Stevan Ridley ran 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown Friday while Tom Brady was 13-of-20 for 127 yards with a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, but the Patriots lost their second straight preseason game, 30-28, to the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Brady faced constant pressure all night and took several big hits as the Patriots' makeshift offensive line continues to struggle. 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently said he wants to play well into his 40s. The 35-year-old expounded on that thought in a USA Today story Thursday.

"I hope to play as long as possible," he said. "I don't know how long that's going to be.

The third preseason game is the dress rehearsal, the one that everyone points to as the final chance for the starters to get their work in before kicking back and watching the preseason finale.



Jets coach Rex Ryan has never been shy when it comes to his beliefs regarding the Patriots. Now, it sounds like Bills general manager Buddy Nix is taking a page from Ryan’s playbook, delivering some fighting words when asked about his feelings toward the Patriots.

“I think they oughta expect a lot of us. We expect a lot out of ourselves,” Nix told the Toronto Sun. “New England, the AFC -- they don’t scare me. I think we can compete with any of ‘em, and our intention is to try to win the division.”

With another week of preseason in the books, there are more changes to our final 53-man roster. With some clarity regarding the status of linebacker Dane Fletcher and defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene, things have started to become a little clearer on the defensive side of the ball.



Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia offered a passionate defense of young tackles Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon on Wednesday, saying that “all young tackles struggle on plays and protections in this league” while talking about the second-year Solder, who has taken over at the left tackle spot for Matt Light, who retired following the 2011 season.

“I think Nate Solder’s a better player today than he was all of last year. So you figure that out,” Scarnecchia told reporters. “Next question.”

Patriots defensive lineman Kyle Love has had his contract extended through the 2013 season, according to a league source. The 6-foot-1, 315-pound Love, who was set to become a restricted free agent following the 2012 season, now has an extension that has a total maximum value of $3.09 million, including a $500,000 signing bonus.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday morning that the team has officially removed right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and tight end Daniel Fells from the physically unable to perform list. Vollmer has dealt with injury issues for much of the last year, including a back problem, while Fells reportedly re-aggravated a knee injury he suffered last season while with Denver. Both were sidelined throughout the spring and summer practice sessions.

With the Patriots in a stretch of three games in 10 days and the first round of cuts looming in less than a week, a handful of players have to maximize their opportunities in the limited amount of practice time they have.



The Patriots announced Tuesday afternoon they have released defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene, offensive lineman Kyle Hill and kicker Chris Koepplin.