When I thought about how I would start this article, I thought about a one-word, impactful statement such as: “Wow”, “Embarrassing” or “Pathetic”, but if I’m being completely honest, my reaction is speechless.
That Tampa Bay Buccaneers team was out coached by a man some would be convinced is “crazy and all hype” and out played by a roster with far less talent that was lead by a rookie.
Despite massive controversy and criticism, Geno Smith was able to go 24 for 38 with 256 yards, a TD and an INT against a Buccaneers defense that was No. 1 against the run in 2012 and added Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis in the secondary. In 29 carries, the Jets rushed for just 90 yards, so the run D did their part, but the fact that Geno Smith could go from his preseason performances to a game-winning drive in Week 1 is a bit head scratching for the team he played against.
The defense also forced turnover; four sacks, and interception, and a forced fumble.
So what was it?
Unfortunately, it was the O-Line that ultimately did Tampa Bay in. Josh Freeman had no consistency; he was either tackled in his drop back, or took too much time and held on to the ball. The only bright spot on the offense was Vince Jackson: seven catches for 154 yards. Doug Martin had 65 yards off 23 carries which averages out to 2.8 yards per carry. That’s all on the offensive line. Freeman didn’t help his team, but his O-Line didn’t help him either.
The low point of the game was when the Bucs took the lead with 34 seconds, everyone thought it was over; The Bucs had won, and would look towards New Orleans after a very poor execution of the game plan. However — right on cue — the Tampa secondary had one last way to let us down. In the prevent defense, the Bucs gave up a 37-yard drive in 32 seconds with the help of an appalling “late hit” penalty that gave the Jets the game-winning FG.
So where do we go from here? What did we learn?
Well, we certainly learned that the preseason matters, and that not playing with your Week 1 teammates really makes a difference.
The “discipline minded” head coach also just let his team commit 13 penalties for 103 yards. That’s just a really really bad stat to have.
Things don’t get much easier as the Saints come into town next week, but it’s also not the end of the world.
This week was bad, yes, but the Super Bowl team of 02-03 also lost their first game of the season — not saying we’re a Super Bowl team, but it does mean it’s still just one loss.
They say you learn more from loses than you do from wins, and we’ll see what our players — and more importantly coaches — are really made of in the upcoming weeks.