Charles Sims got the start for Doug Martin – Photo: Getty Images
Rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III snagged his first two pro interceptions and a balanced Buccaneers offense gave Dirk Koetter his first win as an NFL head coach, 27-21 over Jacksonville.
A first-round draft pick out of Florida, Hargreaves made a pair of outstanding, athletic plays to pick off Jaguars backup quarterback Chad Henne on both occasions. The first came with less than a minute left in the first half and set up fellow rookie Roberto Aguayo’s 28-yard field goal. The kick capped a 17-point second quarter and gave Tampa Bay its first lead of the game, 17-14.
As for Aguayo, Saturday wasn’t an impressive night. The second-round pick went wide right on a 32-yard field goal attempt to start his evening and then missed on the same side from 49 yards out in the fourth quarter. Aguayo finished his day 2-for-4 on field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on extra points.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston didn’t complete a pass until the second quarter after starting 0 of 6 with an interception, but did get Tampa Bay on the board with a nice 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Evans to tie the game at 7-all early in the second.
“We got the coverage we wanted, man-to-man,” Evans said from the locker room at halftime. “We’ve been working on the fade all offseason and he threw a great ball – I didn’t even have to jump for it. He threw it out of the DB’s reach and I made the play.”
Winston finished 3 of 10 for 28 yards with the touchdown and interception. The pick ended Tampa Bay’s second possession and came on a tipped ball that went through the hands of tight end Cameron Brate.
After rushing for only 31 yards on 21 carries last week in Philadelphia, Tampa Bay looked to establish its ground attack against the Jaguars. Even without starter Doug Martin, Bucs running backs responded by racking up 158 yards on 44 attempts. Rookie Peyton Barber led the way with 40 yards on 11 carries and Storm Johnson took seven touches for 27 yards and a 1-yard touchdown in fourth-quarter.
Another improvement from last week was flipping the turnover battle. Tampa Bay lost that 5-1 against the Eagles but won it 4-2 against the Jaguars. All five of Saturday’s turnovers came on interceptions. Johnthan Banks and rookie Ryan Smith gave the Bucs their third and fourth picks in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, the Bucs were playing without a pair of front-seven starters. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Daryl Smith took the night off. Tampa Bay wasn’t able to generate much of a pass rush against starting Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, but the Bucs still managed to hold Jacksonville to 209 yards of offense for the game.
Backup quarterback Mike Glennon relieved Winston midway through the second quarter and finished 11 of 19 for 120 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. The game wrapped up with third-stringer Ryan Griffin calling the plays and he went 5 of 10 for 78 yards and a pick.
Receiver Jonathan Krause paced Bucs pass catchers with two receptions for 50 yards, including a 41-yard hookup down the right sideline from Griffin. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins turned in a solid performance, catching three passes for 36 yards.
Linebacker Adarius Glanton topped all defenders with four tackles, followed by Lavonte David, William Gholston, DaVonte Lambert and Kwon Alexander with three each. Rookie Luke Rhodes picked up the team’s lone sack and Tampa Bay finished with four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and eight passes defensed.
The Bucs will be back in Tampa Bay for the final two games of the preseason. Next up is Cleveland on Friday night, followed by Washington on Sept. 1.
We lost the game 14-7 with just the starters playing. We have work to do. Our DL has improved a little, but we sure didn’t have a pass rush in the 1st quarter. Hargreaves was great; Ayers should shut his mouth and play some football; Noah Spence was missing in action, same for J. Smith; Gholston wasn’t very effective; Aquayo was inconsistent; Ryan Smith showed us something. Glennon was so-so; Griffin was plain awful; Bell can’t take the contact; Evan Smith looked like back up; ASJ played good as a WR, but his blocking isn’t to TE worthy; Vitale was a no show so far. I hope the next game we show something in the 1st quater. Go Bucs!
Aquayo was inconsistent ? He would probably be cut after the 3rd game if he had been brought in as a free agent. Two draft picks for this guy. He better start looking a lot sharper.
Hated the Aguayo pick before. Hate it even more now. What a waste of a pick.
I tried to defend at the time and even got excited about Aguayo but now I’m worried about him I’m holding my breath he can get it together its still early
Like Winston said. He played worse than Aguayo, starting 0-6. finishing 3-10. TD INT. Chill people, It’s preseason. Aguayo will have to suck to not be on this team for a long time. until than he’s our 2nd rd kicker, like it or not the draft is over. GO BUCS!!!
Anybody want to cut the 1st Rd QB because he was below average in the preseason? Just because we picked a kicker in the 2nd rd doesn’t mean he should get less of a chance to prove himself than any other 2nd rd pick.
If the kicker was a free agent, we would be saying so what, just cut em. But we gave away a 3rd to move up and pick him in the 2nd round, and now we look thin at receiver and our pass rush seems like a problem without McCoy. I am definitely going to be holding my breath this season when Defense is playing praying McCoy can stay healthy, or when our Kicker goes in with the game on the line. We got two games to clean things up. And in the 4th game starters will be sitting on the bench. Winston needs to show his stuff earlier.
Our pass rush was far less effective this week. The secondary stepped up to pick up the slack though which is promising. If we get both going at once, we will be scary on defense!
Offensively It was a down night across the board. There were some flashes from our new RBs and a couple receivers but it was pretty lack luster. Hopefully with all the starters in there we will perform better.
As for Aguayo, I feel for the guy. He has a lot of extra pressure on him being a 2nd round selection and it seems to be getting to him. Hoping he gets it under control cuz when he’s on he’s ON.
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