By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady is the winningest quarterback in NFL history, so it’s safe to say that he’s motivated to win every game he plays. Yet for his Week 4 return to New England, the 43-year-old was always going to be a little bit extra motivated to earn a victory.READ MORE: Mother, Man Arrested In Investigation Into Missing New Hampshire 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
And now, after he and the Bucs were soundly beaten in Los Angeles, he’ll have the added motivation of desperately not wanting to lose two in a row.
Brady wasn’t bad on Sunday — he completed 41 of his 55 passes for 432 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed for 14 yards with a QB sneak for another touchdown as well. Yet Tampa’s defense had zero answers for Matthew Stafford and a Rams offense that operated with tremendous efficiency en route to a 34-24 victory.
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) doing some major damage. After the Bucs tied the game at 7-7 late in the second quarter, the Rams scored going into and coming out of halftime and maintained a healthy lead for the remainder of the game.READ MORE: 'My Daughter Doesn't Feel Safe': Parents, Teachers Raise Concerns About Violence At Lawrence High School
The loss dropped the Bucs to 2-1 on the season, ahead of their Week 4 matchup with the Patriots, who lost on Sunday to drop to 1-2 on the season.
Sunday’s loss also dropped the Bucs out of first place in the NFC South, as they now trail the 3-0 Panthers. Coincidentally, the Saints’ win over New England improved New Orleans to 2-1, too, putting them in a tie for second place with the Buccaneers.
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It’s not great 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 numerous times throughout his lengthy career, but a loss like Sunday’s should help the Bucs take stock of some of their weaknesses ahead of next week’s nationally televised game on Sunday night. While the season opener against the Cowboys likely provided the Bucs with some lessons, there’s something about a loss that helps teams understand those deficiencies a lot more clearly.