Thanks to three first half sacks and two first half takeaways, including a 14-yard scoop-and-score by rookie inside linebacker Devin White, Tampa Bay raced out to a 25-0 halftime lead in Jacksonville before hanging on to beat the Jaguars, 28-11. The Bucs won back-to-back games for the first time this season and improved to 5-7 on the year.

Those five victories equal the win totals in Tampa Bay over the last two years as the team went 5-11 in 2017 and ’18. The Bucs have four games left to improve on their record and perhaps get to seven, eight or nine wins.

As the visiting team, it was the Bucs’ choice to call either heads or tails for possession before the game. They chose tails, but the coin showed heads after the flip. The home Jaguars deferred to the second half, so it was Tampa’s ball to start.

After missing on his first attempt that was batted at the line of scrimmage, quarterback Jameis Winston was able to hit wide receiver Mike Evans on the team’s first third down of the day to avoid the three-and-out. On the Bucs next set of downs, they were once again faced with a third down but it was once again picked up via a throw to Evans. Unfortunately that wasn’t the last third down they would face, and on their third, they weren’t able to convert and were forced to punt.

On the Jaguars’ first possession, they were able to strike a long ball early, as Jacksonville wide receiver Dede Westbrook was able to get behind Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis was a 39-yard gain up the sideline. But then just a few plays later, Tampa Bay rookie linebacker Devin White grabbed the first interception of his career to give it right back to the Bucs.

Following the turnover, Tampa Bay marched right down the field 69 yards in eight plays to punch in the first touchdown of the game. The play of the drive was a 25-yard pass to tight end O.J. Howard, followed by a 15-yard touchdown run by running back Peyton Barber. This brought the score to 7-0.

Two plays into the Jaguars’ next drive, outside linebacker Shaq Barrett came around the edge and sacked Foles, which forced a fumble. The fumble was picked up by linebacker Devin White and brought back to the house for a touchdown. After a penalty on the PAT, the Bucs elected to go for two with the ball then at the 1-yard line. They converted and brought the score to 15-0.

On the Jaguars’ next drive, the were able to move the ball in a much more controlled manner. However, the end result was the same as the two drive before, as a sack fumble by Carl Nassib and recovery by Ndamukong Suh made it three straight drives with a turnover to open the game for Jacksonville. As they had on the previous drive, the Bucs converted that turnover into a touchdown and took their lead to 22-0.

Following the onslaught of points to start the game, things really started to slow down, as both teams exchanged punts for most of the rest of the first half. However, one the Bucs side of things, Howard and wide receiver Breshad Perriman really opened things up, and the team was able to get another three points before the half was over to bring the score to 25-0 at the intermission.

The Jaguars made a quarterback change to start the second half, as Gardner Minshew became the team’s signal caller. Minshew had a few daring throws on the team’s first drive of the half, but they were ultimately forced to punt. When the Bucs took over, they were able to move the ball — seemly in business as usual — but a fumble by Jameis Winston after getting hit from behind gave the ball back to the Jaguars. Following the fumble, Minshew was able to drive Jacksonville into field goal range to get them on the scoreboard at 25-3.

When the Bucs took over, they were able to get the ball into Jaguars territory thanks to a 25-yard throw-and-catch from Winston to Evans. But they ultimately turned the ball over on downs. Four plays later, Minshew led the Jaguars into the end zone for six points, dwindling the Bucs leads to just 25-11.

Following giving up points on back-to-back drives, Tampa was only able to hold the ball for three plays before punting it after a three-and-out. After taking over, Minshew once again led the Jaguars into striking distance. Instead of kicking an easy field goal on fourth-and-5, down two touchdowns with less than ten minutes to play at the time, the Jags opted to go for it and converted. A few plays later they were faced with the same scenario, and a pass interference call against Tampa Bay gave the home team a new set of downs at the 1-yard line. But just as all momentum looked like it was sucked from the Bucs sideline, rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting came away with the interception.

Unfortunately for the Bucs they had to start the next drive on the 1-yard line with their backs against their own end zone. Because of this they weren’t able to move the ball much and had to punt it back to the Jags, still up 14 points with just less than five minutes left in the game.

Though the Bucs defense bent in the wrong direction on their previous few drives, they snapped back into shape when they needed to, forcing the Jaguars back via another Shaq Barrett sack. One play later Jacksonville turned it over one downs, and the Bucs took over with a two touchdown lead and just over three minutes to play.

