Devin White followed up a career game in Atlanta in which he recorded his first (and second) full sack with another landmark day in Jacksonville. White not only recorded his first career interception, but also his first career touchdown. He co-led the team in tackles with Lavonte David, too.
White is quickly making his case for Rookie of the Year consideration and seems to be coming on stronger each week. He’s also making plays at critical times. He set the tone for the entire defense with his first-quarter interception. He continued it into the fourth quarter, playing a crucial role in the Bucs’ goal-line stand that would have let the Jaguars back in the game. Let’s take a look at all of this below.
2nd & 6 @ TB 32 (06:40)
Jaguars in 11 personnel
Jacksonville is set in a 3x1 formation with the running back Leonard Fournette to quarterback Nick Foles’ left set up a half step. The Bucs have a four-man front with two high safeties in what looks to be zone coverage.
As the ball is snapped and Foles drops back, rookie inside linebacker Devin White seems to have the tight end, running a shallow cross, but White never takes his eyes off Foles and sees that pressure has gotten to him. Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul is bearing down on Foles as the tackle loses his leverage, forcing Foles to get rid of the ball quickly. Foles is tracking the slot receiver who attempts to cut back and get open but seeing all of this in his eyes, White chooses to sit in the opening instead of trailing the tight end all the way to the flat and it results in the rookie’s first career interception.
2nd & 10 @ JAX 25 (02:46)
Jaguars in 11 personnel
Jacksonville has trips to Foles’ left in a 3x1 formation with Fournette again in the backfield a half step up from Foles in the shotgun. The Bucs are in their nickel package with Carlton Davis inside on the first receiver, rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting as the nickel and Jamel Dean on the outside matched up with the Jaguars’ receivers. The Tampa Bay front is showing pressure, with four down linemen and it looks as if White is going to rush, too. If that’s not enough, safety Andrew Adams creeps down just outside the shoulder of Pierre-Paul.
Sure enough, the Bucs send both White and Adams and the Jacksonville protection breaks down. Fournette stays in to block and gets ahold of White but outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, who’s left one-on-one, overpowers the tackle and gets to Foles, stripping the ball out in the process. White rids himself of Fournette and pushes through the A-gap to pick up the loose ball, which he then takes in for the score. White’s ball awareness cannot be stressed enough. He really never takes his eye off the quarterback.
1st & goal @ TB 1 (07:08)
Jaguars in 13 personnel
This was the nail the Bucs needed in the form of a goal-line stand. After initially stopping Jacksonville on fourth-and-5, Lavonte David was called for a questionable defensive pass interference penalty, giving the Jaguars a fresh set of downs at the one-yard line. The first play was this one and the Jags had plans to just try to punch it in. Two tight ends and an extra tackle are on the line as added blockers and Fournette is lined up behind tight end Nick O’Leary acting as a fullback. White is back in the end zone, likely wanting a running start at his target.
Once the ball is snapped, it indeed goes to Fournette and despite being the furthest player from him, White is the one to ultimately get to him first in the backfield as more Bucs defenders swarm for a loss of one. The next play, White would break up a pass intended for fellow former LSU Tiger Fournette. Then rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting would intercept Minshew in the end zone on the play after that, effectively ending Jacksonville’s chances of getting back in the game.