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Scout's Take: Bucky Brooks Examines Jaguars-Buccaneers

Scout's Take - Week 16

JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2023 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 30-12 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.


  • The Jaguars extended their losing streak to four games with another disappointing performance Sunday. The self-inflicted errors (turnovers, pre-snap penalties, communication errors and blown assignments) keep this team from realizing its potential as a playoff contender. With the Jaguars gradually losing confidence with each loss, the recurring issues suggest the team has not figured out how to avoid giving away games despite Head Coach Doug Pederson's pleas in meetings and on the practice field to play the "right way". Until the Jaguars heed the wise words of their coach, the losses will continue despite immense talent and potential on each side of the ball.


  • The Jaguars continue to discover how hard it is to win in this league when on the wrong side of the turnover battle. After posting a minus-four mark in the turnover column against the Buccaneers, the Jaguars continue to lose due to excessive giveaways from their ball handlers. While quarterback Trevor Lawrence will shoulder plenty of blame for his three turnovers, the third-year pro's miscues were partially due to a group of uncertain pass catchers failing to make sight adjustments or "hot" reads based on the Buccaneers' fronts and coverage. The lack of chemistry between the quarterback and receivers continues a season-long theme of miscommunications resulting in turnovers. With the defense unable to produce enough "sudden change" stops, the Jaguars' giveaways enabled the Buccaneers to jump out to an early lead that turned a competitive contest into a rout by halftime.


  • Credit Lawrence for showing up each week as the Jaguars' starter. The third-year pro emerged from concussion protocol to log his 49th straight start for the squad. Though his performance against the Buccaneers was a bit of a roller-coaster ride with the star quarterback routinely mixing "dimes" with "picks," the toughness and determination displayed by Lawrence will earn the respect of teammates and coaches who appreciate gritty competitors. As the Jaguars work through the struggles to reach the postseason, the team should greatly respect QB1 despite his flaws and failings this season. Toughness, determination and courage matter in the league – and Lawrence excels in those areas.


  • Wide receiver Elijah Cooks might have earned more playing time and touches with his solid outing against the Buccaneers. The rookie notched the first three catches of his career (on three targets), displaying strong hands and spatial awareness as a pass catcher. Cooks' emergence as a dependable option could help the Jaguars temporarily overcome the absence of wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones on the perimeter.


  • The offense continues to disappoint, with the Jaguars unable to move the ball consistently on the ground or through the air. The unit's lack of production due to self-inflicted miscues, giveaways and shoddy execution has led to concerns about the unit's urgency and focus. While the Buccaneers' ultra-aggressive scheme played a significant role in the Jaguars' struggles, it is hard to credit the opponent for the pre-snap penalties and blown assignments resulting in negative plays or turnovers. That said, the Buccaneers snuffed out the Jaguars' running game with various run blitzes and line movements, resulting in multiple defenders leaking into the backfield. With running backs Travis Etienne Jr and D'Ernest Johnson unable to find running room, the Buccaneers had little trouble defending a one-dimensional, pass-happy offense that lacked chemistry and cohesion.


  • Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell could not come up with an answer for the Buccaneers' quick-rhythm offense. Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield had his way shredding the defense with various short and intermediate throws to his Pro Bowl pass catchers (Mike Evans and Chris Godwin) on the perimeter. Though the numbers were not eye-popping at first glance (Evans and Godwin combined for 13 catches, 164 yards, and two scores), the big-bodied playmakers were open whenever Mayfield needed a big play in the passing game. As cornerbacks Tyson Campbell, Darious Williams and Tre Herndon quickly discovered, it is hard to contain the dynamic duo without safety help over the top of the defense. The Jaguars' missed tackles and lack of physicality also stood out in the loss, as the Buccaneers repeatedly turned short passes into first downs at crucial moments.

Sunday afternoon in Tampa, FL ☁️ Check out live action photos of the the Jaguars vs. Buccaneers game. 🏈

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