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New York Jets Face Former Nemesis Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New York Jets Close out season with Divisional Matchup Against Buffalo Bills

The New York Jets take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week, and with that comes a matchup with Tom Brady, the man who terrorized them for nearly 20 years as the quarterback of the New England Patriots. Now with the Bucs, Brady maintains the form that earned him the title of G.O.A.T. Will he continue to give Jets fans nightmares this week? How much of a chance do the Jets have?

A Complete Difference in Talent

The Bucs employ one of, if not the best skill position group in the NFL. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette make up the four-man terror squad that almost has the same amount of yards as the entire Jets offense this season. On top of this, the Bucs offensive line features three Pro Bowlers, three more than the Jets have on their entire team (0).

And then, at quarterback, Brady is still the best quarterback in the league, leading the NFL in both passing yards and passing touchdowns. The Jets defense, which has been the worst in the NFL thus far, will really have a rough day. It will be incredibly important for them to find some pressure up front, something they haven’t been able to do consistently.

An Area of Opportunity

With Covid-19 running rampant around the NFL, the Bucs have been hit pretty hard. While the Jets had 20 players out last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bucs have a short but talented list this week. Some notable names on that list include Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting. With both of these impressive young defensive backs out, Zach Wilson should look to impress through the air. And he might not have a choice.

While the Jets have begun to find success running the ball, the Bucs have the third-ranked rush defense. They allow 87.5 yards per game on the ground, and should contain anything the Jets try to do on the ground. Vita Vea is one of the best run-stopping defensive tackles in the NFL, and they have three impressive linebackers behind him that can fly around. Because of this, look for the Jets to try to throw more.

To further this point, the Bucs are in the lower half of the league in passing defense, even without the injuries. If Wilson can push the ball down the field, they might be able to stay competitive for a half.

The Key Matchups

The best player not mentioned yet is Antonio Brown. With Godwin out for the season, and Evans coming off the Covid-19 list on Friday, Brown should look to have a big game. No matter who is lined up against him, he will likely have the advantage. Perhaps the best matchup for the Jets would be Bryce Hall. Hall has been a true bright spot on this terrible, terrible defense, but even he might be no match for Brown.

If Hall is not covering Brown, he will likely be covering Evans. Hall has done well against taller receivers, and this was on display when he matched up with Devante Parker when they played the Miami Dolphins a couple of weeks ago.

Score Prediction

Tampa Bay Bucs: 37

New York Jets: 13

At the end of the day, the talent difference is just too large. Even if the Bucs had 10 players on the Covid-19 list, it wouldn’t matter. The Jets’ defense likely can’t keep up with the Bucs’ offense, so the only way they should be able to win is in a shoot-out. Good luck Jets.

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New York Jets Face Former Nemesis Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Growth Possible January 2, 2022 at 9:38 am

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