Tampa Bay @ NY Jets
Power rankings: Tampa Bay 2, NY Jets 27
The Bucs on offense are 1st in DVOA and 2nd in EPA/play. At 44 years young and handsome as ever, Tom Brady is hunting for his 4th MVP of this career. He's currently tied with Kyler Murray for 2nd in PFF passing grades (88.4) while completing 66.8% of his passes (2% below expectation) and gaining 7.2 yards per attempt. He plays behind an elite offensive line that is strong at all 5 positions. His weaponry has been depleted via injury, and there's some question as to who will play this Sunday. Antonio Brown came back last week and hit the ground running, catching 10 balls for 101 yards. Brown didn't practice Thursday (ankle), however, my best guess is that was a rest day and he's likely to play. Mike Evans missed last week due to a hamstring injury. He was also briefly placed on the COVID-19 list, but he was back practicing as limited on Thursday. He seems more of a 50/50 shot. Chris Godwin (ACL) and Leonard Fournette (hamstring) are both out. Rob Gronkowski is healthy and will play -- Gronk is enjoying a fine season, collecting 41 receptions for 550 yards and 6 TDs on 10 games. He ranks 6th in the NFL in PFF receiving grades for tight ends. They're the best team by DVOA in the run game and 3rd best in the passing game, though the latter ranking takes a bit of a hit if Evans can't go. Not that it'll matter much in terms of the Bucs ability to score points -- the Jets defense is dead last in both DVOA and EPA/play. They have a weak pass rush -- their pressure percentage of 22.7% ranks 25th in the NFL. DE John Franklin-Myers (45 pressures) and DT Quinnen Williams (31) have had some degree of success at getting to the QB, but they'll have their work cut out for them against the Bucs line, and Williams is sitting on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Nobody else along the front 7 has played decent football. Bryce Hall has played well at corner, ranking 25th in the NFL in both snaps/target and snaps/reception, however, he's also on the COVID-19 list. The rest of the secondary has been poor, as one might imagine. They're 29th in DVOA against the pass and 32nd against the run.
The Jets on offense are sitting at 21st in DVOA and 24th in EPA/play. Zach Wilson's rookie season is, if I can put this nicely, less than ideal. He ranks 36th among 40 qualifiers in PFF passing grades (56.0) while completing 56.7% of his passes (9.7% below expectation) and gaining 6.1 yards per attempt. The Jets, determined not to leave Wilson hung out to dry by a horrid offensive line, brought in reinforcements in the offseason. With the exception of center, they're average at all positions, which is certainly a good thing for an offensive line -- the idea is to have as few weaknesses as possible. They did just lose C Connor McGovern to a knee injury, bringing in Dan Feeny to replace him. Feeny played center and guard for the Chargers in previous seasons, neither of which he did well. He does have a sweet mustache/mullet look going on, which is undeniably ideal for an offensive lineman. With Elijah Moore (quad) out and Jamison Crowder (calf) likely out, Wilson will be relying on guys like Keelan Cole, Braxton Berrios, and Denzel Mims to catch footballs -- a collection of receivers that are more likely than not to keep the rookie in a funk. Michael Carter will handle the bulk of the carries in the backfield, with Tevin Coleman potentially chipping in if he's removed from the COVID-19 list. The Jets have been far better running the football (13th in DVOA) than throwing (27th). They prefer an even run/pass split, ranking 14th in early-down situational neutral pass frequency. On defense, the Bucs are 7th in DVOA and 5th in EPA/play -- though injuries will prevent us from seeing that level of play Sunday. At 40.4%, they are the most blitz heavy team in the league, which has resulted in them getting pressure on the quarterback 28.4% of the time (3rd most). Their top edge rusher has been Shaq Barrett by a country mile (he has 75 pressures, inside linebacker Devin White is second on the team with 37), but he'll miss with a knee injury. The Bucs simply do not have another productive edge rusher on the team -- Jason Piere-Paul is far past his prime and has been out with a shoulder injury. Lavonte David is routinely one of the best linebackers in football, but he was placed on IR last Thursday with a foot injury. They're down to DT Vita Vea as the lone productive player in the front 7 -- Vea is solid both as an interior pass rusher and against the run. Outside CB Jamel Dean and slot CB Sean Murphy-Bunting are both on the COVID-19 list, leaving Carlton Davis as the lone healthy corner. Davis is above average -- QBs have a 82.7 rating when targeting him and he ranks 33rd in snaps/reception. Jordan Whitehead, Antoine Winfield, and Mike Edwards is one of the stronger safety rooms in all of football, though Winfield (foot) hasn't played since week 14 and went DNP/LP to start the week. The Bucs have been better against the pass (4th in DVOA) than the run (11th), but again, the injuries make this unit much weaker than their efficiency numbers suggest.