Who: NY Jets (4-5) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
When: Sunday at 1 pm
Where: Raymond James Stadium
Point Spread: Jets -2.5
The New York Jets head south and hope to get to .500 this Sunday when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will be led by former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Just two years removed from what was arguably the best performance in the history of the franchise when he threw a career high (and franchise record) 31 touchdown passes, Fitzpatrick’s star has faded as he’s landed as a backup signal caller in Tampa Bay.
Let’s take a look at a few key match-ups with kickoff just a couple of days away.
S Marcus Maye vs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick was the best quarterback on the Jets roster over the past couple of seasons, but that certainly doesn’t mean he was more than a place holder who was limited in what he could do. His lack of arm strength has rarely prevented Fitzpatrick from trying to take deep shots down the field, and if he tries it this Sunday, safety Marcus Maye is sure to be back there waiting for a chance to make a big play. Then of course don’t rule out fellow rookie safety Jamal Adams, as both are garnering plenty of attention for their strong rookie seasons.
Too many of us are overlooking dominant play from @TheAdams_era and @alldayMAYE this year. Both should be top 5 DROY and credited with a major culture change in NYC. Love these young @nyjets
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 8, 2017
RG Brian Winters vs DT Gerald McCoy: McCoy is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, but given his potential impact we’ll assume he’s a go. After what may have been Winters’ best performance of the season last week against the Bills, McCoy is a good test to find out if he’s returning to form, or if week 9 was just a mirage. If Winters can neutralize McCoy at the point of attack, the Jets may be able to get something going in the run game once again.
ILB Darron Lee vs TE OJ Howard: Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen a significant uptick in production from Lee who could benefit from what should be a very good pass rush out of the Jets defensive line. In coverage is where Lee has struggled, and should the Bucs look to go conservative, Fitzparick could look to isolate Howard on Lee and work the middle of the field.
Jets LB Darron Lee has enjoyed the best three game stretch of his careerhttps://t.co/PBMjf1hZAT pic.twitter.com/GVM0LUbRR1
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 4, 2017
DE Leonard Williams vs C Ali Marpet: A former first round draft choice, Ali Marpet has done a nice job at the pivot for the Bucs, where the Jets will often line up Williams who came away with his first sack of the season, well, a half that he shared with Steve McClendon last week. With Muhammad Wilkerson playing well once again, it could free up Williams from facing so many double teams up front, with the Bucs possibly giving Marpet some shots to stop him one-on-one.
RT Brandon Shell vs DL William Gholston: Neither one is a household name, but this is worth watching for one reason and one reason only. The only thing that might be more painful for Jets fans than watching Ryan Fitzpatrick playing well, would be to watch Veron Gholston’s cousin make a game-changing play against the Jets.
Only two days ’til kickoff. On the road to .500, Jets fans? We’ll know soon enough.