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Brady sharp in his preseason opener, Pats pound Bucs

Aug 19, 2011 - 3:55 AM Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Tom Brady was sharp in his preseason debut, completing 11-of-19 passed for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 31-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady played the entire first half, leading the Patriots to touchdowns on four of their first five possessions. Aaron Hernandez and Chad Ochocinco both caught touchdown passes from the 2010 unanimous NFL MVP, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for a pair of scores.

The Buccaneers starters weren't nearly as sharp. Josh Freeman completed just 5-of-10 passes for 33 yards, while LeGarrette Blount rushed four times for one yard.

Elbert Mack accounted for Tampa Bay's first score when he intercepted a Ryan Mallett pass and brought it back 69 yards for a touchdown.

Mallett, selected in the third round of the 2011 draft, went 9-of-14 for 71 yards. The Arkansas product led the Patriots on a seven-play, 31-yard drive in the third quarter which resulted in a 44-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

Josh Johnson took the bulk of the snaps for the Buccaneers. He completed 6- of-17 passes for 105 yards and an interception.

In the fourth, Johnson led the Tampa Bay on a 12-play, 84-yard drive which was capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Allen Bradford.

The Patriots' first team defense gave Freeman fits early. Andre Carter, who signed with New England after the lockout following five seasons with the Washington Redskins, did not record a sack but frequently proved disruptive from his defensive end position.