Buccaneers 15, Jets 10: Immediate observations and reactions

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Charles Sims
TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Charles Sims /

Two journeyman quarterbacks matched up at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon and the result was a very sloppy game. Regardless, the Buccaneers (3-6) won 15-10 over the Jets (4-6). Here, we have immediate observations and reactions from the victory.

48. Final. 10. 30. 15

The Buccaneers dominated defensively for the first time since week two, getting them their first win since Oct. 1. Let’s get to some reactions.

Observations and Reactions- General

-It was a delight to finally see the Bucs wearing red jerseys again. It had been too long.

-What was even more of a delight was that Tampa Bay won for the first time since Oct. 1, snapping a five-game losing streak. It was an ugly victory, but beggars can’t be choosers.

-Penalties were plentiful for the Bucs on Sunday, but they were also helped by a Jets team with very little discipline. Tampa Bay was flagged six times for 50 yards, with more than one of those coming at the most inopportune times. Holding penalties are continuing to kill Buccaneer drives, which is frustrating to say the least. New York, though, was penalized eight times for 77 yards. It was good to see the Bucs take advantage of that.

Observations and Reactions- Offense

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Ryan Fitzpatrick started in place of the injured Jameis Winston and wasn’t terrible. He wasn’t necessarily good either, but he did well enough to get the Bucs a win. It’s hard to complain about that, right? The thirteenth-year veteran completed 17 of his 34 passes for 187 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

-Fitzpatrick got the win, yes, but if you’re about to make a joke about him being better than Winston, stop yourself. If you’re trying to say that seriously, I honestly have no idea what to tell you.

-With Mike Evans serving a one-game suspension, DeSean Jackson had a productive day as the team’s top receiver. He caught six passes for 82 yards on ten targets. Rookie Chris Godwin stepped in for more playing time and had a breakout game. The Penn State product caught five passes for 68 yards and also hauled in an onside kick to clinch the victory.

Doug Martin had another quiet day on Sunday, running for just 51 yards on 20 carries. It’s frustrating to see his production go down, but it feels as if a lot of it has to do with the lack of space created by the offensive line.

Charles Sims scored the Bucs’ lone touchdown, which pretty much sums up the way this game went. It was a weird game capped off by an unlikely hero.

-Speaking of the offensive line, yikes. The group played admirably well early in the season, but has regressed ever since. The Jets brought pressure all day long and the Bucs couldn’t handle it. Fitzpatrick was sacked just once, but was pressured a whole lot . And, as mentioned above, the line failed to open much running room for the Tampa Bay backfield.

-I realize the Bucs were missing Winston and Evans, but the offensive production is still an issue. The offense has just 12 first-half points in the last five games and just two touchdowns in the last three.

Observations and Reactions- Defense

-Defensively, the Bucs were actually pretty impressive on Sunday. There were some mistakes, but the unit still held the Jets to just 10 points. Sure, you can tell me it’s just the Jets. But then I would remind you that this same defense has been torched week in and week out, often by some pretty average offenses. Sunday was a step forward for these guys.

Lavonte David is legitimately having a Pro Bowl season. He led the team in tackles on Sunday with eight (seven solo), two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

Kendell Beckwith continued his impressive rookie year on Sunday with his first career sack. He also had a tackle for loss.

-I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the third of Tampa Bay’s three impressive linebackers. Kwon Alexander had two hits on the quarterback, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup on the day.

-The defensive line stepped up for the first time all season. The defense as a whole came into Sunday’s game with just eight sacks on the season. However, it dismantled the New York offensive front this week to rack up six total sacks. Beckwith had one, as did Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Darryl Tapp and Will Clarke.

Brent Grimes came up with an interception early in the game, but got beat for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Overall, he had a solid day but the touchdown put a damper on his performance.

-After weeks of uninspired play, the defense looked fired up against the Jets. The guys were flying all over the field making plays and even showed off a little swagger. They actually showed that they cared, especially when Alexander and Ayers appeared to get into a shouting match after Tampa Bay allowed a late touchdown in the fourth quarter.

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Observations and Reactions- Special Teams

Bryan Anger had his worst day in a while and it was truly strange to see. He averaged 43.3 yards per punt on six kicks, but two of them went for touchbacks. His only punt downed inside the 20 ended up at the 19.

Patrick Murray continued to be a reliable weapon for Tampa Bay. He kept the Bucs in it on Sunday, delivering nine points on field goals of 29, 49 and 37 yards.

Bernard Reedy returned a punt for 44 yards, showing a good burst of speed to set the Bucs up with good field position. He got tripped up by the punter of all people, but it’s not very often that you’ll see the Bucs returning a punt for more than five yards.

Next: Buccaneers Round Table: Chris Baker apologizes to the fans

Final Thoughts

Again, Sunday was ugly, but the Buccaneers came away with a win. It’s hard to complain about too much when the team emerged victorious without its starting quarterback and star wide receiver. The offensive performance was quite ugly, but it was just enough on Sunday. The defense led the way and truly looked tough for the first time in a while. The defensive line got after the quarterback, the secondary played well enough and the linebackers impressed as usual. Patrick Murray’s consistency has been a big bright spot for the Bucs since his arrival and it finally paid off this week as the rest of the team chipped in for a victory.

Going forward, this victory likely doesn’t do a whole lot. Tampa Bay is still just 3-6 and has plenty of opponents left on the schedule that are much tougher than the Jets. Still, the Bucs snapped a five-game losing streak and won at home. There is plenty for the team to fix, especially with another winnable game coming up next week. As nice as a high draft pick would be for the future of this franchise, it will be nice if the Bucs continue to show some fight throughout the rest of the year too.

"Check out the latest PewterCast InstantCast Call In Show following the Bucs’ Week 10 Win!"

The Buccaneers return to action next Sunday, facing off with the Dolphins (4-4)* in Miami. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.