JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars changed quarterbacks Sunday.
They lost a fourth consecutive game, too – a loss that further dimmed their already fading playoff hopes. But the quarterback change was the major Jaguars news on the first day of December.
Gardner Minshew II replaced an ineffective Nick Foles as the Jaguars’ quarterback at halftime Sunday. While Minshew rallied the Jaguars, a fourth-quarter red-zone interception ended the momentum and helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold on for a 28-11 victory at TIAA Bank Field.
“I wanted to get a spark,” Head Coach Doug Marrone said. “It was kind of dead and I wanted to get things going and made the switch at quarterback.”
Marrone said he would talk to both quarterbacks before making an announcement on a starter for next Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers at TIAA Bank Field.
Minshew, who went 4-4 as a starter earlier this season with Foles out with a broken clavicle, completed 16 of 27 passes for 147 yards and one touchdowns with an interception. Foles committed turnovers to end the Jaguars’ first three possessions – and completed seven of 14 passes for 93 yards with an interception.
“Me and Nick are both going to be quarterbacks for this team,” Minshew said. “We’re going to do everything we can to lead it and help us win games.”
Foles, who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Philadelphia this past offseason, is 0-4 as a starter with the Jaguars.
“You have to be critical of yourself,” Foles said. “That’s the only way to improve. You can’t let that criticism defeat you. This is a tougher test but ultimately I’m going to keep my head high and keep believing and keep improving.”
The Jaguars are now 4-8 after a 4-4 start. The Buccaneers (5-7) won for the third time in four games.
“We’ve got to come and take it one day at a time,” Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette said after rushing for 38 yards on 14 carries and catching nine passes for 53 yards.
“We’re going to try to push the restart button. We’re going to come in tomorrow, watch the film, learn from our mistakes and try to move forward from it.”
Minshew, a sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, rallied the Jaguars from a 25-0 halftime deficit. The Jaguars trailed 25-11 after Minshew passed to wide receiver Dede Westbrook early in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars drove to the Buccaneers 1 on their ensuing drive, but Minshew’s pass on 2nd-and-goal from the 2 bounced off Westbrook’s hands. Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted in the end zone with 6:06 remaining. The Jaguars never moved inside Tampa Bay territory again.
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston completed 21 of 33 passes for 268 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions.
The Jaguars registered four sacks Sunday, with linebacker Leon Jacobs, rookie defensive end Josh Allen, safety Andrew Wingard and linebacker Donald Payne all registering one. Defensive end Calais Campbell defensed two passes at the line of scrimmage, both on the first drive.
Allen set the Jaguars’ rookie single-season record with his ninth sack of the season.
The Buccaneers outgained the Jaguars, 315-242. Tampa Bay registered five sacks and forced four turnovers by the Jaguars while the Jaguars forced just one turnover.