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Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers 30, Jaguars 12

The Buccaneers dismantled the Jaguars in a 30-12 Christmas Eve victory


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars 30-12 and improve to 8-7 on the season. The Bucs' defense spearheaded the attack with two interceptions and consistent pressure on Trevor Lawrence. The Bucs offense came out firing on all cylinders, putting up 30 unanswered points.

The Bucs marched 69 yards down the field on their opening possession, heavily targeting a perimeter-based attack featuring screens and out-breaking routes. Chris Godwin became the catalyst on the drive with a 22-yard gain down the right sideline, but the Bucs were not able to capitalize with seven. Baker Mayfield's pass was batted down on third down by Adam Gotsis, forcing a Chase McLaughlin 24-yard field goal. On the Jaguars' first offensive possession, the Bucs' defense stepped up. Devin White intercepted Trevor Lawrence, undercutting a pass intended for Parker Washington. He returned the pick 10 yards, setting up the Bucs' offense at the Tampa Bay 44-yard line.

Tampa Bay took advantage of the interception, capping of an 11-play, 56-yard drive with a three-yard Mike Evans touchdown. From third-and-six, Mayfield evaded a sack and scrambled seven yards up the middle for the first, setting up the score. The Bucs extended their lead, 10-0 with over 12 minutes to play in the second quarter. On the Jaguars next drive, featuring a Lavonte David sack of Lawrence, Yaya Diaby flew downhill and stopped Calvin Ridley behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 12, setting up second-and-22. Jacksonville was stopped short on third down and Brandon McManus missed a 52-yard field goal attempt.

A 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on Andre Cisco kept the Bucs' ensuing drive alive, which resulted in a McLaughlin 31-yard field goal after Cade Otton was stopped short of the first. The Jaguars' subsequent drive ended abruptly with an Antoine Winfield Jr. interception at the Tampa Bay 35-yard line, thrusting Mayfield and cast back on the field. The Bucs responded with a quick score (seven plays, 65 yards). Mike Evans converted from third-and-five, and it was only fitting that the next play he scored a touchdown. Cade Otton ran an out-route underneath from the slot and Evans ran a post against single coverage with no safety help over the top. He caught the pass for a 22-yard score, providing the Bucs with a 20-0 cushion at Raymond James Stadium. The defense continued the momentum leading into the half, as Winfield Jr. flew on a blitz and dropped Lawrence for a sack (-8), forcing the Jaguars to punt.

Coming out of the half, Ridley found a soft spot in zone and Lawrence hit him for a gain of 24 yards. The next play, Devin White brought pressure and Yaya Diaby finished it off with a sack and forced fumble. He recovered the football at Jacksonville's 42-yard line. The Bucs cashed in five plays later on a Rachaad White two-yard touchdown rush. Tampa Bay took a 27-0 lead, continuing their dominance on Christmas Eve. The Jaguars went for it from fourth-and-13 on the following drive – a byproduct of a delay of game penalty – which then resulted in an incompletion and turnover on downs. The Bucs stalled on the following drive with an incompletion to Trey Palmer on third down, resulting in a Mclaughlin 51-yard field goal.

The Jaguars finally put points on the board late in the third quarter, courtesy of two scrambles by Trevor Lawrence of 12-plus yards. Jacksonville capped off a 10-play, 75-yard drive with an 18-yard Calvin Ridley touchdown. The Jaguars' two-point attempt failed, making it a 30-6 game.

The Bucs had their first punt of the game early in the fourth quarter as Chris Godwin was stopped short of the first down. On the Jaguars' next drive, C.J. Beathard came in quarterback. On the second play of the drive, Zyon McCollum forced a fumble and Winfield Jr. recovered the football at the Jacksonville 34-yard line. The Bucs were unable to capitalize, as an incompletion to Godwin on fourth down resulted in a turnover on downs.

On the Jaguars next drive, Yaya Diaby came barreling through on third down, sacking Beathard for a loss of nine yards, which set up fourth-and-19. An incompletion to Ridley on fourth led to a turnover on downs. Tampa Bay's ensuing possession ended in a quick three-and-out and the Jaguars answered with a five-play, 51-yard scoring drive culminating in a one-yard Ridley touchdown. The two-point attempt failed, keeping it a 30-12 ballgame. Just under the two-minute warning, Baker Mayfield kneeled down in the victory formation.

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