The Bucs had a rough time with the Jets in New York which results in the team starting 0-1 on the season.Before every game each week beat writer Gil Arcia comes out with his Five Keys To Victory then after the game takes a look at how the team fared in meeting the objectives. The following is an analysis on how Tampa Bay did against the keys to victory as well as grades.
Key 1. Doug E. Fresh You’re On
The Jets’ gameplan was to limit Doug Martin’s performance. They succeeded.
Tampa Bay second-year running back finished the game with 24 carries for 65 yards and one touchdown. The bulk of those yards came on the final drive when the Bucs were trying to get into field goal range and New York was just trying to keep plays in front of them to protect their lead.
His one touchdown came in the second quarter from five yards out. The play was setup by the Bucs defense just the play before when linebacker Mason Foster got to Jets quarterback Geno Smith for a sack which forced a fumble, recovered by the Buccaneers’ rookie Akeem Spence.
Martin’s 2.7 yards per carry average is his lowest when carrying the ball 24 times or more. To his defense, the offensive line did not provide much wiggle room the entire game as they could not find an answer for the Jets defensive line.
Key 2. Revis’ Replacement Is No Revis
Jets’ rookie cornerback Dee Milliner had a questionable preseason and was becoming a liability on the field for the coaching staff. Against the Bucs, although it started rough for the Alabama product, he did settle down in the second half.
Milliner was burned twice by Tampa Bay receiver Mike Williams in the second quarter, which one resulted in a touchdown where Milliner never turned around. That’s something the Bucs appeared destined to do the entire game.
The second half was different for the rookie as he was able to tighten up his coverage on Williams, limiting Williams to just one catch. Overall, the Bucs did not continue to exploit that matchup enough.
Key 3. Don’t Let Smitty Beat You
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith did not beat the Bucs. He didn’t play bad enough to lose the game for the Jets either.
In the first half Smith was 12-for-20 for 132 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also fumbled inside his own five-yard line which lead to a Buccaneers touchdown on their following offensive play.
The rookie finished strong as he completed passes when he had to and scrambled when he needed to (six carries for 47 yards). Smith also drew the personal foul call on Bucs linebacker Lavonte David as he ran for the sidelines. That of course put New York in field goal range which lead to the game winning field goal.
Smith's final numbers were 24-for-38 for 256 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked five times.
Key 4. The Relocation Of Revis Island
Darrelle Revis was welcomed back to New York with lots of boos from the Jets faithful at MetLife Stadium. But the Jets fans continued to boo the veteran cornerback for many reasons.
Revis had two pass breakups and allowed one completion for 13 yards after throwing his way five times in the first half of Sunday’s game. But the Jets adjusted their game plan and started going away from the All-Pro cornerback for the remainder of the game. Revis ended the game registering one tackle.
Key 5. Must win? Sure is.
Well, the Buccaneers now face a potential 0-3 start after dropping Sunday’s game against the Jets and looking ahead to their next two opponents. The idea of a rough start to the season is now a possibility on the back the minds of many.
The Bucs had many chances to pull ahead in this game. Miscues on the field, problems with communication from the sidelines, and penalties are all just a few examples of multiple things that went wrong for the Bucs Sunday. It was a case of the defense doing just enough throughout the game, but the offense let them down.
For Tampa Bay, it is important that they avoid a rough start or it can quickly turn into a long season.
Gil Arcia: Buccaneers 27, Jets 16
Mark Cook: Buccaneers 23, Jets 13
Scott Reynolds: Buccaneers 20, Jets 10
FINAL SCORE: Jets 18, Buccaneers 17