The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired former All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski from the New England Patriots early in the off-season to pair him with quarterback Tom Brady, hoping the duo could double their success from their days with the Patriots.
Gronkowski, however, was underwhelmed in his first match with his new team.
In their match of week 1 against the New Orleans Saints, Gronkowski was targeted three times, and dropped with only two receptions for 11 yards in the 34-23 loss to New Orleans.
TOM BRADY’S BUCCANEERS DEBUT IS SPOILED BY SAINTS, DREW BREES IN WEEK 1
Social media started hitting Gronkowski during the game.
Brady threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins, was sacked three times and pitched for 239 yards with a score of 78.3 passer. Brady also threw two touchdown passes; one went close to O.J. Howard, and the second was caught by wide receiver Mike Evans.
Despite the losing effort, Brady and the Bucs got off to a fantastic start in the ball game.
The Buccaneers, who started their first drive of the game at their 1
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On that drive, Brady connected with wide receiving Chris Godwin for a 29-yard pass game, and running back Ronald Jones had 12 yards out of five carries.
The Buccaneers were also helped in 3 and 2 plays from the Saints 38-yard line when Brady threw a beautiful touch pass to Evans, but Marshon Lattimore made a defensive interference on the pass.
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Saints quarterback Drew Brees was not at his best, but he was very efficient. He passed for 160 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t turn the ball and only took a lot. His first touchdown pass came when he dumped him to Alvin Kamara from 12 yards. And in the fourth quarter, he scored the off-season takeover Emmanuel Sanders for a 5-yard score.
Brady and the Buccaneers will be looking to rebound against the Carolina Panthers in week 2. The Saints will travel to Las Vegas to face the Raiders.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.