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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers vs. Titans

Behind some big plays from quarterback Jameis Winston, the Bucs secured their second consecutive win of the preseason and topped the Titans, 30-14.


The Bucs won the toss and elected to receive to start the game. Both offenses would stall on their first series of the night, as the Bucs went three-and-out and Titans managed just one first down before being forced to punt.

Tampa Bay then drove down the field on their next possession, but were stopped short in the red zone. They settled for a 30-yard kick from Chandler Catanzaro, putting the Bucs on the board 3-0 with just over five minutes to play in the first quarter.

The Titans would one-up the Bucs on their ensuing drive, as receiver Taywan Taylor took one to the house. The Tennessee receiver got a good block at the middle level on a screen for a 47-yard touchdown, putting Tennessee on top 7-3 in just 1:46.

Tampa Bay left the touchdown unanswered on their third possession of the game. Tennessee brought in backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert, indicating starting quarterback Marcus Mariota's night was over after two series. The Titans' offense would come up empty and it was quarterback Jameis Winston's turn to take the field for the Buccaneers.

The next drive started out promising for the Bucs, as Winston put it up for wide receiver Mike Evans. The big-bodied receiver made a spectacular 38-yard catch down the left sideline, adjusting to the trajectory of the ball while it was in the air and drew a penalty to put the Bucs inside the red zone. Then, penalties against Tampa Bay would kick in. Some plays later, Winston would connect with a wide-open Chris Godwin in the end zone on third-and-eight that was negated by a holding penalty. Facing third-and-18, Winston hit receiver Adam Humphries in the middle of the field to set up a more manageable kick for Catanzaro. The kick was good from 44 yards after another penalty backed the Bucs up five more yards.

The Titans came up empty on their next drive and the first play of Tampa Bay's next series saw Winston air it out from his own goal line for receiver DeSean Jackson, who came down with the 54-yard completion. Then, Winston made some magic happen as he waited for tight end O.J. Howard to come available on a 20-yard pass that got the Bucs into the red zone a couple plays later. After a crazy scramble where Winston shook off multiple defenders, he took a shot into the end zone as a flag was thrown for a free play and miraculously, second-year receiver Chris Godwin leapt up and came down with the ball for the score. Catanzaro was good for the point after to put the Bucs up 13-7 in the middle of the second quarter.

With under two minutes in the half, rookie cornerback M.J. Stewart forced the ball out of Titan's receiver Devin Ross' hands as linebacker Lavonte scooped it up for the Bucs' first takeaway of the night. The Bucs' offense then proved they weren't done as Winston hit rookie receiver Justin Watson in the back corner of the end zone to give the Bucs one more score before the half. Tampa Bay went into the locker room up 20-7 at halftime.

The Titans started the second half and marched right down the field. The drive resulted in a touchdown from Gabbert to Taylor on a nine-yard slant to pull the Titans within six.

Quarterback Ryan Griffin took over for the Bucs but Tampa Bay's offense would remain quiet, going three-and-out on their first possession of the second half. The two teams then traded punts until the end of the third quarter when Catanzaro hit a 48-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter to extend the Bucs' lead 23-14.

The Titans came up empty on their next drive and the Bucs seemed to be playing to conserve the win until Griffin hit running back Dare Ogunbowale for 38 yards down the right sideline to put the Bucs within striking distance halfway through the fourth quarter. The next play Griffin hit rookie receiver Sergio Bailey one-on-one in the end zone to give the Bucs another seven after the PAT from Catanzaro.

Another empty drive from the Titans and the Bucs would bring in Austin Allen at quarterback. The Bucs went three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Titans with under four minutes to play in the game. The defense would put a stop to the Titans' efforts, with a sack from defensive tackle Davonte Lambert included, which brought up fourth and 30 for Tennessee. The Titans' wouldn't convert and the Bucs would hold for the win, coming out on top 30-14.

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