OVERALL GAME GRADE — B-
The running game was a pleasant surprise with the team collecting 168 total yards on 31 carries (5.4 average). Ridley further locked himself into the starting role and Demps came as advertised.
Aside from Stallworth's work in the fourth quarter the receivers really had trouble getting involved though. The offensive line wasn't terrible and they do deserve credit for the success in the run game.
Keeping Brady on his feet has to be paramount, this team isn't built to ground and pound every week.
Q4 — B+
With Ryan Mallett and many other reserves at the helm of both the offense and Tampa's defense, the Patriots found some success in the fourth. Jeff Demps made up for his false start earlier, getting involved in the running game with success.
It seems that the team has interest in Demps' versatility as he also played runningback for the Florida Gators. Fresh out of Olympic competition, the 4x100 meter sprinter seemed a bit winded at times in the huddle.
Donte Stallworth appeared to be Mallett's favorite target, but dropped an easy one that won't look good upon review. Rookie Jeremy Ebert hauled in a touchdown and it was refreshing to see No. 80 back in the end zone for the Patriots.
Mallett and the reserves held together well, putting together two scoring drives and narrowing a once large lead.
Q3 — B
It appears as if Ridley has some hundred yard games in his future. Can't do much better than he has tonight. He's run with purpose and doesn't go down after the first hit, gotta love a pile mover with speed.
The Boston TE Party made itself known late in the third with Hernandez setting up a Gronkowski score. Nice to see some life out of the receiving corps.
Q2 — B-
Might as well label Ridley and the offense as synonymous entities as he's been the Patriots lone hope. Vereen may be seen as the speedster of the group, but Ridley's 29-yard run proves he's got some wheels of his own.
I'd like to see Hernandez work a bit more on ball control, it's his third year and fumblitis should be cured by now.
After initially going one-for-four on first downs, Brady found Deion Branch over the middle for a long conversion. Branch may not be what he once was, but he still knows exactly where to be and when to be there.
Q1 — C
Despite dressing, Sebastian Vollmer does not start. Marcus Cannon gets the nod at right tackle with Donald Thomas at right guard. Mankins makes his return just six months after going under the knife for a partially torn ACL.
The offense has gone three and out, punted twice and committed a turnover. The run game has looked good and bad at times and Shane Vereen was seen limping off the field late in the first quarter. Stevan Ridley has been the better back thus far with a couple impressive runs.
Brady has only completed four passes, but Brandon Lloyd and Hernandez have looked impressive with the ball in their hands.