Tampa Bay 28, N.Y. Jets 24
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 2, 2022
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Tom Brady connected with Cyril Grayson for the game-winning touchdown with 15 seconds left Sunday to deliver the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 28-24 win over the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.
The comeback was almost overshadowed by Antonio Brown's bizarre exit from the game.
Brown removed his shoulder pads, jersey and undershirt and left the game midway through the third quarter while his team had the ball. According to a Buccaneers sideline reporter, coach Bruce Arians benched the controversial receiver, which set him off, and Brown could not be convinced to stay with the team on the sideline.
Shirtless, Brown stopped in the end zone opposite from the action on the field and threw his jersey into the crowd before leaving.
Tampa Bay trailed at the time, 24-10, and his teammates responded by scoring 18 unanswered points to win the game.
New York led 24-20 in the fourth quarter and chewed up more than five minutes of clock, but rather than attempt a short field goal on fourth-and-2 at the Bucs' 7-yard line, the Jets ran a quarterback draw and Zach Wilson was stuffed at the line.
Brady ran the two-minute drill to perfection, despite having no timeouts, tossing the 33-yard winner to Grayson. Former Jet Le'Veon Bell punched in a two-point conversion for Tampa Bay (12-4) to extend the lead beyond a field goal.
Brady finished 34-for-50 for 410 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Braxton Berrios scored two touchdowns for the Jets (4-12), whose upset bid fell short even though they did not trail in the game until the last 15 seconds. Wilson threw for 234 yards and a touchdown.
On the Jets' opening drive, Michael Carter's barreling 55-yard run gave way to Berrios' 1-yard touchdown run on a gadget play, in which Carter took a direct snap and gave it to Berrios on an end-around.
The Bucs responded with a 13-play, 75-yard drive culminating in a 4-yard pitch-and-catch from Brady to Evans, tying it 7-7.
The Jets took a 14-7 lead with 13:43 left in the half when Berrios caught a pass in the right flat and dove to the pylon for a 9-yard touchdown.
After Tampa Bay cut it to 14-10, Brady nearly engineered a scoring drive in the final minute of the half, but rookie Brandin Echols picked him off and returned it to midfield with 16 seconds left. That helped set up a 51-yard field goal by Eddy Pineiro that gave the Jets a 17-10 halftime advantage.
Ty Johnson punched the ball in from a yard out for a 24-10 Jets lead midway through the third period.
Shortly after Brown's departure from the game, Brady hit Cameron Brate for 4 yards to complete another 13-play, 75-yard drive with a touchdown in the final minute of the third period.
Ryan Succop's second field goal of the day, from 27 yards, trimmed it to 24-20 with 7:36 remaining, setting up the Jets' long drive that ended at the Bucs' 7-yard line.
And then Brady did his thing.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary
N.Y. Jets will play their next game on the road against Buffalo. The Jets have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .364 after a loss.
Tampa Bay will play their next game at home against Carolina. The Buccaneers have a W/L % of .750 after a win and .750 after a loss.