Tampa Bay Buccaneers Look for Second Straight Win in Game vs. Jaguarsby Ken Filler November 30, 2019 0 comments
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be searching for their second consecutive win for the first time this season and the first time in the Bruce Arians era. The Bucs are coming off their most complete win of the season and will head to Jacksonville this week for a showdown with their cross-state rivals.
The Jaguars are a disappointing 4-7 as the season heads into the final stretch and are coming off a blowout loss in Nashville to the Titans, 42-20. The Jaguars are on a three-game losing streak and have seen their playoff chances slip away once again.
The defense has been the strength of the Jaguars in recent years and has given up 101 points in the last three games. It looks as if the Jaguars will be without two of their key defenders against the Bucs.
Safety Ronnie Harrison, who is the concussion protocol, and linebacker Myles Jack, out with a knee injury, will miss Sunday’s game. Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash is not using the injuries as an excuse. “To me, it’s not an excuse,” he said. “We have to play better and we have to coach better, regardless of the 11 that are on the grass. We have confidence with the ones that we put out there and we just have to do a better job of executing.”
In addition, Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin said there is no excuse for the 4-7 record and the responsibility falls on everyone in the organization to fix the problems.
There are already rumblings that Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is now on the hot seat after three straight losses. It’s not so much the losses that sting, it’s the way the Jags have lost. Getting blown out three consecutive weeks hurts.
With all the injuries on the Jacksonville defense, the Jags could start six undrafted players against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
The Jags have given up 423 yards in their three consecutive losses and will be facing a high-powered Tampa Bay offense that can score a lot of points. What the Jaguars do have is a very good defensive front in Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakue, and rookie Josh Allen. This front has caused a lot of problems for opposing quarterbacks this season with 19.5 combined sacks and seven forced fumbles.
The Bucs come in averaging 28 points and 386 yards per game, good for fourth in the NFL. Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown for over 300 yards in six straight games but also has a propensity for turning the ball over. A lot. Winston leads the league with 20 interceptions and 24 turnovers, and you never know which Jameis Winston will show up on any given Sunday. The good Winston, or the Winston who throws five interceptions against Carolina and four against New Orleans.
Winston has the best wide receiver duo in the league in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, as both receivers have gone over 1,000 yards receiving on the season. Godwin leads the league with nine touchdown catches and is second in the league with 1,071 yards receiving.
The running game of Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber has been mediocre for the Bucs this season, but the Jags have given up 200 yards a game on the ground in their last three games. This is a game that the Bucs should be able to get that running game going. The Bucs’ defense will have their hands full with Leonard Fournette, who has 951 yards on the season and averages 4.6 yards per carry. Stopping Fournette will be a major focus for the Bucs’ defense this week, as they have done a good job containing the top backs in the league.
The Bucs’ front seven has held Christian McCaffrey, Todd Gurley, and Saquon Barkley all under 100 yards in total offense this season. With the run defense being stout all season, it is the pass defense that has really hurt Tampa Bay. The Bucs are giving up 290 yards per game in the air; that ranks 31st in the league.
In the 35-22 win last week against the Falcons, the Bucs’ secondary had one interception by Carlton Davis but had their hands on at least five other balls and couldn’t hang on to make the interception.
Here are three things to watch for during the game.
1. Jameis Winston and his receivers should have a huge game against this banged-up Jags defense.
2. With the Jags’ defense giving up 200 yards per game for the last three weeks, look for Ronald Jones to be the first Buccaneer back this season to run for over 100 yards.
3. If the Jaguars are going to have a chance to win, that defensive line is going to have to get pressure on Jameis Winston early and send a message that this is going to be a long afternoon for Winston.
The Bucs are favored by 1.5 in this game against Jacksonville. The Bucs have too much offensive fire power and should be able to take advantage of a banged-up Jaguars defense. After this game, the calls will get louder to replace Doug Marrone as the Jaguars will lose their fourth straight. Prediction: the Bucs win this one easily, 38-18.