Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Jaguars

December 2nd, 2019

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Not this time.

There would be no repeat of that epic meltdown against the Giants in Week 3, when the Bucs coughed up a 28-10 halftime lead at home and lost to a rookie quarterback.

This time around, Tampa Bay kept its poise en route to the first 2-game winning streak of the Bruce Arians era. A week after playing very well in Atlanta, the Bucs were even better in Jacksonville, grabbing a 25-0 advantage after two quarters before the beleaguered Jaguars made things slightly dicey.

The key sequence revolved around a goal-line stand when Jacksonville could have closed within one score. Some dumb play-calling and some resourceful defense thwarted the Jags before Bucs punter Bradley Pinion stepped up big.

You know it’s your day when Earl Watford contributes some sturdy blocks. You know things are going your way when Breshad Perriman and O.J. Howard combine for 10 catches in the 12 passes Jameis Winston sent their way.

The Bucs played stout run defense, but that’s no surprise. Leonard Fournette had nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide. Nick Foles was pulled for Gardner Minshew after a dismal opening half, but this time around, a rookie quarterback wasn’t going to embarrass this young secondary.

Here’s how the Bucs improved to 5-7, tying Carolina for second place in the NFC South and raising their road record to 4-3.

* No NFL rookie is playing more dynamic football than Devin White at the moment. The fifth pick in the draft is healthy and putting a hurting on opposing offenses. A week after posting two sacks against the Falcons, White uncorked a nifty impression of Derrick Brooks Sunday. He baited Foles into an early interception, then added a scoop and score while leading Tampa Bay with 7 tackles. This kid talks a good game, then he backs it up.

* What can you say about the storybook season of Shaq Barrett? His two sacks give him the outright league lead with 14.5 takedowns and White has No. 58 to thank for his joyous fumble return. If the Bucs want to retain Barrett’s services in 2020, they will have to pony up for a potential free agent. How much? The $16 million base salary commanded by Chandler Jones seems like is a good place to start.

* Fournette is built for short-yardage situations, but the Jags gave him only one crack at the end zone when it was first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. White stopped Fournette for a 1-yard loss before Minshew threw incomplete, then was picked off by Sean Murphy-Bunting. Tampa Bay’s offense went nowhere, but Pinion boomed a 63-yard punt and a subsequent penalty pinned the Jags back to their own 30 with 4:45 remaining.

* Tampa Bay was the smarter, more aggressive side Sunday, but the Jaguars didn’t help themselves. In fact, they looked a lot like the Bucs during some of Tampa Bay’s losses. Four giveaways and 16 penalties will bury you almost every time.

* Tampa Bay’s ground game remains a work in progress. Peyton Barber ran hard, but 44 yards in 17 carries is meager production. As for Ronald Jones, he was an afterthought after carrying 6 times for 8

yards. That’s when Arians decided to deliver a terse message: “Ronald Jones missed a blitz pickup and that is it,” Arians said. “You don’t get to play anymore.” In half of their games this season, the Bucs have rushed for less than 100 yards … not good enough.

* Tampa Bay has consistently been winning the third-down battles during the past 7 games. In that span, the Bucs have converted 43-of-102 on the money down (42 percent) while opponents have been successful on only 26-of-89 tries (29 percent).

* For the fourth time this season, all on the road, Winston did not throw a pick. He generally made smart decisions and the lack of a credible ground game hurt the effectiveness of his play-action. He did a nice job of spreading the ball around and avoided putting his targets in vulnerable positions.

* Barber opened the scoring with a 15-yard run that featured textbook blocking. Ol’ Vince Lombardi would have been proud as the offensive line created a seal here and a seal there, providing Barber with a hole big enough to accommodate a Vita Vea TD dash.

* Don’t look now, but the Bucs are only 9 points shy of San Francisco in the race for the NFC’s No. 1 scoring offense. Tampa Bay would surely be on top if the Bucs hadn’t entered Sunday’s matchup leading the league with 27 giveaways, costing them precious possessions.

* By matching their win total for each of the past two seasons, the Bucs are likely to show some degree of improvement in Year 1 under Arians. What is evident already is the team is playing hard and this defense is hungry. The release of Vernon Hargreaves got everyone’s attention at One Buc Place. Suddenly, this entire team is attracting attention around the league as a franchise on the rise.


Ira Kaufman launched his professional NFL coverage in 1979, back when Earl Campbell was the toast of the league and Lee Roy Selmon was defensive player of the year. After a lifetime at The Tampa Tribune, “The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports” joined in July of 2016. His twice-weekly podcast and three columns per week appear here year-round and are presented by Bill Currie Ford. Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter is a regular on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio and a part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday show, in addition to his other appearances. You can hang out with Ira during every Bucs road games at Buffalo Wild Wings. His schedule is linked here.

