Buccaneers Escape From New York With Win Versus Jets

Cyril Grayson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Cyril Grayson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did their best Snake Plissken impersonation on Sunday afternoon as they escape from New York (New Jersey) and the pesky, plucky Jets with a 28-24 victory.  The win improves the Bucs to 12-4 on the year and ties their most regular season wins in franchise history.  The story of this game was decided by both teams doing what they have all season.

The Bucs have been dealing with distractions since they raised the Lombardi Trophy last February and today was no different. They played down to the competition as the Jets performed for most of the day like the game was their Super Bowl. However, at the end, the Jets Jetted and Tom Brady took advantage of it by just being himself.

The Jets jumped on the Buccaneers early taking leads of 7-0, 14-7, 14-10 and 17-10 in the first half.  The two end zone visits by New York being scored by receiver Braxton Berrios, who the Bucs had trouble containing all game long.  It appeared as if the Bucs winless streak against the Jets on the road would continue to 8 in a row.

Luckily, the game is 60 minutes long and results and performance returned to the mean. The Bucs were without Antonio Brown in the second half due to his strip show and quitting on the team and starting Running Back Ronald Jones was hurt with an ankle injury. Maybe more importantly though, the Bucs escape today has a lot to do with Robert Saleh (or anyone) being head coach of the New York Jets.

Saleh decided to go for the win up 24-20 on 4th and 2 at the Tampa Bay 7-yard line with 2:17 left and no timeouts for the Bucs. The Jets ran a sneak up the middle by quarterback Zach Wilson, who was stopped by linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and safety Antoine Winfield.  That gave the G.O.A.T. the ball with 2:11 left and 93 yards to go.

Brady has a history of making unsung guys raise their level of play. Enter receivers Tyler Johnson and especially Cyril Grayson. It took 9 plays, all of which were passes to either Johnson or Grayson, for the Bucs to finally take the lead for good.

Johnson caught 3 passes and Grayson caught 4, including the 33-yard game winner with 15 seconds left. Le’Veon Bell, who was very effective in his reserve role, capped the drive with a run up the middle to get the Two Point Conversion to cap the scoring.  Typical Jets and typical Brady and crew overcoming trials and tribulations on Sunday result in an escape with a win for the Bucs that may not have happened if both sides don’t resort to who they really are.

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