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Bucs Escape Upset Against Jets on Tom Brady's Game-Winning Drive

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady delivered a game winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to avoid a historic upset loss to the New York Jets.
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There's a reason why they call him the greatest of all time. 

The Buccaneers trailed the Jets on Sunday for the majority of the game as New York was poised for the biggest upset of the entire season.

But after a questionable call on offense late in the fourth quarter, giving the football back to Brady with a four-point lead, the all-time great quarterback did what he does best, breaking the hearts of Jets fans yet again.

Tampa Bay marched the length of the field in the final two minutes of the game, setting up a game-winning 33-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Cyril Grayson with 15 seconds remaining on the clock.

New York played some their best football of the entire season in the first half.

Receiving the opening kickoff, New York marched down the field and set the tone. Rookie Michael Carter, who later exited the game with a concussion, exploded for a 55-yard gain on a pitch to the right, setting up a go-ahead touchdown on a trick play at the goal line. 

Braxton Berrios ran it in for six on New York's version of the 'Philly Special.' He had Wilson breaking for the sideline, ready for a receiving touchdown, but Berrios elected to use a pump fake, cruising into the end zone untouched. 

Berrios added another touchdown on New York's next drive, this time through the air. After a perfect throw from Wilson, the speedster tiptoed down the sideline for a nine-yard score.

The Bucs wouldn't go away as Brady led his team to back-to-back scoring drives to start the game as well. A costly interception from the all-time great—snagged by rookie cornerback Brandin Echols—kept Tampa Bay from scoring before the half. 

A quick response from Wilson after the pick led to an Eddy Piñeiro field goal, giving New York a seven-point advantage going back to the locker room. 

To put that lead into perspective, consider how many times Brady has faced the Jets before during his 20-year career with the Patriots. Sunday featured the second-largest halftime lead the Jets have ever had against Brady, per ESPN. Their only larger halftime lead in a game started by Brady was his first career start against Gang Green back in 2001. Absolutely remarkable. 

Early in the third, New York proved that their dominance in the first half wasn't a fluke. Wilson led the offense to another touchdown drive on their first possession of the second half, jumping out to a 24-10 lead.

Wilson was as locked in as we've seen all season up to this point in the game, fitting lasers into tight windows while confidently orchestrating the offense, standing tall in the pocket. 

He ended up with 234 passing yards in the loss, going 19-for-33 through the air with the one touchdown pass. It was his fourth game in a row without an interception. 

Meanwhile, it got to a point in the third quarter where Tampa Bay looked rattled. An unnecessary roughness penalty from offensive lineman Ali Marpet showed the boiling frustration as New York's defensive front continued to put pressure on Brady. Then, receiver Antonio Brown took his uniform off and threw his equipment into the stands before jogging shirtless to the locker room.

Brady and the Buccaneers continued to battle back, though. The future Hall of Famer found tight end Cameron Brate for a four-yard touchdown in the final seconds of the third. Then a field goal from Ryan Succop cut Tampa Bay's deficit to four with 7:36 left in the fourth.

Wilson and the Jets proceeded to eat five-plus minutes off the clock, but a questionable quarterback sneak call on fourth-and-two in the red zone resulted in a turnover on downs, handing the football back to Brady. 

It took the quarterback just nine plays to drive 93 yards on the game-winning drive. Calm as a cucumber, Brady executed the drive without breaking a sweat.

With the loss, New York falls to 4-12 on the year. There are plenty of positives to take from Sunday's performance, hanging with a championship-caliber opponent while missing so many key contributors, but falling short in this fashion has to sting for head coach Robert Saleh and his club.

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