Gay connected on a 37-yard field goal to finish his perfect day and increase the Bucs’ lead to 28-11.

 

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

19 COMMENTS

  1. Solid win. Team has been showing improvement each game. Overcame injury that put R. Smith at corner most of the game.

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  2. Excellent article as usual Trevor. However, I want them to achieve win #6 before I worry about number 7,8, or 9.

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  3. Great team win. This defense is showing some unity late in the season. Creating turnovers and limiting turnovers. Devin white is becoming a monster.

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  4. Great game from rookie D. White!! He was absolutely worth the 5th pick. Defense looked good, offense was good in the first half. Great win!! On to the next one.

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    Rating: +12. From 12 votes.
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  5. Great to see us get 2 in a row. Good job Bucs! You won and that’s all that matters. The players say they are tired of losing. Dare say we get 3 in a row? Ruck up Bucs. Colts up next. Enjoy this one though.

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  6. Great win! New challenge – and a tough problem to have – playing with a Big Lead!!!!!

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  7. Positives and negatives out of this game:
    Positives
    1) Devin White is looking really good as the first round draft pick this year. Like Warren Sapp many years ago, he started out slowly but is really picking it up these last few games. He is trending towards being a breakout player on defense which is something that this team has needed for a long time through the draft.
    2) Rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting is a step up from Vernon Hargraves who could not be thrown off the team fast enough. Again coming up with a big play this game he is playing very well in the backfield.
    3) Gay recovers this week after a really bad week last week, not missing anything. Apparently, he does not like domes but outside he is in his element – and the longer the kick, the better.
    4) Winston had a fumble but overall played well for the most this time. Still threw an ill advised interception late in the game (had two more for 22 this season), and had a fumble, but the positives outweighed the negatives this time. Can only hope it continues. Cleaner play is still desired.

    Negative
    1) Letting the Jaguars back into the game and almost getting it down to a 1 score lead. Not sure if it was the coaching getting conservative again, or the team becoming sloppy, but Jacksonville was 1 yard from making it a 1 score game except for another turnover. If this was a truly good team, like the Patriots seem to be nearly every year, they don’t let you back into it. This team has had a hard time truly putting anyone away when they take a big lead. Would like to see that happen for once.
    2) Letting Minshaw nearly take them apart. When he came in the second half, the Bucs were struggling to find an answer. A turnover finally put him to bed but he definitely made things more interesting in the second half.

    Overall, give the Bucs a B+ for their effort. Winston still had another three turnovers. The defense played better for a second week in a row. They did enough to win. Tougher challenge awaits with the Colts next week.

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    • Not sure what game you’re watching jameis didnt have any interceptions and only 1 fumble. How is that 3 turnovers?

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    • Some salient points in the article. But not sure where BSH saw all those turnovers and picks….

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      • Sorry, I was so used to Winston doing that I thought he did that again… but you are right, only one turnover. He did play better.

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  8. The 2nd half offense was awful. When is this team going to put Jones in space so he can run? I wonder what he did to only get 5 touches in the game.

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  9. We’ll take the win… of course! Defense looks to be coming around. It looks like the young guys r playing with more confidence. LB White is a stud. Should be in the middle of this defense for next 10 years a la D. Brooks. He’s really got some top shelf speed. Just wonder what a mistake free game by Jameis might look like? Dare we make 3 in a row? Go Bucs!

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    Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
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  10. Did I hear that the Jags were one of the worst against the run? If so, that is evidence something is very wrong in the Bucs run game.

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    • Except that they were playing 8 in the box this game to stop the run, as pointed out by Schlerith (sic) during the game.

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  11. Fun game to watch until they let the Jags back in the game but the D woke up and closed the door.
    Great game from D White, Vita and the D line. Looks like we may be turning a corner!
    Would love to see Jameis have a game without a turnover.
    Enjoy the win Buc fans!

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  12. Just keep winning; it’s as simple as that.
    Go Bucs!

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  13. Two weeks in a row without a peep from the mommy fed DumbAssBob. He must be driving the poor gal nuts blubbering around the single wide all day.

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  14. The defense played great today but the offense was a bit off at times. I wonder how bad we would have beaten the Jags if both the offense and defense were clicking!!! Go Bucs, let’s keep winning!!

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  15. Funny how even when the Bucs are 14 points ahead in the 4th quarter we’ve been conditioned to think it’s not enough of a lead.

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