1. Death, taxes and Tom Brady ripping out the hearts of Jets fans.
I don't know what would have been more painful as a Jets fan: a complete route in which there was no hope at any point at all or what happened Sunday, where there was hope. There was so much hope. The Bucs win probability had sunk to .1% with 15 seconds left in the game, according to ESPN. Yet, Brady hit wide receiver Cyril Grayson on the next play for a 33-yard bread-in-the-basket touchdown. It was Brady's 42nd career fourth-quarter comeback, which is the second-most in NFL history trailing only Peyton Manning's 43. That was Brady's 53rd game-winning drive too, which is now tied with Drew Brees for second-most in NFL history, one behind Manning's 54.
And to do it to the Jets?
It was the sixth time he led a game-winning drive and fourth-quarter comeback against his former AFC East rivals, spanning 93 yards on nine plays in 1:57 to do the very improbable.
What's more is that it capped off a historic day in which Brady completed 34 of 50 pass attempts for 410 yards and three passing touchdowns. He has now tied Dan Marino for the third-most games with over 400 yards passing in NFL history with 13 and it's the first time he's ever had three such games in a season. At 44 years old.
He trails only Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston (four each) for the most 400-yard games in Buccaneers history.
2. Adaptability/resiliency might be this team's greatest strength.
It wasn't pretty by any means, though. It seemed to be one of those days early in the game with the Jets offense moving seemingly at will against its former head coach's defense. Of course, the Bucs were down corners until the third series in the game when both Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting were finally warmed up enough to enter the game after having plane troubles of all things that morning. If you haven't heard the story – allow me.
This is on top of the fact that they hadn't practiced all week after testing positive for COVID-19. So, forgive the defense for yet again having to make last-second adjustments.
Add to the fact that the Bucs have never won against the Jets on the road. Like, never. They were 0-7 all time up north. Again, the odds were very much not in the Bucs' favor.
But despite all of the craziness of the day, the Bucs never gave up on each other. And when New York decided to go for it on fourth and two at the Bucs' seven-yard line with 2:17 left on the clock up four points and inexplicably called a quarterback sneak with rookie Zach Wilson under center, the defense stood up. Rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka stopped Wilson in his tracks and the Jets turned the ball over on downs, which we now know set up the 93-yard game-winning drive.
Following the game, all any player talked or posted about was that it was a complete team win. And that's been the theme throughout this entire season. No matter the circumstances, they stick together. I should think that will serve them well in the postseason.
View some of the most crucial moments from the Week 17 Buccaneers-Jets matchup.
3. The Bucs' offense is improving, still.
After some earlier struggles, and bumps in the road since, the Buccaneers seemed to have figured out their third down and red zone woes. The team was 60% on third down attempts against the Jets, converting nine of 15 attempts and was two-for-three in the red zone but two-for-two in goal-to-go situations, an area they were excellent in last season.
They're also still averaging almost 30 points a game.
Taking that momentum into the postseason and not looking back will be paramount given that they'll likely need all 30 of those points to get wins over playoff teams.