Mac Jones engineered a pair of fourth quarter scoring drives to give the Patriots lead, but couldn't get them close enough for a third.
Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal in the driving rain off the left upright with less than a minute to go, enabling Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to escape Gillette Stadium with a 19-17 win on Sunday Night Football.
In what was Brady's first, and most likely last, game as a visitor in Foxboro, he delivered a relatively bland stat line of 22 for 43 passing for 269 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions and a 70.8 passer rating.
"Look we went against Tom Brady every day, every day in practice defensively," Bill Belichick said postgame. "So it's not like we've ever seen Tom Brady before."
By comparison, Brady was outshined by Jones, who completed 31 of 40 passes -- including 19 straight at one point, matching Brady's team record -- for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
But despite the performance from the rookie, who is 21 years younger than Brady, the Patriots are 0-3 at home for the first time since 1993 -- the first year for both Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcells in New England.
"I think we moved in the right direction," Jones said. "You know, we made plays and played hard the whole game and I turned the ball over. That's one of the problems, you know, turnovers can kill you."
In addition to Jones' interception, J.J. Taylor lost a fumble on a screen pass in the second half.
The missed kick for Folk snapped a franchise record streak of 36 straight field goals made, though it warrants mentioning he hadn't attempted a kick from that distance since early in 2020 -- all 36 of his makes were from 51 yards and closer.
The win for Brady assured he would not lose a third straight start at Gillette Stadium for the first time in his career; he lost the final two starts of his Patriots career, Week 17 in 2019 against the Miami Dolphins and the following weekend in the wild-card round of the playoffs against the Tennessee Titans.
Jones had engineered a seven-play, 77-yard scoring drive, capped off with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jonnu Smith with 14:57 remaining in regulation to help the Patriots to a 14-13 lead, and later on, an eight-play, 66-yard drive which ended in a 27-yard field goal for Folk to give the team a 17-16 edge with 4:34 left.
Naturally, Brady put the Bucs in position to take the lead, seeing former Patriot Antonio Brown drop a would-be touchdown pass but settling for a Ryan Succop 48-yard field goal with 1:57 left that stood as the game-winner.
The Patriots are on the road next Sunday against the Houston Texans (1-3) for a 1 p.m. kickoff.