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Jets Remain Alive In Playoff Chase, Throttle Buccaneers 26-3

Thomas Jones (#20)

It can be easily said and assumed that during the New York Jets-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on Sunday, offense would come at a premium as the Jets and Buccaneers combined for a total of 434 yards of total offense, which is, for a better choice of words, totally offensive. Nonetheless, the Jets did a good job of managing the game clock while their defense made Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman’s life a living hell as they interecepted three of his pass attempts. The end result of this train wreck was New York embarrassing Tampa Bay 26-3 at Raymond James Stadium in front of 62,731 masochistic fans.

Despite the aforementioned lack of offense from both sides, especially from Tampa Bay, it was the field generalship of Jets QB Kellen Clemens in the first quarter that would, for all intents and purposes, dictate the outcome of the game; the Jets went on a brief 4-play, 9 yard drive and a 14-play, 58-yard drive which culminated in a pair of Jay Feely field goals (40 and 24 yards, respectively), giving New York a 6-0 lead with 4:47 left in the first quarter. The second quarter was also all New York as another pair of FG’s by Feely (both 49 yards) sandwiched a 33-yard Thomas Jones touchdown run, putting the Jets up 19-0 with 11 seconds left.

The Buccaneers finally got on the scoreboard, courtesy of a 43-yard Connor Barth FG, narrowing their deficit to 19-3 with 4:45 left in the third quarter but Jones would seal the win for the Jets with a 7-yard TD run with 9:07 remaining in the game. With the win, New York remains alive in the AFC wild-card chase.

As previously mentioned, the QB’s were mediocre at best (and that’s being generous) as Clemens went 12-of-23 for 111 yards while Freeman went 14-of-33 for 93 yards with 3 interceptions and was the Bucs’ leading rusher with 21 yards. Jones led all Jets rushers with 99 yards on 21 carries and two scores while Carnell Williams added 14 yards for Tampa Bay. Braylon Edwards led New York with 3 receptions for 37 yards while Danny Woodhead caught 3 for 35 yards; Kellen Winslow led the Bucs receivers with 4 receptions for 26 yards while Antonio Bryant caught 2 for 22 yards.

New York (7-6) plays again next Sunday when they host the Atlanta Falcons while Tampa Bay (1-12) makes the long flight to Seattle to face the Seahawks – also next Sunday.

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