It’s a battle in North Florida as both the Jaguars and the Buccaneers look to turn their 4-7 seasons around and finish strong. However, we don’t know really what to make of the two Florida teams that only play once every four years?
Tampa Bay has the talent, but hasn’t put it together. Jacksonville has a new QB that we haven’t seen much of. And, Sportsbooks are confounded too, as the Jags were underdogs earlier Thanksgiving week, but now are back to being a slight favorite.
We know that Jameis Winston has been plagued by interceptions, but the Jaguars are riddled with injuries themselves and will most likely start six undrafted players Sunday against the Bucs. Still, we know that Winston has been able to overcome his tendency to turn the ball over and have spectacular games. This included his sixth consecutive 300 yard pass game last week in Atlanta that included three more TD passes, despite two early INTs.
Despite his flaws, Winston and the Buccs offense are still putting up 28 points per game, which is one of the top outputs in the NFL. On the road, they do even better – somehow– by putting up 31.83 points per game with a tremendous 273 passing yards per game.
The only hope is the Jacksonville Jaguars try to capitalize off those turnovers.
That’s because, the Jaguars have been impotent at TIAA Bank Field. They are scoring just 16.8 points per game, which is 28th in the league. Now, all of that has been with rookie backup QB Gardner Minshew in at QB. Back from injury Nick Foles has replaced him in the two road losses at Indy and Tennessee.
Now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is allowing 29 points per game on the road, so the Jags have a chance to break into the 20s in this matchup. Still, the Bucs were better against the pass last week, including with six sacks of Matt Ryan.
As for the Jags the defense is pretty good at home, only allowing 20 per affair in Jacksonville. That said when you only allow 20 points … but can’t score more than 17 … you tend to lose.
Will Foles back in the lineup at home, the Jags have a chance to up those horrendous offensive numbers. This goes double against a velvety Buccaneers passing defense playing a lot of young players in the secondary. They rank No. 31 overall in pass yards defended and passing touchdowns allowed and on the road it’s even worse- dead last in the league for passing defense.
Winston is on record breaking pace for the Bucs. He has 3,391 yards this season, which is #2 in the league. And the high flying receiving tandem of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans find their groove, they could make the Jags secondary, which no longer has Jalen Ramsey, look silly.
As for Foles, he will also rely on RB Leonard Fournette to get something going and help with play-action, as well. Still, Tampa Bay has had the best run defense in the NFL all season. So, don’t expect much from Fournette.
If you have a survivor pool running, this isn’t the game recommended to choose from. And if you are a betting person, this one is a steer wide and clear.
There is a simple rule all bettors should follow: don’t bet on bad teams. Unfortunately, both the Bucs and the Jags are teams too risky to back.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.