JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Before the Jaguars game against the Buccaneers I gave you 5 keys that would help lead them to a win in Tampa. We'll take a look at those keys plus other observations from the Jaguars 38-31 loss to the Buccaneers.
One play changes everything:
The Jaguars were leading 24-23 late in the third quarter. Rookie running back Corey Grant doesn't get a lot of touches on offense and his one mistake changed the momentum in this game. Grant didn't secure the ball away on a sweep play, Jacquies Smith recovered the fumble and rolled into the end-zone for a touchdown. It was all downhill for the Jaguars after that.
Run defense goes MIA:
The Jaguars entered Sunday only allowing 83 yards rushing per game. Yes, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was inactive due to a high ankle sprain. That's still no excuse for the way Tampa was able to run the ball. The Jaguars missed way too many tackles and allowed the Bucs to run for 183 yards.
Both of the Jaguars touchdowns in the first half came in the red-zone. Instead of pounding the ball on the ground the Jaguars went to the air on first down and Blake Bortles found Allen Hurns for the touchdown. That score capped a 10-play 78-yard drive.
Just before the half Bortles worked the two minute offense to perfection. His 21-yard scramble put the Jaguars in scoring position. A couple of plays later he hit Allen Robinson for the 13-yard score.
Overall the Jaguars scored four touchdowns on five red-zone opportunities.
Score after half-time:
The Jaguars entered Sunday having scored a total of 17 points in the second half of games this season. Jason Myers made a field goal on their first possession of the second half. They followed that up with another red-zone touchdown on their next drive. The Jaguars scored 17 points total in the second half against the Bucs.
Take advantage of Winston's youth:
Early in the second quarter Jameis Winston was trying to avoid the Jaguars rush. Instead of throwing the ball away he ended up throwing it backwards. The Jaguars recovered the ball the play was overturned upon review and Winston was ruled down by contact.
Outside of that play the Jaguars defense didn't do anything to impact the play of Winston.
Contain Mike Evans:
At 6'5" 231-pounds Mike Evans is a matchup nightmare at wide receiver. Jaguars cornerback Davon House is only listed at 6'0" 196 pounds. On more than one occasion House won the individual match-up against Evans. He batted away a couple of contested throws. Evans finished the game with three catches for 41 yards.
McCoy vs. Wisniewski:
Gerald McCoy was a terror inside. He credited with three tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Bucs run defense was stingy. One game after topping the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time this season, T.J. Yeldon was held to just 32 yards on the ground. The Bucs also sacked Bortles four times.