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What To Look For – Bucs vs Jaguars Preseason Wk2

The Bucs look to improve on their Week 1 preseason performance in sweltering Jacksonville. This game will feature two teams that know each other fairly well as they’ve practiced all week against each other.

Who should we keep our eye on for the Bucs? Who are the Jags biggest threats? Find out right here!

The Numbers

Preseason Records: Buccaneers 0-1, Jaguars 1-0

Game Time/Network: 8 pm EST, ESPN

Spread: Tampa Bay -2

Series: Jacksonville leads the preseason series 4-2. They are 3-0 against Tampa Bay in Jacksonville.

2017 Preseason Rankings

Tampa Bay – Offense (9th Overall, 14th passing, 14th rushing), Defense (18th overall, 10th vs. the pass, 27th vs. the run)

Jacksonville – Offense (2nd Overall, 10th passing, 1st rushing), Defense (29th overall, 31st vs. the pass, 21st vs. the run)

Bucs Players to Watch

I’m interested to see Kendell Beckwith’s transition to SLB. Beckwith’s stat line looked great but to be honest, his play at MLB left a lot to be desired. The Bucs always envisioned him as a SAM, so they are just accelerating the process here. With Devante Bond injured again, this will be Beckwith’s chance to claim a starting role in his first season.

Jaguars Players to Watch

Well, of course, it would have been Leonard Fournette but it looks like he will be out this week with an injury, so how about Blake Bortles? The young QB is moving into his fourth season and is on the hot seat after an underwhelming 2016. Bortles was pretty decent in 2015 but when expected to take the next jump he slumped badly, having major turnover issues and the Jaguars floundered. He needs a big bounce back year or Jacksonville may start looking for a new franchise quarterback.

When the Bucs Have the Ball

Tampa Bay moved the ball up and down the field against the Bengals last week but only got it in the end zone once. The Bucs need to get their running game churning and be more effective in the red zone. As always, we’d like to continue to see Winston protect the football and be better with his decision making. He was pretty darn good in the preseason opener, he has to build upon that and finish drives.

When the Jaguars Have the Ball

The Jaguars, with Leonard Fournette leading the charge, absolutely dominated the Patriots in the running game, meanwhile, the Bucs run defense left a lot to be desired in Cincy. With Bortles being the turnover machine, the Jaguars want to pound the rock. Even without Fournette, job one for the Tampa Bay defense is to stop the run. There are too many good rushing teams on the Bucs schedule to have that be the team’s Achilles heel in 2017.

Weird Facts Only Important To Me

  • Until the Bucs beat the Jaguars in the preseason last year, Tampa Bay hadn’t beaten Jacksonville in the pre-season since 2009.
  • Jacksonville has gone 1-3 in the preseason three of the last four years.
  • The Bucs haven’t lost back-to-back preseason games since 2014
  • 2014 was also the last time the Bucs started the pre-season 0-2.

J.C. De La Torre

Want to give JC a piece of your mind? E-mail him at JC De La Torre is formerly a columnist/blogger for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog site where in 2016, he was nominated as best sportswriter in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing. Previously, he served as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report on Tampa Bay sports, an editor and featured columnist for SB Nation Tampa Bay covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Gators, wrote for’s Blog Blitz and contributed to Pewter Report, one of the top magazines on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. JC is also a filmmaker, comic writer and rabid Whovian.

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