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Final Score: Buccaneers 28, Jets 24

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In the New York Jets’ 16th game of the 2021 season the Jets gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all they could handle before succumbing to the superior team, 28 - 24.

In perhaps their finest half of football all season the Jets, without their top two left tackles, their starting center, their top three wide receivers, their top three tight ends, and their top two running backs, somehow managed to take the fight to the defending Super Bowl champions Buccaneers, going into the locker room with a wildly improbable 17 - 10 lead. Zach Wilson, despite playing with a lineup of backups, played an outstanding first half, throwing for 149 yards and no turnovers. He got the ball out quickly, made mostly good decisions with the football, and threw decisively and accurately. This is the Zach Wilson we’ve been waiting to see.

The Buccaneers got the ball to start the second half and the Jets shut them down. The Jets got the ball back and they went right down the field. Ty Johnson punched it in for a touchdown and a 24 - 10 Jets lead midway through the 3rd quarter as Jets fans started to dream of an enormous upset.

The Buccaneers then went on a long touchdown drive highlighted by a 3rd and 20 conversion, using up almost all of the remaining time in the 3rd quarter. The Jets lead was 24 - 17 as the 4th quarter commenced.

A poor Braden Mann punt gave the Buccaneers the ball inside the Jets 50 yard line to set up a short field goal drive as the Jets clung to a 24 - 20 lead midway through the 4th quarter. One long, time chewing touchdown drive could seal a Jets victory. They almost did it.

The Jets used a ball control offense to eat up clock and move down the field. They moved the ball all the way inside the Buccaneers 10 yard line. On 4th and 2 the Jets ran an inexplicable, ill-fated quarterback sneak which never had a chance. They turned the ball over on downs and the Buccaneers took over with a little more than 2 minutes on the clock and no timeouts.

All the Jets had to do was keep the Buccaneers out of the end zone. It was not to be. With just 15 seconds left on the clock Tom Brady did what Tom Brady does. The Buccaneers completed a touchdown pass, converted a 2 point attempt, and the Buccaneers took a 28 - 24 lead.

The Jets failed in a desperation last second drive and that was it. The Jets came up short, but they played a great game.

With the loss the Jets go to 4-12 on the year.

We’ll provide a more in depth recap a little later on. In the meantime leave your comments on the game below.