The PewterReport.com staff shares its thoughts on the upcoming Bucs game and pick who we think we win, including a score prediction and a pick-to-click – a Tampa Bay player we think will play really well. Let us know you thoughts and add your prediction in the comment section.
PewterReport.com Publisher/Bucs Beat Writer Scott Reynolds
I’m doing it. I’m going out on a limb and picking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win another game. For the record, I didn’t pick them to win last week in Atlanta, and I think I’ve only been lucky in predicting them to win one game, which was against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 4. I’ve not been good at making successful Bucs predictions this year – no one on the PewterReport.com staff is. Most fans aren’t either. Just when you want to believe in this team, the Bucs disappoint. Just when you think Tampa Bay is going to lose yet another game, it surprises everyone and gets a rare victory.
This is one of those games the Bucs “should” win – just like against the Cardinals several weeks ago and also like the Falcons game last week. But Tampa Bay also “should” have beaten the Giants in Week 3 and the Titans after the bye week. This team – like its quarterback, Jameis Winston – is turning in a masterful performance of Jekyll and Hyde this year. So let’s get to my rationale and reasoning for why Tampa Bay will actually win back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Simply put, the Bucs are a better team than the Jaguars, and Tampa Bay has won two out
of its last three games with its only loss during that span coming against repeat NFC South champion New Orleans, which is a current favorite to win the NFC and make it to this year’s Super Bowl. Jacksonville has lost three in a row by a wide margin and seems to be in a downward spiral – even with the return of veteran quarterback Nick Foles.
Tampa Bay’s strength is stopping the run, and Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette is on the verge of 1,000 yards and is the Jaguars’ main weapon. If Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, Devin White and Lavonte David can shut down Fournette and make the Jags one-dimensional then the Bucs’ pass rush can tee off on Foles – and even rookie Gardner Minshew, who I believe will replace Foles at some point in this game. I think Tampa Bay’s defense builds on its stellar effort from last week’s victory in Atlanta and has another great outing.
The Jaguars’ strength is its pass rush as rookie outside linebacker Josh Allen (eight) and defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue (six) and Calais Campbell (5.5) have 19.5 of Sacksonville’s 34 sacks this year. After a rare week of holding an opposing defense sackless, if Tampa Bay’s offensive line can allow less than three sacks and give Winston time to throw, the Bucs could blow out the Jaguars. If Jacksonville’s front seven gets to Winston, expect turnovers to happen and a much closer game – possibly another Tampa Bay loss. Yet I don’t think that happens this week.
Reynolds’ Score Prediction: Buccaneers 34, Jaguars 20
Reynolds’ Pick To Click: OLB Shaquil Barrett
Reynolds’ Season Record: 3-8
PewterReport.com Editor/Bucs Beat Writer Mark Cook
As Bruce Arians said earlier this season – there isn’t a game on their schedule they can’t win. He also said there isn’t a team they couldn’t lose to. This is one of those games they can win, but depending on which Bucs team shows up, they could also lose.
The Jaguars are less than two years removed from a Tom Brady-led fourth quarter comeback that prevented them from reaching the Super Bowl. The Jags were good in 2017. Really good. But despite a lot of the same players, this is a different football team. And when looking at it on paper this is a winnable game.
The Bucs have some areas where they match up very well against Jacksonville, particularly their receivers versus the Jags secondary. While Jacksonville is ranked 10th in the NFL against the pass only surrendering 223 yards per game, they only have eight interceptions, just one more than Tampa Bay. A.J. Bouye is the only one left from that impressive 207 Jaguars secondary and has just one pick this season. He is the best corner the Jaguars have so whether he matches up on Mike Evans or Chris Godwin, that will leave some opportunities for the other to have some success.
The Jaguars defensive line still boasts some firepower and impressive pass rushers, but so did Atlanta last week and the Falcons were held sack-less. If the Bucs offensive line can have a repeat performance this week as they did last week in Atlanta, they should win this game.
I expect Winston to come out hot and stay hot throughout the game. I can see a repeat of the offense we saw in Los Angeles earlier this year. Perhaps not 55 points (48 from the offense), but if the line keeps Winston clean for the most part the Bucs offense can find success through the air and on the ground.
Asking the Bucs secondary to play as well as they did last week against Atlanta is asking a lot. It is still a young bunch and while the Jaguars receivers won’t be confused with the Falcons receivers, they are capable of producing if there are more of the communication errors that have plagued the Bucs’ backend for much of 2019. I don’t see any issues containing Leonard Fournette, as the Bucs have been stout against the run, and better backs, all season.
If the Bucs can get out to an early lead and get Jacksonville playing on the heels and from behind they should have a fairly easy afternoon.
I can’t believe I am doing this after some of the games I watched this year, but of all the games I have predicted Tampa Bay to win, I feel most confident in this one.
Cook’s Score Prediction: Buccaneers 34, Jaguars 17
Cook’s Pick To Click: WR Mike Evans
Cook’s Season Record: 2-9
PewterReport.com Bucs Beat Reporter Trevor Sikkema
The Bucs finally have some positive momentum after beating the Falcons in Atlanta last week. That win was not only their first over a divisional opponent since Week 2, but it also wasn’t even as close as the scoreboard indicated at the end. Throw in the fact that the Bucs had two turnovers to start this game and it was pretty impressive how they were able to snap back into control and dominate the contest, especially as the road team.
