By Danny Cox
The New York Jets aren’t expected to do a whole lot this year, and many believe that they could just call 2013 a wash and wait for next season. Still, they are going to put up a fight and that’s exactly what they did against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs played well at times and showed a lot of good things that many are expecting out of them this season.
One big mistake by Lavonte David in the last seconds of the game just ended up costing them too late in the game.
There truly is no worse way to lose a game than how Greg Schiano and the Bucs did on Sunday. Schiano didn’t call a bad game for his team even though they didn’t play up to par, but they still did enough to win. As the game progressed, the Bucs even showed more promise and a will to win, but even one mistake can blow the whole thing.
Tampa’s game was well-balanced with a good mix of pass and run. The defense caused two turnovers and held New York to just over 300 yards of total offense. It wasn’t a bad first game of the season for the Bucs and Schiano, but one really big mistake just makes the rest of the game plan seem pointless.
Some more could have been done here, but it wasn’t a bad outing by the Bucs. Quarterback Josh Freeman completed less than 50 percent of his passes and was sacked three times, but he led his team on what many thought was a game-winning drive within the final minute of the game.
The running game needs to pick it up some and hopefully Doug Martin will rekindle last year’s spirit and be able to average more than 2.7 YPC from here on out. The biggest bright spot was the play of Vincent Jackson, who had seven receptions for a whopping 39 yards.
Darrelle Revis and the Bucs put together a really great scheme and hounded rookie Geno Smith all day. They caused him to throw one interception, lose one fumble, and sacked the Jets quarterback five times for a loss of 42 yards. Smith was even the leading rusher for the Jets with only 47 yards.
It was a well played game by the Buccaneers defense, but Lavonte David’s mistake in the final 10 seconds completely obliterated the hard and great play by the team throughout the game. There is no other way to put it. David’s late hit on rookie Jets quarterback Geno Smith when he was out of bounds resulted in a 15-yard personal foul penalty that put New York in the position to make a field goal that would result in a Jets win. That one play by David was senseless and just hurts.
Special Teams: B+
Rian Lindell thought he was going to have a game-winner on his hands when he kicked the 37-yard field goal to put the Bucs up with 34 seconds left. Lindell did his job as he should as did punter Michael Koenen, who averaged 46.6 yards on his seven punts.
The return game wasn’t too bad either, as multiple returners were able to give the Bucs decent field position at times. They just needed the offense to do a little more with it.
For more news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.