In the Jaguars’ first preseason game, the Jacksonville defense all but eliminated the Bucs’ passing game. Tampa Bay only had 167 passing yards, completing only half of their attempts and managing a miniscule 5.1 yards per attempt.
But the Jaguars’ defense did an even better job than that.
Josh McCown, the Bucs’ free agent acquisition and current front-runner on their quarterback depth chart, played the entire first quarter and the first few plays of the second. In that whole time, he managed to go 2-for-4 for 20 yards and an interception. That’s on pace to complete eight passes for 80 yards on the whole game!
Last year’s starter and this year’s backup, Mike Glennon, managed to put together a more respectable evening, going 11-for-19 and 140 yards, including one touchdown and no interceptions. However… Glennon didn’t have to match up against Jaguars starters Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, and Sen’Derrick Marks, who were all rested from the second quarter on. These men totally controlled the game, limiting Tampa Bay to practically zero production, while also cueing a pick-six for safety Winston Guy.
Let’s look at one of the rare plays that actually did work for the Bucs. This play was not exactly executed just like Lovie Smith and his coaching staff drew it up – it took a bit of fortune that would be hard for any opposing offense to reliably replicate.
In the closing moments of the first quarter, McCown completed an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Vincent Jackson on third-and-1. The play begins with a play-action on the left side of the formation. Notice how the defensive line has remained stout – running back Bobby Rainey would have no room to run if he were to receive the hand-off right here.
As McCown spins to the right side of the field, linebacker Ryan Davis is able to pursue the quarterback, untouched. Linebacker Telvin Smith and safety Josh Evans are also in position to make a clean pursuit.