Jaguars: Facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home
The Jacksonville Jaguars hope to stop their three-game skid on Sunday at home against their in-state rival.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing this Sunday with pride on the line as they both stand 4-7 with little hope of making the playoffs this season. Players are playing for future jobs. Coaches are still working to design a scheme that will lead their teams to victory. This is a must-win game once again for both sidelines.
If this sounds harsh I am sorry. I must add a spoiler alert. I lived in the St. Pete/Tampa area for many years and the Buccaneers were my first love. I have followed both teams since their inception. Both teams have some talent but just haven’t put it all together.
Let’s start with the quarterbacks. Per Matt Verderame of FanSided.com, there is plenty of improvement needed from both quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Nick Foles.
"“Winston went for more than 300 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Basically the quintessential Winston outing,” Verderame writes."
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As for Foles, who makes his third start since coming back from injury, Verderame offers this nugget.
"“Nick Foles has come back from a broken clavicle but hasn’t helped the Jaguars….. Foles has been largely ineffective, getting blown out by two division rivals.”"
This position has no clear favorite, in my opinion.
The home team has a better running game with Leonard Fournette leading the way. He is currently sixth in the NFL with 951 rushing yards. Tampa Bay’s leading runner is Ronald Jones with 474 yards on the ground.
Tampa Bay does have the edge in wide receivers. Chris Godwin is second in the NFL with 1,071 yards. Mike Evans is third with 1,043 yards. They are formidable, to say the least. The Jaguars counter with DJ Chark, who is 12th in the NFL with receiving yards 834 yards.
Both teams have some issues along the offensive line.
Both teams are lacking on the defensive side but the ball, but Tampa Bay has shown improvement this year. Jacksonville is 18th while Tampa Bay is 21st in total defense this season based on information released from fantasyfootballs.org. The Jaguars have a slightly better defense on paper.
Verderame does not separate the two teams in his most recent NFL power rankings either as the Jaguars stand 22nd in the league while Tampa Bay is 24th.
The Jaguars have the edge in special teams, which may come in handy if this game is close toward the fourth quarter. Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay missed three extra points last week.
"As he wrote, “Nick Foles came back, but the winning ways are still on IR,” with regard to the Jaguars."
"In terms of his thoughts on TampaBay, Verderame added, “The Buccaneers got good Jamies mostly this week.”"
This game is about as evenly matched as can be for two opponents. Both have less than stellar quarterbacks. Jacksonville has solid a running back and the Bucs have two wide receivers. The Jaguars have a great kicker. The team defenses and overall power rankings are quite similar. Tampa Bay has a new coach with impressive credentials and the Jaguars got a new quarterback through free agency with impressive credentials. To date neither has improved his team very much.
As unbelievable as it may seem, this is the game I have eagerly awaited all year. I will be at the stadium in my Jacksonville gear cheering on the home team with a secret smile for good plays by the Buccaneers. They were my first love, after all.