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Jets blow 14-point lead, fall to Bucs in final home game of season

Jets Buccaneers Tom Brady
Jan 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing that a team should never do is to give Tom Brady too much time to mount a comeback, and the New York Jets were reminded of that lesson hard way on Sunday. 

The Jets blew a 14-point lead and fell to Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-24 in their final home game of the season. It was a nine-play, 93-yard drive with just over two minutes left in the game that served as the dagger to a Jets team that looked as though it would pull off a massive upset at the Meadowlands. 

With the Jets leading 24-20 and New York on the Tampa Bay 7-yard-line, head coach Robert Saleh opted to go for it on fourth down instead of kick a field goal. The Buccaneers stopped Zach Wilson’s attempt to run for the first down and Tampa took over possession. 

The decision would come back to haunt the Jets, who watched as Brady marched down the field and capped things off with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Cyril Grayson. Former Jet Le’Veon Bell scored on the two-point conversion to seal the game. 

For the better part of Sunday’s home finale, it looked as though the Jets would at least give their fans a happy start to 2022. Zach Wilson threw for 234 yards and a touchdown while the run game held down the fort with a pair of scores on the ground and 150 yards. 

Wilson led the Jets to the end zone in their first two drives of the afternoon. First Braxton Berrios scored on a one-yard run on a reverse handoff before the Jets rookie quarterback found him for a nine-yard touchdown pass to break a 7-7 tie in the first quarter. 

New York had ended the half up 17-10 after the Buccaneers and Jets traded field goals in the second quarter. Ty Johnson scored midway through the third quarter to put New York up by 14, which tied for their largest lead ever over a Tom Brady-led team. 

The second-half comeback was nearly overshadowed by a bizarre scene that played out on the Tampa sideline after Antonio Brown removed his gear and walked off the field. Teammates Mike Evans and O.J. Howard reportedly tried to calm brown down to no avail. 

After the game, Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Brown is no longer a member of the team. 

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