Ryan Fitzpatrick led two long scoring drives and Tampa Bay limited the New York Jets to less than 200 yards of offense until late in the fourth quarter to snap a five-game losing streak with a 15-10 victory Sunday.
With Fitzpatrick filling in for injured quarterback Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers (3-6) used three field goals to build a 9-3 lead. Charles Sims put the game out of reach with a 6-yard touchdown reception with just over six minutes remaining.
Fitzpatrick, facing the team he played for the past two seasons, completed 17 of 34 passes for 187 yards and was intercepted once.
The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick, one of just four players in NFL history to throw TD passes for seven different teams, led a seven-minute drive that produced a field goal in the first quarter. He finished a 15-play, 81-yard march, also lasting more than seven minutes, with his TD pass to Sims to make it 15-3.
Josh McCown, also facing one of his former teams, was 23 of 39 for 263 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Robby Anderson caught a 38-yard TD pass in the final minute for the Jets, scoring for the fourth straight game to give New York one last chance.
But Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin recovered the ensuing onside kick, ending any chance of New York completing a comeback.
Winston hurt his shoulder on Oct. 15 and made three more starts before the Bucs decided to shut him down for a minimum of two weeks. The Bucs also played without leading receiver Mike Evans, suspended one game by the league for his role in a sideline skirmish the previous week at New Orleans.
Fitzpatrick has played for seven different teams during a 13-year career, including the Jets the past two seasons.
McCown, who has been with 10 franchises over 15 seasons, was 1-10 as starter with the Bucs three years ago.
Despite finishing with 275 yards to Tampa Bay’s 271, the Jets failed to move the ball with any consistency for more than three quarters.
Jets: Played without RB Matt Forte, who didn’t practice all week because of swelling in his surgically repaired right knee. … CB Morris Claiborne left in the first half with a foot injury.
Buccaneers: CB Vernon Hargreaves III left the game in the second half with a sore hamstring and did not return.
Jets: Bye. Next game at home vs. Carolina on Nov. 26.
Buccaneers: At Miami next Sunday, beginning stretch of three consecutive road games. Rescheduled from Sept. 10 because of Hurricane Irma.