19 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Jaguars”

  1. JP_09 Says:

    Another solid performance by the Bucs, at this point as a fan all we can ask for is improvement each week. Here’s to hoping they continue to win and finish the season strong. Finishing 9-7 with a 6 game win streak would bring a lot of confidence to the team and fans going into the offseason. Enjoy the victory, Ho Bucs!!!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m liking what I’m seeing lately from our front seven……they are helping the back end considerably…..
    We still don’t have a run game.

    We need to draft a DE/DT & RT in rounds 1 & 2……then maybe a RB

  3. '79 Defense Says:

    “Suddenly, this entire team is attracting attention around the league as a franchise on the rise.”

    One can only hope there’s actually some truth to that this time.

  4. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Lot of money to be thrown around, but not to Winston…Barrett, JPP and Suh gotta come back and continue this solid front 7!!!

  5. AMI_Chris Says:

    Typical Bucs…go 2-6, flush the season down the toilet, then show enough promise in the meaningless second half to give Gooberville (as the Big Dog would call us) some hope for next year. The win was uplifting in the short term, soul-crushing in the long term.

  6. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Bruce blah blah blah. Always the same comments. Suck it up buttercup because Winston will be here in 2020.

  7. eric Says:

    Bruce Blahak Says:
    December 2nd, 2019 at 8:18 am
    Lot of money to be thrown around, but not to Winston…Barrett, JPP and Suh gotta come back and continue this solid front 7!!!

    Let me guess you want Trash-iota lol!

  8. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Fix the OL.

  9. D-Rome Says:

    This defense is playing better without VH3bust within 500 miles of Tampa Bay.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m impressed Sage, but if you keep praising the defense and bashing the offense Joe’s gonna get beaked. After all, in JoeWorld the Bucs do have a horrific defense and our NFL-most-costly offense walks on water. The offense’s 28 giveaways now in 12 games is just the cost of doing business. And the defense’s 21 takeaways (that all benefitted the offense, but we won’t mention that) were obviously just ‘flukes’ (in JoeWorld that is).

  11. Runnerdoc Says:

    Those thinking Winston isn’t earning a payday don’t understand football, not the competitive side nor the business.

    He’s going to get paid. Barrett and Godwin are too.

    There are decisions to be made, but the basics aren’t hard.

  12. Buc believer Says:

    The Bucs ALWAYS seem to pick up their play when it matters least as far as playoffs go but when contract time comes rolling around well that’s a different story.

  13. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Buc Believer that is not true. The last several years they haven’t done much of anything down the stretch, and in Raheem’s last year they completely quit. Hopefully this is the start of something good going on in Tampa Bay. It is easy to see the progress some of these young defenders are making. White is looking like a special player already. Dean and Murphy Bunting are making strides. Whitehead appears to be turning into a quality safety. The pass rush is extremely good and Barrett was the steal of free agency. The Bucs appear to be trending in the right direction.

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    D Rome


    Defense is playing extremely well without VHG…LOL…

    but VHG is playing great for a division leader….

    VHG got the last laugh


  15. Swampbuc Says:

    From sister’s IP address.

    Bradley Pinion’s punt from the back of the end zone was the play of the day. Period. After the previous punt was a line drive that got returned 35 yards, he gave them a net 70 yard monster when they needed it the most.

    Complementary football!

  16. tnew Says:

    I like Ira and his work but he is just wrong regarding the turnovers/scoring (as are so many of you). The argument, that the Bucs would lead the league in scoring, if only they didn’t turn the ball over so much, is beyond flawed. The reason they score so many, the reason Evans and Godwin get so many yards is that this offense is a gambling style that will push the ball down field, in tight windows. If you take that aspect of the offense away, the scoring will most likely fall as well. This has been the case for the history of the game. They might win more, I will listen to that argument, but scoring and prolific passing goes hand in hand with turnovers.

  17. ocala Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    December 2nd, 2019 at 7:59 am
    I’m liking what I’m seeing lately from our front seven……they are helping the back end considerably…..
    We still don’t have a run game.
    We need to draft a DE/DT & RT in rounds 1 & 2……then maybe a RB


    I completely agree Tampabaybuc fan. The young secondary looks much improved once they got rid of the bad apple(VH3).

  18. Buc believer Says:

    @touchdown…. my point was that with four games left and the playoffs virtually unreachable whoop dee friggen doo. Should have seen play like this about 6-7 games ago. I’m REALLY tired of hearing “wait till next year”

  19. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    I don’t understand how our running game can fail so miserably against a team that’s been giving up 200 rushing yards per game. Is our offensive line really that one-dimensional?