Down 19-0, the Bucs came up with a big play on defense early in the third quarter. Jets RB Shonn Greene broke off a 25-yard run to midfield, but CB Ronde Barber tracked him down and forced a fumble. Greene jumped on the ball, but CB Aqib Talib came up with it. The fumble led to a 43-yard field goal by K Connor Barth. "(Greene) just tried to pick it up, and he bobbled it again," Talib said. "I saw the ball on the ground and dove on it."
Getting the bounces
. After the Bucs' only score — a field goal with 4:45 left in the third quarter — they recovered an onside kick.
K Connor Barth booted the ball to the left side. It bounced a few yards backward, and CB Elbert Mack dived on it.
"When I hit it, I try to topspin it to where it spins backward," Barth said. "That way, nobody can really get to it."
It was the Bucs' second successful onside kick this season (Oct. 11 against Philadelphia, recovered by Mack). Mack said the ball bounced off S Tanard Jackson's foot before he recovered it.
"It was a good bounce," Mack said. "I was able to get back on top of it and recover it and give the offense another shot."
But the offense went three and out on the ensuing series.
The Jets' trickery
. Already ahead 3-0 just 5:38 into the game, the Jets faced fourth and 7 from their 39. But they tricked the Bucs with a perfectly executed fake punt.
The snap went directly to WR Brad Smith, left, a former quarterback at Missouri who lined up about 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
He quickly tossed over the middle to a wide-open Eric Smith, who is a starting safety. The play gained 27 yards (the longest passing play of the game) and led to a 24-yard field goal by K Jay Feely.
"You have several options when you go out there, and (special teams coach Mike Westhoff) trusted us enough to go with it and make that check," Brad Smith said.
"It felt good to actually execute it with all the practice that we've been doing. Eric did a great job. He … caught it and ran well with it."