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Buccaneers and Jaguars head for close fourth quarter finish

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are leading 31-24 after three quarters against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Bucs came into the second half with a solid 20-14 lead. It didn't take long for them to give that up: it took the Jaguars just two offensive drives to turn that int a 24-20 lead, mostly because the Bucs' cornerbacks keep getting beat in man coverage -- both Mike Jenkins and Tim Jennings. Why Alterraun Verner can't get on the field on the outside remains a mystery.

Jameis Winston and company only got two opportunities after the half, but they didn't quite look like the consistent unit we saw before the half. A big sack on a free blitzer ended the first drive, but the second was salvaged by a 56-yard screen pass to Charles Sims on third-and-15. The Bucs couldn't turn that into a touchdown, though, in part because Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson failed to make tough but doable catches. Connor Barth cut the Jaguars lead to just one point.

George Johnson and Jacquies Smith gave the Bucs the lead right after that, though: Johnson forced the fumble on a running play, and Jacquies Smith recovered it. A nice two-pointer to Vincent Jackson gave the Bucs a seven-point lead.

Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pull out their first home win under Lovie Smith? Here's your fourth quarter open thread.