Scouting the NY Jets Week 17 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NY Jets, Tom Brady
NY Jets, Tom Brady / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Just enjoy the win. The NY Jets emerged victorious for only the fourth time this season with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Sunday. It was a win that had the fanbase somewhat divided heading into a feel-good “Victory Monday.”

Jets fans usually have the tendency to look ahead to April by the month of November. This was the case again this season as many fans were downright giddy for what the team’s potential draft selections could look like months down the line.

Some fans were hoping for a loss against the then 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars, as losing would've likely improved New York’s first-round draft pick into top-three territory.

A win, which was secured by the final score of 26-21 at MetLife Stadium, only decreased the chances of potentially securing one of the two tantalizing pass-rushers that lead-off many 2022 NFL mock drafts.

Although the Jets didn’t single-handedly improve their original first-round draft pick, another team took the liberty of gifting New York just one more present this holiday season.

The Chicago Bears defeated the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 25-24. With the Bears able to upset the disappointing Seahawks, the loss improved the Jets’ second first-round pick to No. 6 overall with a few tweaks to the strength of schedule.

If the draft were to be held today, the Jets would own the No. 4 and No. 6 overall selections in the 2022 NFL Draft. That’s a pretty solid haul if you ask any Jets fan.

The NY Jets will face the powerhouse Buccaneers in Week 17

Anywho, the season isn’t over quite yet. The Jets are set to match up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this coming Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets will see a familiar face under center for Tampa Bay in former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He’ll be facing the Jets for the first time in a Buccaneers uniform and potentially the last time in his legendary career.

The Jets should be getting some reinforcements back for this one as head coach Robert Saleh, who himself should be returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list later this week, announced on Monday that he expects to get back defensive end John Franklin-Myers and defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, to name a couple.

The Buccaneers will likely be without wide receiver Mike Evans, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday.

Tampa Bay is already down receiver Chris Godwin and running back Leonard Fournette. In Fournette’s case, he was placed on short-term injured reserve and will likely return for Tampa Bay’s postseason in January.

The Jets were without many impact players on both offense and defense on Sunday versus Jacksonville, which makes the win all the more impressive. A quick shoutout to tight ends coach Ron Middleton for stepping in and providing some stability throughout an adversity-stricken season.

With Middleton expected to return to his rightful duties, Robert Saleh will step back into his role as head coach against an intriguing coaching staff hosted by Tampa Bay.

Current Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles should be a familiar name to Jets fans. Bowles was the team’s head coach from 2015-2018 and went 24-40 throughout that stretch.

Bowles has found some rejuvenated success as a coordinator in Tampa Bay. Bowles was always a class act, treating reporters and his players with nothing but respect. We wish nothing but the best for a guy that couldn’t crack a smile even if he tried.

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It’ll be the battle of familiar faces as the Jets will face the Buccaneers for the first time since 2017 when Tampa Bay came out on top by a score of 15-10. Jets fans may certainly be looking for some revenge this time around while hoping to send Tom Brady packing for likely one last time.