Week 10 Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- QuarterbackThe Jets continue to write a memorable story as they picked up a strong win in Week Nine over the Buffalo Bills to improve their record to 4-5. While the playoffs are still a longshot, many thought this team would be competing with the Cleveland Browns for the worst record in the league. Josh McCown has been solid, completing 70.4 percent of his passes with a 13-7 TD-interception ratio.While the Jets are exceeding expectations, the Bucs have been awful and have sunk to 2-6 after getting beaten decisively by the New Orleans Saints in Week Nine. Jameis Winston is going to have to take his share of the blame, but he has been playing with an injured shoulder that has impacted his throwing. Winston was replaced by ex-Jet Ryan Fitzpatrick in the loss to the Saints.
- OffenseThe Jets don’t have a lot of star power, but running back Matt Forte has an excellent career resume and can take advantage of small cracks with his quickness and ability to evade tacklers. RB Bilal Powell can break out of arm tackles and complement Forte. Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson are not stars, but they are selling out to make big plays for the overachieving Jets.The Bucs thought they would have both a diversified and big-play offense this year with Doug Martin running the ball and two top receivers in Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. However, it has not worked out that way as the running attack has not been productive, and the passing game has not produced enough big plays. Jackson has not meshed with Winston, and Evans is suspended for one game.
- DefenseIt’s somewhat interesting that while the Jets are having a much better season than expected, the defense has struggled quite a bit. The Jets rank 25th in yards allowed, and their defensive line had key issues until the win over the Bills as Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson both asserted themselves. LB Demario Davis has a team-high 75 tackles and 3.5 sacks.The Bucs have been among the worst defensive teams in the league this season, and that’s a huge disappointment for head coach Dirk Koetter. LB Lavonte David continues to play well, as he had seven tackles and a forced fumble against the Saints, and he has 43 tackles, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries for the season. None of the Bucs’ defensive players have more than 2.0 sacks.
- Special TeamsThe Jets have not been very productive on special teams, but they have not been hit hard by big plays from their opponents at this point. Chandler Catanzaro has made 15-of-19 FG attempts, including 2-of-2 from 50 yards and beyond.The Bucs have been hurt badly by special-teams issues this year, and those problems helped set a negative tone early in the season. Patrick Murray has taken over at the PK spot, and he missed his only attempt in Week Nine vs. the Saints. Bryan Anger is just an ordinary punter.
The Bucs are the more talented team, but Koetter has not been able to get his team to play consistently this season. Since Winston is not 100 percent, it may not get much better against the overachieving Jets.