Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Presented by

Takeaways from Buccaneers-Jaguars | Week 16 

Top observations from the Buccaneers 30-12 romping of the Jaguars in Week 16 

Takeaways Week 16

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one win away from clinching the NFC South crown. On Christmas Eve, the Buccaneers dismantled the Jaguars in a 30-12 victory at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. With their fourth-straight win, Tampa Bay is one game away from clinching the division and a top-seed in the playoffs. The Buccaneers are playing their best, complementary football in December with a singular focus. Against the Jaguars, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. gifted the team with a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. Baker Mayfield delivered another impressive performance on the gridiron completing 26 of 35 passes for 283 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Bucs improved to 8-7 and carved out a dominant 30-0 lead with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

"Huge complementary football," said Head Coach Todd Bowles. "It's the kind of football you want to play in December. The defense got turnovers, the offense cashed in. We kept the ball for most of the first half, gave the defense a rest, and they played good football."

Offensive Surge

Through the first three quarters, the Bucs capitalized off the defense's turnovers, turning them into 21 points and a domineering lead at Raymond James Stadium. A week after producing a perfect passer rating at Lambeau Field, Mayfield once again commanded the offense with poise and rallied the unit with quick processing and decision-making skills. Mike Evans led the way with two touchdowns and 86 yards on seven catches. Chris Godwin put up six catches for 78 yards and consistently moved the chains on third down with yards-after-catch. Overall, Tampa Bay converted on 10 of its 19 third-down attempts and running back Rachaad White, who has been a focal point of the team's offense in recent week, finished with 77 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

The Buccaneers lit up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree, having their first punt come late in the third quarter. Tampa Bay almost engineered its first opening possession touchdown of the season after marching the length of the field, courtesy of wiggle after the catch by Trey Palmer and a 22-yard gain by Chris Godwin on an out route that forced the defensive back into a trail technique. The Bucs dialed up quick shots to the perimeter to try and mitigate the Jaguars' pressure from Josh Allen and Travon Walker. The Bucs were not able to cash in because of a batted pass in the red area by Adam Gotsis, or it would have been a Godwin touchdown on a rub route.

The Bucs took a 20-0 lead heading into the intermission, signifying the first time this season that they delivered a first-half shutout. The Bucs totaled 224 yards in the first half and 15 first downs, in contrast to the Jaguars' 84 yards and six first downs. Tampa Bay's defense forced two turnovers in the first half and the Bucs cashed in on both. Following Devin White's interception, Mike Evans moved the chains on a stellar play design. The Bucs brought in an extra blocker to make the Jaguars think 'run,' utilizing the first-down play to Chase Edmonds as the setup. Instead, Mayfield hit Evans on a play-action strike to push the ball upfield for a gain of 19 yards. From third-and-six, Mayfield scrambled up the middle for a gain of seven yards and a first. The Bucs capped off the 11-play, 56-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Evans. No. 13 planted his foot in the ground to bait the defender, then escaped to the outside for the score.

The next came in the second quarter. Following an Antoine Winfield Jr. interception, a seven-play, 65-yard drive culminated in another Evans' touchdown, this one from 22 yards out. Evans ran a skinny post against zone coverage with Cade Otton running the out route. Evans took it to the house, giving Tampa Bay a 20-0 cushion. Then in the third quarter following a Yaya Diaby fumble recovery, Payne Durham made a sensational grab on an out-and-up off a wheel route, making an adjustment to haul in the catch, bringing the Bucs to first and goal. Rachaad White then ran it in for a two-yard touchdown rush, extending the club's lead, 27-0.

Opportunistic Defense

Tampa Bay's defense forced four turnovers in the Week 16 matchup, aiding the Bucs' offensive attack. Linebacker Devin White intercepted Trevor Lawrence on Jacksonville's first drive and rookie outside linebacker Yaya Diaby forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter. Diaby concluded the game with 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss. The Bucs sacked Lawrence three times and held him to 17-of-29 passing for 211 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a 64.0 passer rating. Running back Travis Etienne was held to just 12 yards on six carries and 19 yards on three receptions as the Jaguars were forced to become one-dimensional in a game of catch-up. Diaby, the Bucs' third-round draft pick, now has 6.5 sacks on the season, the third most by a rookie in franchise history.

In the first quarter, Devin White secured an interception of Lawrence. The Bucs rushed four and dropped eight, White undercut the dig route and nabbed the team's first takeaway of the afternoon. On the next one, Antoine Winfield Jr. took advantage of miscommunication between Lawrence and Evan Engram. The Bucs were lined up in Cover Two and it appeared Lawrence thought Engram would run to the inside of the hash. Instead, the pass floated, and Winfield became the beneficiary.

Against the Jaguars, Winfield continued his Pro Bowl-caliber dominance on the back end, flying from sideline-to-sideline making plays in critical moments that shifted the momentum. In the third quarter, White and Diaby brought pressure. Diaby capitalized off Lawrence's ball security issues in the pocket and knocked the ball out on the pump fake. Diaby recovered the football at the Jacksonville 37-yard line, thrusting Mayfield and cast back on the field. Diaby made a significant impact in the game, including a highlight-reel tackle on Calvin Ridley in the second quarter. Ridley went in motion on an end-around and Diaby immediately sniffed it out and reacted. He quickly invaded the backfield and dropped Ridley for a loss of 12 yards, which set up second-and-22. The defense continued to impose their will In the fourth quarter, posting another takeaway. C.J. Beathard completed a 14-yard pass to Evan Engram, but Zyon McCollum forced a fumble, and it was recovered by Winfield at the Jacksonville 34 to ice the victory.

Related Content

Latest Headlines