Twas the night before Buccaneers Christmas, when all through Ray Jay, not a creature was stirring, it hadn’t been the Jaguars day.
That is the story the Buccaneers will want to be reading tomorrow. The Jaguars were a team I had feared before the season started. But, I think the most valuable lesson I have learned watching games this year is that no one knows shit about the NFL. A lot of people expected great things from the Jaguars, and they just haven’t delivered that. They’ve been fine for the most part, but many of us were expecting a juggernaut.
The big question for most of the day was whether or not Trevor Lawrence would play. It seemed pretty unlikely he would, but he managed to clear concussion protocol. Now, I really don’t like this as I just don’t feel like it is possible he managed to clear it in 5 days. But I honestly think him playing makes the Bucs chances easier. He was already banged up with the ankle injury, but before that, he hadn’t exactly been lighting the league on fire. He has 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, both worse than Baker Mayfield’s 24 and 8 respectively.
This is a game that Todd Bowles needs to blitz. Lawrence is not at 100% and has limited mobility. He needs to make him feel the pressure and force some bad decisions from the still young QB. Although the Jaguars have been making some pretty terrible decisions on their own.
On offense, the Bucs need to pass the ball more. The Jaguars run defense has been mostly solid all year for them, but their pass defense is something else. They are 29th in pass defense in terms of yards. Not great considering the NFL hasn’t added 20 more teams last I checked. Dave Canales needs to once again be in his bag to get Mike Evans and Chris Godwin the ball. We unfortunately will not be facing a Joe Barry defense, but it shouldn’t be super difficult to get those guys some touches.
I am feeling pretty good about the Bucs in this game. They have the momentum, even if they haven’t beat elite teams on their win streak. Jaguars will be there first chance in a while to beat a somewhat respectable team. Like I said, if the defense can put the heat on and Evans and Godwin go off, that’s a recipe for a great Christmas feast.
Make sure you check out Devin’s blog at cannoncrunch.wordpress.com.
Cannon Crunch with Devin Sanguinett