The Jaguars are not as talented as the Falcons are on paper, but they don’t seem to be flailing as hard as the Falcons are (for whatever reason). Because of this, I expect the game to be a bit more of a back and forth match, but not by much.
I do not trust what the Jaguars are doing right now. It seems like for the last two years this Jacksonville locker room has been on edge just waiting to explode in the worst way — you can see that after game they don’t win. There are a lot of personalities, but not a lot of production as of late for Jacksonville, and for that reason I have to think the Bucs take this one, as the Jags are currently on a three-game skid.
Winston has the weapons to out-duel Nick Foles at the quarterback position, and though the Jaguars have talent on the defensive end, this is not the defense that nearly led them to a Super Bowl a few years ago. Especially without cornerback Jalen Ramsey, I expect Bucs wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans to have a field day.
Also, running back Ronald Jones gets his first 40-plus touchdown run of his career.
Remember who told you first.
Sikkema’s Score Prediction: Buccaneers 28, Jaguars 13
Sikkema’s Pick To Click: RB Ronald Jones
Sikkema’s Season Record: 1-10
PewterReport.com Bucs Beat Writer Taylor Jenkins
Dare I say it? Following a divisional win over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, the Bucs will head to Jacksonville on Sunday to take on a struggling Jaguars team where Tampa Bay may just may head back home on a winning streak, if only technically after two consecutive victories.
On defense, these aren’t the same feared Jaguars of old since Jacksonville traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams earlier in the season, and on top of that they’ve had a slew of injuries on the defensive side of the ball as well. While Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell still dominate up front, nose tackle Marcell Dareus sits on the injured reserve. Despite rolling out two new starting safeties in 2019 as well, strong safety Ronnie Harrison is questionable for the Jags’ upcoming game against the Bucs after suffering a concussion. To wrap it all up, Jacksonville’s middle linebacker and first-round pick in 2016, Myles Jack, is also in danger of missing the first contest of his career this Sunday.
On the season, Jacksonville’s defense is already allowing 24 points per game, including 142.3 rushing yards per game which ranks them among the league’s worst units.
On offense Jacksonville has struggled of late, averaging just 13 points per game over a three-game losing streak and while Nick Foles has made his return to the starting quarterback position, the Jaguars are 0-3 in games started by Foles this season.
Tampa Bay will still have to be wary of running back Leonard Fournette, who can break open a game at any time when he finds a hole, and the speedy receiving trio of Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and second-year pass-catcher D.J. Chark.
On paper, the Bucs have the advantage heading into Sunday in my eyes but the game will ultimately come down Jameis Winston limiting turnovers, as always, and a repeat performance from a Tampa Bay secondary that played arguably their best game of the season last week against Atlanta.
Jenkins’ Score Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Jaguars 27
Jenkins’ Pick To Click: RB Ronald Jones
Jenkins’ Season Record: 2-9
PewterReport.com Bucs Beat Writer Matt Matera
This is a game where the Bucs match up well with their opponent. The Bucs will also have a chance to do something they haven’t accomplished yet this season: win two games in a row.
The Bucs will have a good chance of getting a lead early while Jacksonville quits on themselves, especially coming off of games where the Bucs destroyed the Falcons and the Jaguars were beat down by the Titans. Much like the Bucs victory in Atlanta, this game is going to be won in the trenches. The Jaguars defense isn’t the same fearsome group that was one quarter away from going to the Super Bowl, but Josh Allen, Calais Campbell, and the rest of their defensive front have to be accounted for.
The Bucs did not allow a sack at all last week, and they will need to limit the sacks allowed to only one or two in order to get the win. Jacksonville’s secondary has not been the same since they traded away Jalen Ramsey, so give Jameis Winston some time and it will be another gigantic performance from either Chris Godwin or Mike Evans — no one in the Jags’ secondary can match up to them.
Speaking of sacks, the Bucs defensive line came back to life with a six-sack performance in
Atlanta. Now facing Nick Foles, they’ll have another good opportunity to chase after a
quarterback who holds onto the ball long and isn’t very mobile.Whether it’s Shaq Barrett, Devin White, or Vita Vea, the Bucs will be after the quarterback early and often. The Jaguars offense has not found its footing since Foles returned from injury, and they won’t find it on Sunday against the Bucs. Tampa Bay’s first priority has to be stopping running back Leonard Fournette, but if they get that done, the rest will take care of itself. If the secondary plays half as well as they did against Atlanta, then the Bucs are going to be looking at another strong defensive performance in back to back games.
The Bucs are going to build on top of last week and start stacking up wins like Bruce Arians has talked about all season. Not only will they win, it’s going to be another lopsided victory with the Bucs having control on both sides of the football. Get an early lead, stop Leonard Fournette, and the Jags will implode. For the first time this season, the Bucs are going to be on a winning streak.
Matera’s Score Prediction: Bucs 30, Jaguars 21
Matera’s Pick-To-Click: OLB Shaq Barrett
Matera’s Record: 4-7