Tampa, FL — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4) travel to New Jersey on Sunday to face off against the New York Jets (4-11). The two teams have faced each other just 12 times in history, with the Jets leading the series 10-2. The last time they met was almost 25 years ago. The Bucs won that contest, adding their second win in their series history. To find another win, you would have to go back 38 years to 1984. If one did not know any better, it would seem that the odds are not in Tampa’s favor. But those Tampa Bay Buccaneers and those New York Jets are wildly different teams than what will go to battle in MetLife on January 2nd.
(There are some Stats of the Day in here.)
Tom Brady vs. The Jets: A long time Rivalry:
Although the Buccaneers have not faced the Jets very often, quarterback Tom Brady is no stranger to the Jets. The G.O.A.T. has faced the Jets 38 times during his career in New England. Heading into Sunday’s game, Brady has a 30-8 (including the postseason) career record vs. the Jets. He has thrown for 9,160 yards, 61 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions — that is over 18 years.
New England and New York have been rivals since 1960 when they were known by the names: Boston Patriots and New York Titans, which are among the NFL’s longest continuous rivalries.
Good News For The Buccaneers:
The Buccaneers travel to MetLife with one thing on their mind: 12-4. The Buccaneers have a smorgasbord of talent, but also have a laundry list of injured players. The Bucs will face a fairly healthy Jets team, but they are not formidable. Notable question marks for the Buccaneers; are wide receivers Antonio Brown and Mike Evans. These two players will be a question mark until closer to the game and are expected to play in some capacity. But if they can go, the Jets better watch out. I would expect Mike Evans to chase down the 1,000-yard mark, even if playing limitedly, so look for a few deep passes head his way.
According to the team, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and wide receivers coach Kevin Garver are back from isolation and will join the football team on the sidelines. Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting are also back from the COVID-19 list and should be playing today.
Not with the team on Sunday: Punter Bradley Pinion and wide receiver Jalen Darden, who remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The team also noted that four players have been activated from the practice squad: Punter Sterling Hofrichter and outside linebacker Elijah Ponder were flexed to the active roster. Running back Kenjon Barner and wide receiver Cyril Grayson are also elevated.
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should stroll into MetLife and lay the New York Jets to waste. I would expect this game to be a blowout, similarly in fashion as to how the team manhandled the Chicago Bears in late October. New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has found his legs in Week 16, and the dude has wheels, so his running could cause issues for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. I just do not think his running will serve them any purpose other than being a nuisance to the Bucs’ defense. Prediction: 38-6