Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lose 18-17 to New York Jets to Open Season


Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Buccaneers lost their opening game of the 2013 NFL regular season to the New York Jets, 18-17, after Nick Folk kicked the game-winning field goal with two seconds left.

Folk was given the chance after a personal foul penalty was called on Lavonte David for pushing Jets quarterback Geno Smith once he was out of bounds, although replays suggested Smith still had a foot in play when David hit him.

The penalty set up the game-winning field goal that Folk converted from 48 yards.

The Bucs had taken the lead with 38 seconds left on a Ryan Lindell field goal. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman led an excellent drive down the field to set up Lindell who stuck the ball between the posts, before Folk ruined the Bucs day.

Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) drops back to pass against the New York Jets during the first quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Freeman himself, always the center of scrutiny, did nothing to help state his case as the future of the franchise. He completed 15 of 31 passes for 210 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

He looked to wideout Vincent Jackson regularly, as the Bucs star caught seven passes for 154 yards.

The beginning of the game was a disaster for the Bucs. They fell behind 2-0 on a safety after a miscommunication with center Jeremy Zuttah in which he snapped the ball without Freeman looking. Freeman also had problems with the headset in his helmet in the opening minutes, costing the Bucs two early timeouts.

Despite his struggles, Freeman hit Mike Williams in the end zone with a beautifully thrown ball to give the Bucs a 7-2 lead in the first quarter. A Folk field goal made it 7-5 before the Bucs got their second touchdown of the day thanks to a five yard run by Doug Martin in the second.

The Bucs got the ball at the Jets five yard line after Mason Foster hit Smith, who fumbled, and the ball was recovered by Akeem Spence.

Smith threw his first career touchdown pass to former Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow before the dramatic last-minute took place.

Martin carried the ball for 65 yards on 24 carries, but received no run blocking. With Carl Nicks out, Gabe Carimi took his place on the line, but he, nor the other starters, did anything to help the running game.

Darrelle Revis made his Bucs debut and played the whole game. He looked great, breaking up a few passes and being active in the secondary. Gerald McCoy was a monster up front causing a lot of distress in the Jets passing game and the Bucs managed to get five sacks, two of which came from Mason Foster.

Dashon Goldson, also making his Bucs debut, was all over the field and made his presence felt often. However, it cost the Bucs 30 yards as he was twice flagged for personal fouls, but like the David play, the Bucs will likely feel hard done by.

Persistent problems were still noticeable for the Bucs, particularly on third down and penalties. The Jets converted 7 of 18 third down attempts, many of them third and long, while the Bucs had 13 penalties for 102 yards, although none were more critical than David’s play.