JACKSONVILLE – Each Saturday during the 2019 season, nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – will break down the following day’s Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle
The Jaguars will win if:They can sustain drives and score. The Buccaneers are third in the NFL in scoring; with the Jaguars’ defense struggling, it is imperative that Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles get on track and score Sunday. The passing game will be key for the Jaguars facing the 31st-ranked pass defense in the NFL, especially with Tampa Bay having the second-best run defense. The Jaguars must play opportunistic defense. I don't see them stopping the Buccaneers’ offense, but there will be opportunities for takeaways. Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston leads the NFL in interceptions with 20 and fumbles with 11. The Jaguars must capitalize on Winston's mistakes and turn the turnovers into points.
The Buccaneers will win if:They play a turnover-free game on offense. This has been the Achilles heel for Winston and the Buccaneers offense. They are a high-powered unit, but they put their defense in too many bad positions with untimely turnovers. If they play a clean game on offense, they should have a great chance winning against a Jaguars team that struggles to score.
As Boselli sees it: With the Jaguars’ playoff chances being slim to none, with slim packing his bags to get out of town, how this game starts will be critical. If the Jaguars can start fast and get an early lead, I like their chances to end their three-game losing streak. But if they get behind early, I fear this game could get away from them because of the Buccaneers’ ability to score a bunch of points. I am going to stay positive and believe the Jaguars will start fast and win, 34-31.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
The Jaguars will win if: They can get Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston off his spot, throw off the rhythm of the Bucs’ passing game and slow down two terrific wide receivers — Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Cornerback A.J. Bouye, who could travel with Evans, must play well. Offensively, the Jaguars must somehow find some rhythm early. That has been a problem in the first half.
The Buccaneers will win if: They get that passing game going and stuff running back Leonard Fournette on defense. The Jags must be balanced; they will not find that rhythm in the passing game if they can’t run. If the Jaguars stuff the run and protect Winston, they will be in good shape.
As Frangie sees it: I think I’m going against the grain here. There is concern about the Jaguars in the fan base – and with some reason after three bad performances. But I think the Jaguars will play well here. They have played three good football teams in a row; the Bucs are a 4-7 team, just like Jacksonville. The Jaguars are at home. The Buccaneers are not built around the running game, which is what the Jags have struggled with. This could be a good bounce-back moment for the home team.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
The Jaguars will win if: They force Winston into making some bad throws that result in interceptions. The Jaguars’ offense then must be able to convert them into points. The Buccaneers’ offense is one of the most explosive in the league, and takeaways and time of possession as an offense is critical.
The Buccaneers will win if: They can run the ball early against a Jaguars defense that obviously has had a tough time against the run recently. This would make stopping Evans and Godwin next to impossible as these two receivers are the best tandem in the NFL, already having exceeded 1,000 yards receiving apiece.
The way I see it: This is a tough matchup for the Jaguars. The Buccaneers’ defense is one of the best in the NFL at stopping the run, and that is the identity of the Jaguars offense with quarterback Nick Foles still looking to find a rhythm. The Jaguars’ defense will be in a bit of a conundrum as to what type of defense schematically to play – one that can stop the run or one that can stop the explosive receivers. Early success is a must if the Jaguars want to have a chance in this game.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
The Jaguars will win: If they score 27 points or more. It's time for the offense to set the tone and dictate a game. The Buccaneers’ defense is not good and quite frankly, the Jaguars’ defense is unreliable.
The Bucs will win if: Winston has fewer than two turnovers. Winston has been a turnover machine. The way the Jaguars are playing defensively, if he doesn't give them anything, the Buccaneers should have no problem going up and down the field.
As Martineau sees it: Let's be honest: The Jaguars are playing as bad as any team in the NFL right now. I was in prove-it mode last week with the Jaguars and I have no choice this week. The Buccaneers are 4-7, but they are decent team if they hold onto the football. Buccaneers: 31-26.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
The Jaguars will win if: They can cover Evans and Godwin. The Jaguars have struggled enough in recent weeks stopping the run that their secondary hasn’t been tested significantly in nearly a month and a half. Evans and Godwin represent perhaps the secondary’s toughest test of the season. Can Bouye and Tre Herndon hold up? Stay tuned.
The Buccaneers will win if: Winston avoids interceptions. The Jaguars’ defense is struggling and the offense is, too, but one way a struggling team can win is by getting easy, momentum-dictating points off turnovers. Winston leads the NFL in interceptions, so maybe this is the week the Jaguars finally get easy points.
As Oehser sees it: This is a tough matchup for the Jaguars because any matchup would be tough for this team right now. The defense is unreliable on all levels, and the offense has yet to solve its red-zone or third-down issues. If the Jaguars don’t get some breaks early, it’s hard to see a scenario in which they beat a Buccaneers team that is playing better than its record in recent weeks.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
The Jaguars will win if: The Jaguars will win if they can stop the run. Simple as that. Their strength on defense is rushing the passer and the Buccaneers have a streaky quarterback in Winston. If the Jaguars get after Winston, they’ll force turnovers and create field position – their formula for success this season.
The Buccaneers will win if: If they can run the ball. It has worked for the Panthers, Texans, Colts and Titans in the Jaguars’ last four losses. In each of those games, the Jaguars have allowed more than 200 rushing yards per game. Run to win.
As Sexton sees it: This is a toss-up. The Jaguars aren’t playing well and the Buccaneers have been up and down all season long. The Jaguars can’t stop the run, but the Buccaneers don’t run the ball particularly well. I’m going with the Jaguars at home but I’m not really confident for obvious reasons.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
The Jaguars will win if: They force a handful of turnovers by Winston and the Buccaneers’ offense. This would mean a couple of things: one, the Jaguars stop the run and force Winston to throw; two, Winston tries to do too much. The Jaguars’ defense is beat up right now, though. Do they have enough to get off the mat from the last three weeks and make plays again? There should be opportunities this week considering who is throwing the ball on the other side.
The Buccaneers will win if: They hang on to the ball on offense and force the Jaguars’ offense into long down-and-distance situations. The Jaguars’ offense is sputtering as of late, but they found a little something with Fournette last week when the game was out of reach. If the Buccaneers slow him and force Foles to throw into tight windows, this could be another long day for the Jaguars.
As Shadrick sees it: The Jaguars left Jacksonville in late October with a 4-4 record and hope. They return in December with a 4-7 record and little hope. This is a tough matchup for the Jaguars, because all matchups for the Jaguars will be tough from here on out. Three embarrassing losses to division rivals are in the past but will haunt this team and franchise for the next five weeks and most likely into the offseason. We will find out who has heart and wants to play starting this week.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
The Jaguars will win if: They keep the fight alive. The Jaguars can beat the Buccaneers if their offense is more productive than we have seen the past three games. I think the offense is finding its rhythm and the defense should be able to stop the Buccaneers’ non-threatening rushing attack. The question is how bad do the Jaguars want to fight for a victory.
The Buccaneers will win if: The Jags come out of halftime flat. The past three games the Jaguars have gotten blown out in the third quarter and have been unable to fight their way back. If the Jaguars play a complete game and stay competitive for four quarters, they can win on Sunday.
As Sullivan sees it: I am confident the Jaguars can beat the Buccaneers because we are not worried this week about the Buccaneers’ rushing attack. The Jaguars have given up over 200 yards on the ground each of the past three games; this week the Jaguars secondary will get tested instead. The locker room is relieved to be playing at home again. I think the Jaguars will take advantage of the home crowd and get their fifth victory of the season.