Any football fan will tell you, whether it’s during the school day, at work, or on your favorite sports talk show— Monday mornings are for bragging rights, armchair quarterbacks, and “Did you see when?!” This Monday morning, Buccaneers’ fans giving a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the game will start with the—
First quarter- Tampa Bay wasted no time moving down the field. The Buccaneers got the ball first and Baker Mayfield’s opening drive was a 5-6, 59-yard effort which took Tampa down inside the Jacksonville 10 yard line. To Tampa Bay’s dismay, Mayfield’s one missed pass was a ball tipped at the line of scrimmage that could’ve been good for a score, had it made it to its target.
After a week of speculation, Trevor Lawrence started for the Jacksonville Jaguars. His first drive ended quickly. The Jaguars’ quarterback found Devin White, perfectly in stride for White’s second interception of the season. With good field position and all the momentum they could ask for Tampa Bay’s offense took the field to end quarter number one.
Second quarter- Todd Bowles flashed a bit of seldom shown gumption, allowing his offense to stay on the field and go for a fourth down and two, at the beginning of the second quarter. Rewarding his confidence, the team picked up the two yards— on a Rachaad White run. Bowles’ gumption and Rachaad White’s conversion led to six points, when Baker Mayfield finished the drive hitting Mike Evans for his 93rd career score.
The Jaguars’ ensuing drive led to a Brandon McManus low-light— The Tampa Bay wind claimed his kick as its victim. The Buccaneers made a bold choice this offseason moving off of Ryan Succop, the first kicker Bucs’ fans could rely on after seasons upon seasons of horrendous special teams play. That decision has paid off. Chase McLaughlin’s season has been nothing short of phenomenal. McLaughlin has been consistent and has flexed big leg ability, making five of his six 50-plus yard attempts and a 57-yard kick against the Buffalo Bills. Chase Mclaughlin was unphased by the wind, making both of his first half field goal attempts.
On the next drive, Trevor Lawrence’s turnover woes continued. Antoine Winfield Jr. went low and scooped a wayward Lawrence pass for Tampa Bay’s second interception of the day. More interceptions and more Baker Mayfield to Mike Evans. The quarterback-wide receiver duo struck again, connecting for their second touchdown of the game. Tampa Bay took a 20-0 lead into the intermission.
Third quarter- Tampa Bay’s third quarter defense looked eerily similar to their first half defense. The Jaguars started the half with the ball and started their half with a Trevor Lawrence turnover— A fumble forced by Yaya Diaby which the Bucs’ rookie recovered. Tampa Bay’s offense, like their defense, carried their dominant first half performance into quarter number three. Jacksonville’s turnover led to a quick seven points and Tampa Bay took a 27-0 lead. The Bucs 27-0 lead turned into a 30-6 lead by the start of the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter- The final quarter of action left little change in the status quo. Jacksonville had a few failed drives, Trevor Lawrence was actually removed from the game, and Tampa Bay’s offense finished the game conservatively, protecting their large lead. The Buccaneers left Raymond James Stadium at 8-7— Their first winning record since the beginning of the season. Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in complete control of the NFC South, heading into their final two games. What a good day in Tampa Bay.
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