East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno
Smith showed progression as the game went on, then changed the outcome when it
At the conclusion of a 10-yard scramble with seven seconds remaining, Smith
drew a personal foul penalty that set Nick Folk up for a game-winning 48-
yard field goal, lifting New York to a thrilling 18-17 win over the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers on season-opening Sunday.
The Jets defense made a critical mistake when it left Vincent Jackson
uncovered on the possession prior, with the receiver's 37-yard catch allowing
Rian Lindell to kick a go-ahead 37-yard field goal with 34 seconds left.
Behind by two points and time against him, Smith fired a 25-yard pass to
Kellen Winslow and spiked the ball to stop the clock prior to his scamper that
set New York (1-0) up for the winning score.
Smith ended 24-of-38 for 256 yards through the air, tossing a touchdown and an
interception. He also led the Jets rushing attack with 47 yards on six
Lavonte David committed the late hit on Smith after the quarterback was
already out of bounds, the 13th penalty of the afternoon for Tampa Bay (0-1).
The boneheaded play also wasted an extremely productive day from Jackson, who
tore up New York's secondary to total 154 yards on seven receptions, while
also spoiling Darrelle Revis's return to Metlife Stadium.
Revis, less than 12 months removed from ACL surgery on his left knee, looked
spry as ever while diving for deflections in his Tampa Bay debut. The Bucs
acquired the All-Pro cornerback last April from the Jets for two draft picks.
Josh Freeman had an up and down game, throwing for 210 yards, a touchdown and
an interception on 15-of-31 passes. His best play of the day was when he found
an uncovered Jackson on 3rd-and-10 with under two minutes remaining, which set
up what appeared to be the winning score.
The teams traded empty possessions in the third quarter and the Bucs remained
in front, 14-12, until Smith orchestrated a 14-play, 65-yard scoring drive
midway through the fourth.
The march was sparked after the Bucs' Leonard Johnson was called for a holding
penalty on what would have been a Jets three-and-out. Instead the drive
continued, and Smith showed poise by completing 5-of-6 throws to get the Jets
to the Tampa Bay 12, where Folk connected on a 30-yard field goal to give New
York a 15-14 lead with 5:09 remaining.
The game was sloppy offensively early, especially for Tampa. Freeman needed to
use two timeouts in the first two minutes because of complications with the
mic in his helmet, and Tampa committed four penalties on its opening set.
Then, pinned deep in its own end a series later, Jeremy Zuttah snapped the
ball when Freeman wasn't looking. The ball squirted into the end zone and
Freeman conceded a safety by kicking it out of bounds.
However, they finally got things going late in the first. Starting from the
Jets 44, Tampa got into the end zone on five plays, with Freeman throwing past
Revis' replacement, rookie Dee Millner, to connect with Mike Williams for a
17-yard score and put the Bucs in charge of a 7-2 lead by quarter's end.
Smith was able to motor the Jets down the field on their first drive of the
second quarter, with his 13-yard scramble on 3rd-and-8 highlighting a 13-play
march and setting up Folk for a 43-yard field goal. The rookie made some
mistakes, however, on his next two series.
Mason Foster stripped him of the football with the Jets pinned back deep in
their own end, and the Bucs capitalized on the recovery by scoring one play
later when Doug Martin wiggled five yards into the end zone to lift the Bucs'
advantage to 14-5.
Smith was then intercepted on his next touch, but took advantage of another
opportunity after Dawan Landry picked off an air-mailed throw from Freeman.
With the Jets set up in Bucs territory, Smith fired a pair of completions to
Winslow, the second resulting in a 7-yard touchdown that marked the first of
his career and sent New York into the break trailing, 14-12.
Winslow, making his Jets debut, led the team in catches with seven for 79
yards ... Williams had four receptions and 52 yards for Tampa ... The Jets
outgained the Bucs, 304-250 ... Tampa Bay's penalties amounted to 102 yards.
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