A few final thoughts from the Patriots' 27-10 preseason loss to the Buccaneers:
1) Leg injury to Brandon Meriweather. The second-year safety looked to be in considerable pain on the sideline after leaving the game in the first quarter on a Warrick Dunn run. If Meriweather's injury is serious, it's another blow to a secondary which is already depleted. It could lead to John Lynch seeing more playing time than initially anticipated.
2) Backup quarterbacks fail to generate spark. Matt Cassel had a golden opportunity to lock down the No. 2 job, especially playing the entire first half with Randy Moss and Wes Welker at receiver. But he couldn't get the offense going. Rookie Kevin O'Connell made a costly mistake on his first throw (an interception) before settling down a bit.
3) Running game disappoints. On a night when the Patriots seemed committed to the run, they finished with 56 yards on 22 carries (2.5 avg.).
4) First-string defense knocked off the ball. While they weren't scheming, the Patriots' defense was simply overpowered on the Buccaneers' opening drive of the game, a 17-play march that chewed up 9:38 of the clock. Of the 17 plays, nine of them were runs as the Patriots weren't sharp on their run fits.
5) Stephen Gostkowski one of the few bright spots. The third-year kicker crunched a 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half, and had one touchback.
Monday plan: Tomorrow is a travel day back to Boston. There is no media access. The plan will be to review the game in the afternoon and post some thoughts on individual performances in the early evening.