The Buccaneers were heavy favorites coming into MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but they find themselves trailing the Jets after 30 minutes of play.
Braxton Berrios has scored two touchdowns and Brandin Echols picked Tom Brady off to give Eddy Pineiro a shot at a field goal just before halftime. Pineiro hit from 51 yards and the Jets went into the break with a 17-10 lead over the NFC South champions.
A Tampa loss coupled with a Packers win on Sunday would eliminate the Bucs from contention for the top seed in the NFC, so it could turn out to be quite a spoiler if the Jets can see their way through to a win.
Zach Wilson is 12-of-21 for 149 yards and a variety of Jets backs have picked up 90 rushing yards. Michael Carter had 57 of them on one play, but he has not returned since being evaluated for a concussion. Berrios ran for a one-yard score in the first quarter and caught a nine-yarder in the second quarter to give him four touchdowns in the team’s last three games.
The Bucs have missed Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul in the pass rush and cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting left with an injury shortly before halftime. Murphy-Bunting and fellow corner Jamel Dean arrived to the stadium just before kickoff due to the need to travel on their own after being activated from the COVID-19 reserve list.
Brady is 15-of-21 for 176 yards and a touchdown, but took a sack from the Jets’ other Michael Carter to end the possession before the one that ended on Echols’ pick. Tight end Rob Gronkowski has five catches for 80 yards, so that may be a direction the Bucs go once they get the ball in the second half.