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Expert Picks: Final Analysis on Jaguars vs. Buccaneers

Final Analysis - Week 16

JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2023 season, Jaguars "experts" – Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Kainani Stevens – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.

Up this week:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Tony Boselli, Pro Football Hall of Famer, Former Jaguars Left Tackle and Jaguars Analyst

  • The Jaguars will win if: They can run with consistency, get back to playing physical defense and get some turnovers. The Jaguars must stop beating themselves with pre-snap penalties, turnovers, missed assignments, communication, etc.  They will get a couple guys back on defense but will be leaning on a few backups in the passing game.  It's the next-man-up philosophy, but the Jaguars' best players need to have big games. Offensively, tight end Evan Engram must have a huge game.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: Mayfield isn't pressured and is allowed to have time to find two really good receivers. Mayfield is streaking. If he is allowed to get into a rhythm, he is really good –as was seen last week when he had the perfect passer rating. Defensively, the Buccaneers know they might be playing against a beatup Trevor Lawrence at quarterback; if they are able to stop the run, it will allow the aggressive defense of Head Coach Todd Bowles to dial up the pressure.
  • As Boselli sees it: This is another tough game for the Jaguars against a team fighting to win its division.  Tampa is coming off a big win in Green Bay and is playing very well.  The Jags must run better, stop the run and win the turnover battle. It's going to be a game that comes down to one or two big plays in the fourth quarter.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • The Jaguars will win if: They avoid avoidable errors. The Jaguars haven't played as badly as three straight losses would suggest, but they keep making frustrating mistakes. If they take better care of the ball, if kicker Brandon McManus re-finds his field-goal stroke — which he will — the Jaguars are in good shape here. The Buccaneers are playing well, but Jacksonville has the better roster. They must harass Mayfield, who is playing exceptionally well. And the receiver combo of Evans and Godwin is outstanding. The Jaguars must control them.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: They continue to play as they have after winning three consecutive games. Mayfield threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns in a very impressive win at Green Bay, and Tampa Bay is motivated while being tied for first in the NFC South. If the Buccaneers start fast, they will be even more confident and be tough to beat.
  • As Frangie sees it: This is a game the Jaguars must win. Losing a fourth game in a row could mean dropping out of first place in the AFC South and it will be tough to rediscover needed momentum after that. Start fast and harass Mayfield, and the Jags could win a fourth-quarter game.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Defensive End

  • The Jaguars will win if: They eliminate some of the mistakes that have plagued them the last three weeks. Communication must exist in all phases to get the execution this team is capable of. And whoever is playing quarterback for the Jags must play well to get their offense into gear.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: Mayfield stays on a roll with his wide receivers. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are one of the better tandems in the NFL and are capable of stressing any defense.  They will surely test a Jaguars secondary that will have a few starters returning from injury.
  • As Lageman sees it: This is a great matchup of teams trying to finish strong and secure division titles. Tampa is on a roll, having won their last three, and the Jaguars are trying to get back on the winning side of things having lost the last three. The Jaguars have had great success on the road this season and need a W in a bad way. Christmas is always better with wins.

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

  • The Jaguars will win if: They don't turn the ball over and they take the first-half lead. There have been times this year that the Jaguars could overcome a mistake or two, but not anymore. It's time to play a clean game. The mistakes have been numerous and too costly in the last month. I think the Jaguars need something to go right early in this game and when they have won this year, they usually start fast.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: They win the trenches. The Jaguars have been vulnerable in the physical part of the game during this losing stretch. They are not stopping the run as effectively and the run game on offense has disappeared. If the Buccaneers can control the line of scrimmage, this will be a good afternoon for Tampa Bay fans.
  • As Martineau sees it: It is hard to pick the Jaguars right now to win. I get it. While a lot of the sloppy play continues to show, I think the Jaguars can correct it. I think they will have urgency, focus and motivation to find a way to victory against an up-and-down Bucs team. The Jags give you a Christmas present with a 23-20 victory.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans

OLB Josh Allen (41)

John Oehser, Senior Writer

  • The Jaguars will win if: They eliminate the avoidable mistakes that have plagued them in recent weeks – and much of the season. This is true whoever plays quarterback. The Jaguars may have to win a defensive game Sunday. It's hard to do that if you're giving away points on offense.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: They create big plays in the passing game. The Buccaneers' current three-game winning streak has been built on a resurgent offense and Mayfield. The Jaguars must first stop the run, then limit what has become a potent Buccaneers offense.
  • As Oehser sees it: This game will tell us a lot about the Jaguars. They need a clean game offensively, and they may need a standout defensive effort to make up for what could be a limited offense. The guess here is they find such an effort in a game they may need to save their season.

Brian Sexton, Senior Correspondent

  • The Jaguars will win if: The defense plays its best game of the season. There are a lot of questions on offense this week. The Jaguars can win if the defense can create short fields and extra possessions through takeaways.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: Quarterback Baker Mayfield has room to work. He posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field Sunday throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns ... and he was sacked five times. He isn't Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, but he can extend plays. That means the Jaguars must pressure him in the pocket – and the secondary has to be on alert.
  • As Sexton sees it: This game comes down to takeaways and the turnover margin. The Jaguars are tied for first in the NFL with 25 takeaways, but the Buccaneers aren't far behind with 20. The difference is the Jags have turned it over 24 times and the Bucs only 14. Whoever wins the turnover margin wins this game.

J.P. Shadrick, Senior Reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: The defense slows down a hot Baker Mayfield. Even with pressure last week, he posted a perfect passer rating, and his ability to maneuver and keep plays alive is real. If the Jaguars can get a couple takeaways, that would go a long way. Lean on Evan Engram on offense, that's rarely a bad strategy considering his reliability.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: They stuff the Jaguars run game. The Jags offense has been at its best this year when it's been balanced, but that's been a while back. If Vita Vea and the Bucs defensive line take over, then it could be a long day for Etienne and even Lawrence in the pocket. If Mayfield continues to spread the wealth on offense and isn't hit over and over, then it could be a long day. How cornerback Tyson Campbell and the Jags coverage deals with Mike Evans could tell the tale.
  • As Shadrick sees it: This is a "gotta have it" game for both sides, and it's a much more difficult game than it first appeared on the schedule in May. The Buccaneers are not as powerful as some of the teams over the recent stretch, but just as dangerous as they play at home on Christmas Eve battling for the NFC South. The Saints, the team tied with them, lost Thursday night. The Jaguars are banged up at wide receiver, but maybe they find a way to balance the offense by running wide and getting it out of Lawrence's hands fast.

Kainani Stevens, Jaguars Team Reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: They stop beating themselves. While the Jaguars are reeling right now, they have been consistent this season beating teams they "should" beat. The Jaguars have struggled to match elite teams, but they are more than capable of beating the Buccaneers with or without quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The defense can be the star of the show if it plays to its capability and gets a few takeaways.
  • The Buccaneers will win if: They break Jacksonville's spirit early. Things are tenuous with the Jaguars after a three-game losing streak and anything could break the camel's back. Something as simple as an early Tampa touchdown or a costly turnover for the Jaguars could be enough to sway the momentum.
  • As Stevens sees it: In my mind this is a must-win game for the Jaguars. I'm not sure they have given me any reason lately to believe, but I think they'll find a way to win Sunday. I don't entirely know how, maybe some Christmas magic, but Jaguars win 17-13.

All goals lie ahead☝🏻 Swipe through practice photos as the Jaguars preparation for Week 16 and the final stretch of the season. The Jaguars kick off in Raymond James Stadium on Sunday at 4:05pm ET. 

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