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Game report: Jaguars 25, Buccaneers 10

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler (56) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler (56) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

TAMPA – A few familiar names played. Most did not.

That's how nearly all NFL preseason finales are these days, and that was the main story of the Jaguars' 25-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2018 preseason finale at Raymond James Stadium Thursday night.

Backup quarterback Cody Kessler started for the Jaguars (3-1 in the preseason), completing four of six passes for 32 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He left the game just before the Jaguars' final drive of the first half.

Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. played to get repetitions before his one-week season-opening suspension begins. Fowler missed the first two preseason games – one because of shoulder issue and another because of a team suspension.

Rookie first-round defensive lineman Taven Bryan also played for the Jaguars, getting important repetitions after missing the first two preseason games with an abdominal injury.

"Taven Bryan got some good push and obviously Dante out there did an outstanding job and made some big plays," Marrone said of the two linemen. "He (Fowler) had some tackles for loss and things like that. They haven't played much in the preseason, so we wanted to make sure they got out there and got some playing time."

The game for the Jaguars otherwise was about players trying to win jobs, with the score secondary to determining roster spots. The NFL deadline for teams to trim rosters to the league-mandated regular-season limit of 53 is Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Notable veterans playing for the Jaguars Thursday: wide receiver Rashad Greene Sr. and Shane Wynn, fullback Tommy Bohanon, defensive ends Dawuane Smoot and Carroll Phillips, tight end Ben Koyack, offensive linemen William Poehls and Josh Walker, nose tackles Eli Ankou and Sealver Siliga, defensive tackle Michael Bennett, linebackers Donald Payne and Blair Brown, safeties Jarrod Wilson and Cody Davis and cornerbacks Jalen Myrick and Sammy Seamster.

The Jaguars ruled out 34 players before kickoff, with two more offensive linemen – tackle Josh Wells and guard Chris Reed – also not playing. The two were available to play had injuries forced them into the lineup.

"There have been some good individual performances," Marrone said at halftime.

Jaguars third-team quarterback Tanner Lee replaced Kessler late in the second quarter and completed 11 of 22 passes for 164 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions.

Step by step:

*The Jaguars took a 3-0 lead when kicker Josh Lambo converted from 51 yards with :52 remaining in a quick first quarter. Lambo's field goal capped a seven-play, 31-yard drive.

*The Buccaneers took a 10-3 halftime lead with two second-quarter scores. A two-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Griffin to wide receiver Justin Watson capped a 14-play, 83-yard drive. Tampa Bay extended the lead on a 31-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro with 2:44 remaining in the second quarter.

*Lee replaced Kessler late in the second quarter and led a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by running back Tim Cook with 9:46 remaining in the third quarter. Phillips returned a fumble 26 yards for a touchdown and a 15-10 Jaguars lead with 8:13 remaining in the third quarter, a fumble that came on a sack by Jaguars linebacker Blair Brown. Lee's 44-yard pass to wide receiver Montay Crockett to the Buccaneers 1 set up Cook's second touchdown of the quarter – another one-yard run – that made it 22-10, Jaguars.

*Lambo's 40-yard field goal with 10:29 remaining pushed the Jaguars' lead to 25-10.

Injury report: Jaguars rookie cornerback Dee Delaney was evaluated for a concussion in the second quarter and returned. … Cornerback Kenneth Acker sustained an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.

Notable: The thirty-four Jaguars players ruled out about an hour and a half before kickoff included every projected starter. Starting quarterback Blake Bortles was among 18 offensive players ruled out, as well as running backs Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant, wide receivers Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, D.J. Chark Jr. and Jaydon Mickens, tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Niles Paul and James O'Shaughnessy, left tackle Cam Robinson, right tackle Jermey Parnell, right guard A.J. Cann, left guard Andrew Norwell, center Brandon Linder and guard/center Tyler Shatley. Sixteen defensive players also were ruled out: defensive ends Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Lerentee McCray, defensive tackles Abry Jones, Marcell Dareus and Malik Jackson, outside linebackers Leon Jacobs and Telvin Smith, middle linebacker Myles Jack, cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Tyler Patmon and D.J. Hayden and safeties Ronnie Harrison, Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson. 

What's next: The Jaguars will visit the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in the 2018 regular-season opener in East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday September 9 at 1 p.m.

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