TAMPA — Defense and field goals — two things that haven’t always been there for the Bucs — came together for a 15-10 win over the Jets on Sunday as Tampa Bay ended a five-game losing streak with a victory at Raymond James Stadium.
Patrick Murray went 3-for-3 on field goals, providing all the points until fill-in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 6-yard score to Charles Sims with 6:05 left in the game. The Bucs defense did the rest, getting six sacks and forcing two turnovers to control the game.
The Jets (4-6) were held to 275 yards of total offense, while the Bucs (3-6) got their first win since September, despite quarterback Jameis Winston (shoulder) and receiver Mike Evans (suspension) not playing.
The Jets made it close with a touchdown with 0:28 left, but their onside kick was recovered by the Bucs’ Chris Godwin.
The Bucs had totaled eight sacks in their first eight games, but got six against the Jets, including the first two this season by backup ends Will Clarke and Darryl Tapp.
Tampa Bay sealed the game with a 15-play drive that ate up 7:25 of the fourth quarter, with Sims converting a third-and-15 with a 21-yard gain. Sims got a touchdown to make it a two-score game.
Needing two scores late, the Jets converted a fourth-and-16 in their own territory, but that drive ended with another fourth-down miss.
The Bucs had taken the lead early on with on their longest drive of the season —17 plays, including three third-down conversions, settling for a 29-yard Murray field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Jets ended the half with a field goal to tie the game.
The Bucs defense held the Jets offense in check, a week after New York scored 34 in a win against Buffalo.
Tampa Bay now goes to Miami hoping to bounce back in their second game under Fitzpatrick, who completed 17 of 34 passes for 187 yards, with a touchdown and interception. DeSean Jackson had six catches for 82 yards, while rookie Chris Godwin had a career-best five for 68 stepping in for Evans.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.