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How the Buccaneers left a receiver wide-open on Blake Bortles' interception

Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been inconsistent at best in pass defense this year, and one play against the Jacksonville Jaguars summed up their struggles. Bradley McDougald made an outstanding interception in man coverage, but that was only possible because Bortles missed the wide-open Allen Robinson in the middle of the field.

So how did that happen? Because Mike Jenkins thought they were playing a form of zone coverage, or he thought someone else would take over covering Allen Hurns as the receiver shifted across the formation. I'm going with the latter, as you can see Tim Jennings (#28 at the top) and Lavonte David frantically tell either Jenkins (#24) or McDougald (#30) to follow Hurns before the snap. Jennings ends up playing Hurns because he takes an outside release, with no one there to man-up on Robinson.

Given that McDougald is in man coverage on Marcedes Lewis and makes the interception, I'd venture a guess and say Jenkins is wrong here. The fact that he mysteriously shifts from following a receiver to just blitzing suggests he was in the wrong there, too -- at least he affects Bortles' throw with that blitz. All of this just adds to the poor play Jenkins has put on the field throughout the season, making it a constant mystery as to why he's on the field over Alterraun Verner.

Either way, this is clearly a case of defensive miscommunication -- and we've seen that a little too much for a group filled with veterans who have all spent at least one and usually multiple years in this system. This kind of mixup is inexcusable and speaks to either poor coaching, or a group of players who just won't listen. The Bucs have to get this cleaned up in the bye week if they want to more than just the two games so far.