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Takeaways from Buccaneers vs. Jets | Preseason Week 2

Top observations from Saturday’s preseason matchup with the New York Jets

Takeaways Bucs Jets

The Buccaneers came out victorious in the Meadowlands during the club's second preseason game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night, 13-6. A 33-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Trask to rookie Trey Palmer and Dee Delaney's relentless pursuit of the football became the highlights of the night in enemy territory. During the exhibition, players strived to cement their role on the Buccaneers' squad. Third-year man Kyle Trask got the start, and his night was initially supposed to end at the half, but a neck injury to John Wolford thrust Trask back into action late in the third quarter. Here are the top observations from the August 19 meeting against the Jets: 

Quarterback Shuffle 

Kyle Trask drew the start against the Jets a week after entering the preseason opener against Pittsburgh behind Baker Mayfield. Mayfield completed eight of nine passes for 63 yards and a touchdown to Trey Palmer, however Head Coach Todd Bowles made the decision to not play Mayfield during the second half on Saturday night. 

"It was all about whether we were going to keep the offensive line in the ballgame," Todd Bowles stated. "We really wanted to see Kyle [Trask] in a two-minute situation, so once we got to the two-minute situation and Kyle got that in, we really didn't want to play Baker [Mayfield] in the second half because we were changing the lineup. We wanted John [Wolford] to get some of the work so we left [Mayfield] out."

Trask played the entirety of the first half, completing 16 of 23 passes for 122 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He was poised in the pocket, showcased pinpoint accuracy on multiple challenging windows and displayed his improvisation skills to extend plays using his legs on scrambles and rollouts. The most memorable play of the first half was Trask's 33-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field to rookie Trey Palmer, who found the end zone for the second-straight game. Wolford relieved Trask of his duties with the expectation of playing the final two quarters. Unfortunately, Wolford was carted off the field near the end of the third quarter after suffering a neck injury on a sack. The Bucs' medical staff strapped Wolford to an immobilizing board, sparking concern from onlookers/teammates. Later, the team disclosed that the fourth-year quarterback had movement in his extremities and was being taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Trask then re-entered the meeting and threw five more times to conclude the preseason matchup, completing four of them for 96 yards. Most notably, his 36-yard play-action dart to first-year receiver Rakim Jarrett guided the Bucs away from their own goal line late in the fourth quarter and into a favorable down-and-distance situation, securing the one-score lead. Trask threaded the needle and delivered a dime to Jarrett between two defenders. In total, Trask's 317 passing yards rank second in the NFL this preseason, and first among players with 40-or-fewer attempts.  

Defensive Output 

The Bucs' defense did not allow a single Jets' touchdown and produced the only takeaway of the first half, a fumble by New York running back Zonovan Knight was forced by linebacker J.J. Russell and was recovered by Mr. consistent, Anthony Nelson. The play set up a Rodrigo Blankenship field goal in the second quarter. Overall, the Jets were held to 281 net yards, 14 first downs and only four conversions in 12 third-down attempts. Dee Delaney became the catalyst. In the third quarter, Delaney snagged the club's second takeaway of the night. He intercepted the ball at the goal line. Delaney caught a deflected ball that was jarred loose by cornerback Keenan Isaac. In addition, Delaney tied with Ulysees Gilbert III for the team lead in tackles with seven. Delaney almost had two interceptions, but the second was nullified by a teammate's pass-interference penalty.  His position flexibility and range became a bright spot for the Bucs' defensive unit. 

"He just finds the ball," said Bowles of Delaney. "Dee's been with us for a while. He's a heady player. He gives us flexibility because of his versatility. He plays corner, both safety spots and nickel and that really helps us out. He works hard every day and he's a heady ballplayer."

Trey Palmer Theatrics 

Following the game, Bowles labeled Trey Palmer "a gamer" and it stands to reason why: He steps up in big moments. Trask hit Palmer on a 33-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field. Palmer initially tipped the ball with his right hand before hauling in the catch over the defensive back. With elite balance, body control and ball-tracking, Palmer left an impression. 

"We said that if they played any sort of one-high we wanted to take a shot with Trey and I saw the safeties roll back so I gave him a shot and he made a fantastic grab," said Trask.

Just days after connecting with Trask on a vertical route down the seam against Sauce Gardner - the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year - at the joint practice, Palmer came up big again. He continues to take strides forward with a fiery competitive streak, ability to accelerate to top speed and change of tempo at the route stem to generate separation. Underneath the spotlight and added pressure, Palmer has risen to the occasion. 

Healthy Scratches

For the second time in two-consecutive weeks, the Buccaneers rested the majority of their starters on both sides of the ball, as is customary during the preliminary preseason slate. Among those with a clean bill of health but held out as a precautionary measure for the Bucs were Rachaad White, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Shaquil Barrett, Carlton Davis III, Jamel Dean, Ryan Neal, Antoine Winfield Jr., Devin White, Lavonte David, Matt Feiler and Tristan Wirfs. In addition, Yaya Diaby, SirVocea Dennis, Chase Edmonds, Christian Izien, Jose Ramirez, Calijah Kancey and Ryan Jensen were among those who sat out due to injury, most of which are minor ailments.

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