Across SB Nation, team focused sites create open threads for fans watching the games live, on television or through other means, to interact and comment on what their favorite team is doing on the field of play.
As fans of a failing franchise with a lot of money dedicated to a now benched Nick Foles, you could imagine a lot of comments were not so friendly. But don’t take my word for it, take a look yourself.
WARNING: POTENTIALLY NSFW LANGUAGE IS CONTAINED IN THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS
Fan comments from bigcatcountry.com
It didn’t take long for fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars to turn negative. Some didn’t even wait until kickoff.
‘TIS THE SEASON OF GIVING
Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles was in a giving mood on Sunday, and he started by sending an ill-advised first-drive pass to Buccaneers linebacker Devin White. The interception thwarted what looked like a promising drive after Foles connected with Dede Westbrook for 39-yards earlier in the possession.
THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS
While Jaguars fans were lamenting about their familiar struggles with familiar names, Bucs fans were busy celebrating the emergence of some previously unheralded members of their own squad.
Following the interception, Tampa Bay’s offense used plays to underperforming wide receiver Breshad Perriman, disappointing tight end O.J. Howard, and the one-time starter turned back-up Peyton Barber, to convert the turnover into the first touchdown of the game.
It was Barber who ran it in from 15-yards out, who got the score.
In honor of Derrick Brooks being named to the NFL 100 All-Time Roster, current Bucs linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Devin White combined on a strip-sack and fumble return for a touchdown.
Jaguars fans were happy to be part of the festivities.
THE GIFT WHO (WHOM?) KEEPS ON GIVING
If Jaguars fans weren’t calling for Gardner Minshew yet, they certainly were after Foles was again strip sacked. This time it was Carl Nassib who celebrated Brooks’ identification as an all-time great. But Ndamukong Suh decided to represent the defensive lineman, by getting the recovery.
Peyton Barber scored his second touchdown of the game, much to the chagrin of those who had Ronald Jones on their fantasy football rosters - myself included.
A 32-yard third down conversion by Winston and Perriman contributed greatly, as did a 20-yard defensive pass interference called on Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye. There was a Winston turnover scare here, but it was promptly overturned by New York, and Tampa Bay capitalized to take a 22-0 lead.
HEY, JACKSONVILLE. HEY! PAY ATTENTION!
Foles showed great improvement on his team’s fourth drive of the game, and led his squad to a punt instead of a turnover. Baby steps Duvalians. Baby steps.
The Buccaneers decided to give Jacksonville another chance to get it right and punted the ball back after Bouye cheated on a third down pass and stuck his leg under Mike Evans’ foot keeping him from landing in bounds.
Foles and the Jags showed their appreciation for the chance by going three-and-out, incurring an intentional grounding penalty, and taking less than one minute of time off the game clock. So, Winston and company used a 12-yard pass to Perriman, among other plays and took three points off the foot of Matt Gay.
Jaguars fans were very interested in what was happening on the field as this was going on.
SNAP OUT OF IT!
Just as it looked like Jaguars fans were completely checked out, news broke that Jacksonville would be inserting Gardner Minshew into the lineup for the second half.
And just like that, the conversation moved from April 2020, back to present time.
MINSHEW MANIA!....KIND OF...
The excitement was palpable. I could feel the joy coming off the screen over at bigcatcountry.com. But then, as quickly as it arrived, it left.
GOOD WHILE IT LASTED
Buccaneers fans were extremely happy to see their quarterback escape the first half without a turnover. But old habits tend to circle back around, and when the offensive line failed to keep the Jaguars’ pass rush at bay, Winston was stripped by Jacksonville linebacker Andrew Wingard.
MIN-SHOOING THE SHUTOUT
As much as Tampa Bay fans would have loved to see a shutout performance, Gardner Minshew was having none of it. Getting the fumble from Jameis Winston helped by giving them solid field position, and the rookie quarterback gave kicker Josh Lambo a shot at making a 53-yard field goal. Which he did. And erased the shutout in the process.
CONGRATULATIONS, JOSH ALLEN
When the 2019 NFL Draft was coming around, many Buccaneers fans wanted their team to draft edge defender, Josh Allen. Obviously, the team went with Devin White instead, while Allen has been turning in solid performances for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In this game, he recorded his ninth sack of the year, and set a franchise rookie record in the process. The sack had the added bonus of coming on fourth down, and gave his offense the ball at the Jacksonville 46-yard line.
MARCH OF THE YOUNGINS
If Jaguars fans are taking solace in anything, it might be the fact their youth looks really good. After Allen brought down Winston for the turnover on downs, Minshew hooked up with both D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook leading to their first trip to the end zone.
Westbrook brought in the scoring pass, and subsequently hauled in a two-point conversion. The drive brought the Jags closer, making the score 25-11.
LIKE A DAYTIME DRAMA
The Buccaneers definitely tried to make things more interesting than they needed to be. Up 25-11, the Jacksonville Jaguars were trying to get back into the game, and the Bucs defense apparently wanted to get some reps in.
On a 3rd and 10, Minshew connected with Chris Conley for a 13-yard gain which gave the Jags a new set of downs, and put them inside the Buccaneers’ 30-yard line.
By itself, not so dramatic, but this was just the beginning. Later, Minshew and his offense went for it on fourth down, one play after what was dangerously close to defensive pass interference on third. As the ball fluttered into the end zone, Lavonte David collided with the intended receiver, and was indeed flagged for pass interference.
The penalty gave Jacksonville another set of downs and placed the ball on the one-yard line. Three plays later, Minshew targeted Westbrook in the end zone, and placed the ball right into his receiver's hands.
A touchdown catch and extra point would have made it a seven point game with six minutes left in the game. But in a sudden plot twist, Westbrook bobbled the ball and rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting took advantage of the opportunity to snag the interception.
….in another plot twist, SMB decided to run the ball out of the end zone instead of taking the touchback. He then tried to run back into the end zone for what could have resulted in a safety. It was a dramatic turnaround for sure. And it was one which left both sides with a steady mix of emotions.
SPECIAL TEAMS FOR THE WIN
After three plays, the Buccaneers offense failed to move off their own two-yard line and forced punter Bradley Pinion into a sticky situation.
But the veteran came through, and one monster punt and a 10-yard penalty later, the punt team flipped the field 68-yards from their own two-yard line to the Jacksonville 30-yard line.
Eventually the Jaguars ended up with a 4th and 21, which they put in the hands of running back Leonard Fournette, who didn’t quite make it.
In the end, it was another loss for the Jacksonville Jaguars and a win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The drive which ended in the SMB interception ended up representing Jacksonville’s last legitimate chance at getting back into the game.
As the Jaguars move on into December however, there are more questions than answers it would seem. And the fans are wondering which ones will take center stage, and which will be in the forefront.