The Jets (4-5) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. ET.
We'll be shivering up here in the Northeast all weekend, but not so much down in Tampa. Temperatures should be in the low 80s throughout the game under partly cloudy skies, moderate winds, and a tiny chance of showers at some point.
Coverage on SNY:
- Jets Pre-Game Live at 12 p.m.
- Jets Halftime Live on Facebook.com/SNY
- Jets Post-Game Live on SNY immediately following the game
- Jets Post-Game overtime on SNY.tv and Facebook.com/SNY immediately following Post-Game Live
WHAT IT MEANS
With a bye week looming -- not to mention a killer schedule when they get back -- getting back to .500 would be a huge confidence boost for these young Jets. They believe they are a playoff-bound team, but even they will have their doubts if they lose to a Bucs team without their quarterback and top receiver. A win, though, keeps them on the fringe of the AFC playoff picture and gives them a not-as-long-as-you'd-think shot at playing for a wild-card berth in December.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jets WR Robby Anderson
He's having a pretty good season, but he's missing that big, breakout game that would put him on the map. He was close two weeks ago in the rain against Atlanta (6-104-1), and if the Jets had won maybe we'd be talking about that as his moment. But mostly he's been just decent. The good news is he's starting to become a fixture in the end zone (he's scored a touchdown in each of the last three games) and the Bucs have an incredibly vulnerable secondary on a pass defense that ranks 30th in the league. The focus of the Bucs' defensive effort figures to be the Jets' rushing attack, which means there'll be opportunities for Anderson to go deep.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Jets S Jamal Adams vs. Bucs TE Cameron Brate
With WR Mike Evans suspended, the Bucs are thin on options for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, he still has WR DeSean Jackson, who could be dangerous down the field. But it's much more likely that Fitzpatrick, in his first start of the season, will run a simpler scheme relying on shorter passes. That opens the door for Brate, a dangerous receiver. In general, Adams has done a good job when called upon to cover tight ends, though he did show some vulnerability against Rob Gronkowski (as many have). He won't be asked to cover Brate alone, either. Figure he'll get help from LBs Darron Lee and Demario Davis, among others. But if Brate can be shut down, Fitzpatrick won't have many other enticing options and the whole Bucs attack could slow to a crawl.
As ironic as it would be if Ryan Fitzpatrick helped ruin the Jets' playoff chances again, it is hard on the surface to see how that can happen this time. Fitzpatrick, who replaces injured Bucs QB Jameis Winston, is being thrown onto a sinking ship and he'll have to save it without the Bucs' best weapon -- the suspended Evans. That leaves Fitz with a shortage of weapons in the passing game, not much of a running attack, and a defense that has been falling apart. Now, there's always a possibility that the Jets play down to the level of their opponent -- a team that in this case has lost five straight games since beating the Giants back on Oct. 1. They also have been prone to blowing games they should win by making a big mistake. But their win over the Bills last week was pretty near flawless. They also should have little trouble running the ball on this Bucs defense. The Jets are playing with confidence (Did you see them dancing? I mean, it's all over the internet!). They are playing much better. And they've held their own against better teams than this. There's no reason to think they won't be dancing late in this game, too.. … Jets 23, Bucs 13.
MY RECORD: 5-4
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING JETS TO WIN: 2-2
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING JETS TO LOSE: 3-2