The Jets put up a snooze fest in Tampa Bay as they keep closing their playoff window. The AFC Wildcard race is wide open but the Jets shot themselves in the foot once again and have no one to blame but themselves. The Bucs did not play a great game either, but capitalized on the Jets miscues and were able to comfortably win the game. The Jets go into the bye week at 4-6 and with two hard games coming up, the remainder of the season is just a formality for the Jets.
This game was going to be ugly as the two starting quarterbacks were longtime journey and had played for at least seven teams in the NFL. Ryan Fitzpatrick was starting in place of injured Jameis Winston and the Bucs were also missing star wide receiver Mike Evans. The Jets do not have a great offense and with the Bucs being shorthanded, this game was going to be a defensive slugfest and that is exactly what it was.
Both quarterbacks threw multiple interceptions in the game and even threw them on consecutive plays at one point. Josh McCown threw a pick to the Bucs in Jet territory, but Fitzpatrick returned the favor by throwing an interception right back to the Jets. The quarterbacks were terrible in this game and never got going to help either team win. The Bucs should have lost this game if not for the Jets defense running out of gas in the fourth quarter.
The halftime score of this game was 3-3, so the second half promised to be more exciting than the first half, but that was not the case. The Bucs took a 9-3 lead in the fourth quarter as we were still waiting for our first touchdown of the game. Finally in the fourth quarter, the Bucs scored a touchdown in large part due to the misplay of the Jets defense. On the touchdown drive, the Jets missed mutliple tackles on third downs and also had a couple of big penalties to extend the drive for the Bucs.
We all thought the game was over when the Bucs jumped out to a 15-3 lead late in the fourth quarter, but Robby Anderson proved that he is one of the best young receivers in football after scoring a touchdown to make 15-10. The Jets did not recover the ensuing the onside kick thus ending the game and decreasing their playoff chances.
The Jets offense was terrible today, both on the run and pass. The running backs could not seem to find one hole the entire game, to try and take some pressure off the passing game. The running game, which was great in last week’s win over Buffalo did not come to Tampa Bay and was one of the many reasons for the loss. The passing game had its worse outing of the season, outside of the last drive, it was almost three and out every single drive.
The defense started out great in this game, carrying the momentum of the big defensive effort last week, but they simply ran out of gas. The Jets offense could not stay on the field and the humidity of Tampa Bay eventually caught up to the Jets. The defense could not get a stop in the fourth quarter and almost every single play had at least one player missing a tackle. The defense though gave up the touchdown that was the difference in the score, is not the reason why the Jets lose this game.
The Jets now go into their bye week as the worst team in the AFC East, but they could have been tied for third place with just half a game out of second place. The Six seed in the AFC playoffs is most likely going to have Nine wins, so if the Jets still want to make a run to the playoffs, they would have to go 5-1 in their remaining games to have a sniff of the playoffs.
The Jets have two very tough games at home after their bye week against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. The Jets almost have to run the table and hope that they can get in to the playoffs. Though the playoffs would have been a long shot at 5-5, there are almost impossible at 4-6. The Jets will probably lose their next two games and I would not be surprised if they go 4-12. Though neither of the young quarterbacks is part of the future for the Jets, they almost have to start one of them to bring some excitement to the next two home games.
Though I want to say it every week, this week is the first opportunity to say it, Just End The Season already.