saying we were going to be 15-1. All of our goals are still ahead of us.’’

WR Mike Williams on Tampa Bay’s 0-2 start.

Injury report

For the Bucs, CB Michael Adams (knee) and OL Gabe Carimi (illness) did not participate in practice on Wednesday, while six players were limited: DE Adrian Clayborn (hip), TE Tom Crabtree (ankle), LB Mason Foster (toe), CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring), guard Carl Nicks (foot) and TE Luke Stocker (hip).

Notable players on the Patriots’ injury report were WR Danny Amendola (groin) and TE Rob Grnkowski (back/arm), both of whom were limited.

Upcoming schedule

Sunday: at New England, 1 p.m.

Sept. 29: Arizona, 1 p.m.

Oct. 6: Bye

Oct. 13: Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

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