Jets kicker Nick Folk (2) celebrates kicking the game-winning field goal in Sunday’s season opener against Tampa Bay. (Reuters News Service)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nick Folk’s 48-yard field goal with two seconds left capped a wild final five minutes Sunday and lifted the New York Jets to a dramatic 18-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium.
The Buccaneers took a 17-15 lead on Rian Lindell’s 37-yard field goal with 34 seconds left, but Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith’s 25-yard pass to Kellen Winslow gave the Jets a first down at their own 45. Following a spike to stop the clock, Smith scrambled 10 yards but Lavonte David drew a flag for an aggressive shove of Smith as he went out of bounds, setting up a first-and-10 at the Buccaneers’ 30-yard line.
Folk followed with the field goal and the Jets survived a chaotic, lateral-filled kickoff return by the Buccaneers, who got to the Jets’ 30-yard-line before running back Doug Martin was tackled.
Smith accounted for more than 300 yards in total offense and first had New York in a position to win after he calmly directed a 14-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Folk’s second field goal with 5:05 left.
Smith was 5-for-7 on the drive, which included a 17-yard pass to Clyde Gates as well as three dumpoffs to Bilal Powell in which Smith completed the pass as he got hit.
Smith finished 24-of-38 for 256 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also scrambled six times for a team-high 47 yards.
Winslow had seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.
PATRIOTS 23, BILLS 21: Stephen Gostkowski booted a 35-yard field goal with five seconds left and Tom Brady passed for a pair of touchdowns as visiting New England edged Buffalo.
Brady went 29-of-52 for 288 yards and threw both of his scoring passes to Julian Edelman, who had seven catches for 79 yards. Shane Vereen rushed for 101 yards and added 58 receiving yards for the Patriots (1-0), who improved to 19-1 in their last 20 meetings with the Bills.
EJ Maunel completed 18-of-27 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut for Buffalo (0-1), who gave themselves a chance by forcing three turnovers.
BEARS 24, BENGALS 21: Jay Cutler passed for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Chicago came from behind to take the season opener from visiting Cincinnati.
Brandon Marshall made eight catches for 104 yards and a score and Charles Tillman recorded a pair of interceptions for the Bears (1-0), who converted three third downs on a drive of over six minutes to finish the game. Cutler completed 21-of-33 passes in new coach Marc Trestman’s debut.
Andy Dalton went 26-of-33 for 282 yards and two touchdowns while A.J. Green hauled in nine passes for 162 yards and a pair of scores to pace the Bengals (0-1), who could not overcome three turnovers.