Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets: Five Things We Learned
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The New York Jets were able to steal the game from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a 48-yard field goal from kicker Nick Folk with two seoconds remaining on the clock. Giving the Jets the 18-17 victory over the Buccaneers. Let's take a look at the five takeways from the week one matchup between the Jets and the Buccaneers.
Mental mistakes killed the Buccaneers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started and ended the game with costly mental errors. On the first drive of the game the Buccaneers had to call a timeout and followed that up with two delay of game penalties in a row. The snowball effect continued on the drive with a false and a sack to mercifully end the drive.
The next offensive series for the Buccaneers wasn't any better as center Jeremy Zuttah snapped the ball while quarterback Josh Freeman wasn't looking. Freeman was forced to kick the ball out of the endzone resulting in a safety.
Fittingly, the Buccaneers finshed the game with another mental mistake. During the Jets, drive to take the lead over the Buccaneers, quarterback Geno Smith scrambled for a 10-yard game, but as Smith stepped out of bounds, Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David hit Smith resulting in a 15-yard personal foul penalty setting the Jets up for the game-winning 48-yard field goal.
Geno Smith is an improvement from Mark Sanchez
It may have onlye been one game, but the Jets should be Geno Smith's team from here on out. Smith went 24 of 38 for 256 yards and a touchdown. He did have one costly fumble inside his own 10-yard line, but Smith showed composure despite facing a very aggressive Buccaneers defense. One way in which Smith is clearly superior to Sanchez is Smith's ability to scramble when necessary. Not known as a runner coming out of West Virginia, Smith was able to extend the play and adds an unpredictable element the Jets have lacked in Sanchez
The Buccaneers running game was almost nonexistent, while the Jets run defense was sensational.
The Jets run defense was stifling against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Buccaneers tailback Doug Martin was only able to gain 65 yards on the ground and the Jets defensive line was constantly in the Buccaneers backfield. The Buccaneers were missing All-Pro guard Carl Nicks, which forced the Buccaneers to constantly run behind Davin Joseph, thus making the running gamble predictable. Also Martin looked rusty and seemed to hesitate before hitting a hole. One overlooked factor in the Buccaneers running game struggles was the absense of fullback Erik Lorig (calf), who was a key factor in the running success last season for the Buccaneers.
Darrelle Revis looks like he hasn't missed a game.
Current Buccaneer and former Jet Darrelle Revis looked like Revis island on Sunday. Revis broke up two passes and had one tackle in the loss. The biggest surprise was that Revis played a good chunk of the game on Sunday and only allowed one completion in the matchup against Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Expect Revis to get more opportunities as the season goes on.
The wide receiver combo of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams may be the best wide receiver duo in the NFL.
Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman had 15 completions on Sunday. Of those 15 completions, 11 of those passes were caught by either wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. No other receiver caught a pass from Freeman on Sunday. Vincent Jackson led the NFL last yeason in yards-per-catch and looks to be picking up where he left off.
On Sunday, Jackson caught seven passess for 154 yards, averaging 22 yards-per-catch. When Jackson wasn't on the receiving end of a Freeman pass then Williams would pick up the slack. Williams caught four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. If the Buccaneers can get something out of its run game, then there is no telling what kind of receiving numbers Jackson and Williams will put up.
On Thursday, the New York Jets will head to Foxboro, Mass., to take on the New England Patriots at 8:25 p.m. on NFL Network.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have its home opener next Sunday, where they will host the New Orleans Saints at 4:05 p.m. on Fox.