A quiet third quarter to start picked up in the closing minutes, but the lead still would not change hands, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers maintained a 23-14 lead over the New England Patriots entering the final quarter of their third preseason game on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.
The first points of the period came with 4:30 left when Kai Forbath -- who hit a 51-yard field goal to close out the first half -- connected on a 55-yard field goal to stretch the Bucs' lead to 23-7. New England would score its second touchdown of the game on Tom Brady's 16-yard strike to Rob Gronkowski (no touchdown spike, sorry) with 1:02 remaining, making it a 23-14.
Brady had thrown for 127 yards on 13-of-20 passing and Stevan Ridley had 87 rushing yards on 16 carries and one touchdown through three quarters. Aaron Hernandez caught five passes for 52 yards. Josh Freeman, meanwhile, had 102 passing yards and Doug Martin had 53 rushing yards for Tampa Bay.
New England currently trails Tampa Bay, 23-14, with just under 10 minutes left to play.