Bortles Shines as Jaguars Win Over Buccaneers in Week 1

game image of Tampa Bay BuccaneersAs the preseason NFL games have begun, let's have a brief recap of the Tampa Bay and Jacksonville game from last Friday night. The Jags successfully covered the spread, winning as 2 1/2 point home favorites. The game went UNDER the 35 1/2 point line that the sportsbooks had set for the game.

Bortles Impresses in Jacksonville

The Jaguars rookie QB appears to be opting for the starting job, as he had a very solid performance against the Buccaneers. Blake Bortles threw for 117 yards and spearheaded a 2nd half drive ending with a field goal in the Jaguars 16-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bortles has been working with the 2nd unit and the young QB indicated that their chemistry was outstanding. As was to be expected, they had some good plays, some bad plays and things the players need to overcome to improve.

Quarter by Quarter Recap

In the first quarter, Jacksonville scored with a interception that was returned for 68 yards making the score 7-0. Te first points for the Bucs was a field goal that was the result of the Jaguars center snapping the ball over the quarterback's head in the shotgun formation and landed in the hands of Tampa Bay. That set up a 44 yard field goal in the second quarter, bringing the score to 7-3!

In the third quarter, the Jaguars were leading the Buccaneers 10-3. Then Tampa Bay got the ball and drove some 85 yards and tied the score at 10-10 as Tampa’s QB Glennon’s hit receiver Streeter for the a 6 yard TD catch. This was the Bucs first loss under new coach Lovie Smith as the team defense who played well in the first three quarters, sputtered in the 4th. Jaguars RB Robinson ran through the defense for a 23 yard TD run that put Jacksonville ahead with seven minutes left in the game and that was the final score, 16-10. Their starting QB Chad Henne played four series and then was replace by Bortles, a rookie who has not taken a snap with the first string offense yet this preseason. When the rookie entered the game, he was given a loud ovation by the crowd of some 59,100 fans at EverBank Field.

Many times in these games, it’s the defense against the defense and the Jaguars defense scored while the Buccaneers did not. Bucs General Manager Licht and Coach Smith spent a lot of time in free agency to bring in some four new starters for the defense and to improve the offensive line which did a poor job of protecting their QB Josh McCown in this game. QB McCown was replaced by Glennon, last year’s rookie QB who started 13 games in 2013. He was 11 of 14 for some 140 yards with no interceptions, but also no TDs.

Thus, the second team for the Jaguars played well, while the Bucs team struggled. Of course, this is why they have preseason games -- for the teams to find out where they are at in their training camps.

The Jaguars next face the Chicago Bears in Chicago in Week 2 of the preseason. For that game, the Bears are listed as a 4 point home favorite. Betting odds have the over/under set at 42 points. The Bucs play at home next, welcoming the Miami Dolphins. NFL odds have Tampa Bay as a 2 point home favorite, with the total set at 37 1/2 points.