Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers 28, Jaguars 11

S Jordan Whitehead, No. 31 & ILB Devin White, No. 45
S Jordan Whitehead, No. 31 & ILB Devin White, No. 45

The home team won the toss to start the game and Jacksonville elected to defer – giving the Buccaneers the first crack at the ball. Tampa Bay got all the way past midfield before they’d end up punting on a blustery day at TIAA Stadium.

Jacksonville got down the field in a hurry behind a 39-yard completion from quarterback Nick Foles to wide receiver Dede Westbrook. The drive would end abruptly though as rookie inside linebacker Devin White secured his first career interception as he picked off Foles and returned it to the Bucs’ 31-yard line.

The drive would prove fruitful for Tampa Bay, who capitalized on the turnover with a 15-yard touchdown by running back Peyton Barber on a handoff from quarterback Jameis Winston. The drive was helped along by a 13-yard completion by wide receiver Breshad Perriman that was initially ruled out of bounds before Head Coach Bruce Arians challenged the ruling and got it overturned. The Bucs took a 7-0 lead with 2:49 left in the first quarter.

The Jags again would begin what looked like a promising drive until outside linebacker Shaq Barrett got his hands on Foles – and the ball – as he stripped it from him. White then recovered and ran the ball in 14 yards for the score. After initially kicking an extra point, Jacksonville was called for impeding on the kicker and the Bucs then elected to go for two. The conversion was successful, and the Bucs took a 15-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.

Jacksonville got the ball back and the drive would again end with a Tampa Bay takeaway. Outside linebacker Carl Nassib sacked Foles and stripped him of the ball as Ndamukong Suh fell on it. Tampa Bay would capitalize again as they drove down the field and punched it on a one-yard run by Peyton Barber, helped by a Vita Vea lead block. It was Barber’s second touchdown of the day and put the Bucs up 22-0 with 7:58 left in the second quarter.

The Jags then came up empty on their next drive as the Bucs’ defense forced a three-and-out. The Bucs would stall around midfield after an incredible catch by Mike Evans got called back on a Jacksonville challenge. The two teams then traded punts and the Bucs got the ball back. They drove all the way down the field, getting inside the red zone, but couldn’t quite get in the end zone. They’d settle for a 25-yard field goal by Matt Gay and increase their lead to 25-0 just under a minute remaining in the half.

Jacksonville wouldn’t be able to do anything before the end of the half as the Bucs’ defense forced another punt with just 36 seconds remaining. The Buccaneers, knowing they’d be surrendering the ball for the second half, decided to take a few shots down the field before halftime. It wouldn’t work out but they still went into halftime up 25-0.

Quarterback Gardner Minshew replaced Foles for the start of the second half but it wouldn’t make much of a difference in the beginning. The Bucs’ defense again held and forced the Jaguars to punt the opening drive of the second half.

The Buccaneers’ approached midfield but were stopped short after Winston was under duress. He was sacked from behind and the ball came out as he was tackled, giving the Jags their first takeaway of the game. They’d capitalize in a limited capacity by settling for a 53-yard field goal following a penalty that gave them a re-try on an initially missed kick. The longer field goal was good and Jacksonville finally got on the board, 25-3 with 5:46 remaining in the third quarter.

The Bucs’ next drive would come up empty and the windy day in Jacksonville definitely played a role in it. Instead of attempting a long field goal, the Bucs went for it on fourth-and-four at the Jacksonville 37-yard line. Winston was instead sacked on the play, turning the ball over on downs and giving the Jaguars good field position.

Minshew then led Jacksonville down the Bucs’ half of the field as the Jaguars capitalized this time. A three-yard touchdown pass followed by a successful two-point conversion cut the Bucs’ lead to 25-11 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Jags’ defense kicked in, forcing a three-and-out of the Bucs behind another sack on Winston, their fourth of the day. A big return got Jacksonville in Tampa Bay territory at their 37-yard line to start the drive on top of it. The Jags clawed their way down the field and at the goal line. A fourth-and-goal penalty on the Bucs gave the Jags a fresh set of downs but then rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted Minshew in the end zone. He stepped out and the Bucs took over at their own three-yard-line but it was a stop with just over six minutes left to play.

Tampa Bay came up empty from deep in their own territory but a good punt by Bradley Pinion and a subsequent block in the back penalty on the Jags had them starting at their own 30-yard line. The Bucs' defense then went back to work and got another sack on the Jacksonville quarterback en route to forcing a turnover on downs.

The Bucs' offense took over with just over three minutes to play from the Jaguars' 24-yard line. They played it safe and ended up tacking on a field goal to make the score 28-11

Despite the Jaguars getting the ball back with about two minutes to play, the score would remain at 28-11 in favor of the visitors for the Bucs' second-straight win.

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