TAMPA, Fla. – An inspiring comeback quickly turned into something else.
That something else wasn't good Sunday, and the Jaguars lost for a third time in as many consecutive road games – and for the 12th consecutive road game overall.
Despite quarterback Blake Bortles' first career game with four touchdown passes, the Jaguars couldn't take advantage of a third-quarter rally. Mistakes hurt as the Buccaneers rallied for a 38-31 victory over the Jaguars at Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Jaguars led 24-20 before a disastrous stretch late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. They had taken the lead with a 17-point second- and third-quarter rally.
But the Buccaneers made it 24-23 on a 47-yard field goal by Connor Barth with :29 remaining in the third quarter, then took a 29-24 lead on the ensuing drive when linebacker Jacquies Smith recovered a fumbled pitch by Jaguars running back Corey Grant and dove into the end zone.
A two-point conversion pass from Jameis Winston to Vincent Jackson pushed the lead to 31-24, Buccaneers, at the end of the third quarter.
Buccaneers running back Doug Martin then scored the third of his three touchdowns of the game on a 1-yard dive. That pushed the lead to 38-24, Buccaneers, with 8:26 remaining.
A late touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to Allen Robinson cut the lead to 38-31 with 1:05 remaining. The Buccaneers recovered the ensuing onside kick.
The Jaguars, after cutting into a 20-7 Buccaneers lead with a late first-half touchdown, opened the second half with a 50-yard, 11-play drive that ended with a 31-yard field goal by Jason Myers. That made it 20-17, Buccaneers.
They then took the lead with a four-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to T.J. Yeldon, a play that gave the Jaguars a 24-20 lead after they had trailed 20-7 in the first half.
Images from the Jaguars Week 5 matchup against the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers took a 20-14 halftime lead in a half in which the Jaguars' defense struggled.
Barth gave the Buccaneers a 3-0 lead with a 35-yard field goal with 10:16 remaining in the first quarter. That capped a 62-yard game-opening drive.
The Jaguars took a 7-3 lead with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Allen Hurns with 14:20 remaining in the second quarter. That play capped an impressive 10-play drive that consumed 5:10. Yeldon set up the touchdown with 13-yard gain on a screen pass on the first play of the second quarter.
After a 45-yard field goal by Barth, the Buccaneers took the lead after a quick change of field position.
First, Bobby Rainey returned a punt 58 to the Jaguars 17. The Buccaneers took a 13-7 lead three plays later when Martin turned a middle screen into a 10-yard touchdown.
The Buccaneers extended the lead to 20-7 with a 1-yard run by Martin with 1:50 remaining in the half. That capped an eight-play, 41-yard drive after Buccaneers safety Bradley McDougald intercepted a pass from Bortles intended for Marcedes Lewis.
The Jaguars cut the lead to 20-14 at halftime with a two-minute drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Robinson.
Martin finished the half with 93 yards rushing on 13 carries, and the Buccaneers rushed for 124 yards as a team in the half. They outgained the Jaguars 219-156 in the half.
Player of the game
Blake Bortles, quarterback.It's difficult in a one-sided loss to a team that entered the game with one victory to choose a player of the game. But despite a costly first-half interception, Bortles had stretches in which he played well Sunday. He finished completing 23 of 33 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.
Setting the Scene in Tampa as the Jaguars prepare to take on the Bucs.
The Jaguars had stretches of real efficiency offensively Sunday, but it was mixed with costly turnovers. They produced four touchdowns and 325 yards offense, but Bortles' first-half interception led to a touchdown. A second-half fumble by Grant also resulted in a Buccaneers touchdown.
The defense struggled at times, uncharacteristically so against the run. Martin rushed for 123 yards on 24 carries and the Buccaneers finished with 183 yards rushing. The Buccaneers finished with 369 total yards.
The Jaguars' special teams struggled at times Sunday, allowing the 58-yard return to Rainey in the first half. On the play, Jaguars running back Bernard Pierce appeared to block a Buccaneers defender instead of tackling Rainey. Jason Myers also kicked a kickoff out of bounds while also converting three extra points and a 31-yard field goal. Rainey also had a 25-yard return in the second half.
*Pierce sustained a hamstring injury in the second half and did not return. Jaguars CB Davon House sustained a hip contusion in the third quarter and did not return. Yeldon also left in the second half with a groin injury and did not return.
*Tight end Julius Thomas was active for the first time this season. He had missed the first four games of the regular season with a hand injury. …
*The Jaguars deactivated middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (ankle) and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee) 90 minutes before kickoff. They also deactivated safety James Sample (shoulder), guard Tyler Shatley, running back Denard Robinson (knee), defensive end Chris Smith and wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring). …
*Robinson finished with seven receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
*Hurns finished with five receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown.
*Wide receiver Bryan Walters caught three passes for 49 yards.