Zach Wilson’s breakout on the ground was the highlight of the night for the Jets.
Behind 218 yards for Kyle Trask, 84 going to Rakim Jarrett, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned a 13-6 preseason victory over the New York Jets on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium.
Zach Wilson once again played the entire first half for the Jets, completing 9-of-13 for 70 yards and engineering two green scoring drives that each ended in Greg Zuerlein field goals. The third-year man was responsible for the Jets’ most electrifying play of the night on the latter of the pair, breaking loose for a 35-yard rush that put the Jets in Tampa territory and allowed him to stand as the team’s leading ground tallier.
.@ZachWilson WITH THE MOVES!!!
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 20, 2023
The Buccaneers visited the end zone first on Saturday, earning a 33-yard scoring hook-up between Kyle Trask and Trey Palmer in the latter stages of the first half.
Trey Palmer flashing again 👀going to be some tough decisions for the Bucs WR room to make the 53! pic.twitter.com/tGGgFySsvD
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) August 20, 2023
Ashtyn Davis led the way for an otherwise strong first half effort for the New York defense, picking up five tackles, including three for a loss. Bryce Huff also got in on the fun with a sack of Trask.
— NFL (@NFL) August 19, 2023
Bryce Huff is one of the best pass rushers no one outside of Jet fans talks about. pic.twitter.com/cBVZCgQdFr
— uSTADIUM App (@uSTADIUM) August 19, 2023
The second half took on a slightly somber tone after two scary injuries. Tampa Bay backup quarterback John Wolford was carted off the field after a neck injury while rookie Jets rusher Israel Abanikanda was ruled out with what was revealed to be a thigh ailment.
Prayers for John Wolford.. 😞🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/hsEtColCkf
— Rams Tapes 🥶 (@RamsTapes) August 20, 2023
The closest the Jets came to scoring in the second half came on their opening possession when Tim Boyle got them to Tampa’s six-yard-line but Dee Delaney’s interception off a deflection from Keenan Isaac was earned via replay review.
Looks like Dee Delaney came up with a great INT.
Ruled incomplete but Bucs are challenging. pic.twitter.com/Yuh2YEKAr5
— The Pewter Plank (@ThePewterPlank) August 20, 2023
The Bucs closed things out with a fumble recovery.
The @buccaneers D force a fumble and recover the ball to end the game with a W 👏
— NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2023
On a positive note, Mekhi Becton stood out in his first appearance at right tackle while playing 25 offensive snaps, which made up 47% of the Jets’ offensive plays (Becton’s highest snap percentage of the preseason so far).
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) August 20, 2023
The Jets wrap up their four-game preseason slate next Saturday when they engage in the annual MetLife Stadium civil war against the New York Giants (6 p.m. ET, WNBC/NFL Network).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags