TAMPA, Fla. – Tom Brady showed midseason form in his preseason debut.

After sitting out New England’s preseason opener in Week 1, Brady, the reigning NFL MVP, tossed a pair of touchdowns and completed 11 of 19 passes Thursday night in the New England Patriots’ 31-17 victory over Tampa Bay.

Brady threw for 118 yards in one half of work and connected on TD passes of 16 yards to Aaron Hernandez and 8 yards to Chad Ochocinco, who also both made their debuts.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis also got in on the act, rushing 11 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

“I thought we accomplished a few things,” Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said. “One thing we wanted to do was get off to a good start. We definitely didn’t do that last week, and I thought we had a little energy.”

Brady said his first outing was “fun.”

“After sitting last week, I think a lot of the guys were antsy to be out there,” he said. “I’m glad we put some points on the board, but obviously a lot of things we can do better, too.”

Belichick called this a big week for his team in regards to position battles and roster spots. It included three straight days of full-pad practices, creating what some players characterized as a regular-season atmosphere.

The pace seemed to be there as Brady and the rest of the first unit played all six offensive series of the first half, failing to score on only two. They scored on four of their first five drives.

Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman misfired on his first three passes and was done after five series, completing 5 of 10 passes for just 33 yards.

He also was sacked twice by the Pats, who held the Bucs to 73 total yards and four first downs in the opening half.


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