clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL picks and predictions, Jaguars vs. Buccaneers 2015: Bucs are slight favorites in a toss-up affair

The outcome will likely be determined by which young, struggling quarterback limits his mistakes.

The result of Sunday's contest between the Jaguars and Buccaneers will probably come down to which struggling young quarterback plays better. Both Blake Bortles and No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston have taken their lumps this season, as they look to develop more consistency now that the second quarter of the season is upon us.

Bortles enjoyed perhaps the best half of his young NFL career last Sunday against the Colts, completing 14 of 18 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown in the game's opening two quarters. The Jaguars almost ousted the Colts in Indianapolis, but rookie kicker Jason Myers missed two late field goal attempts. Like many clubs in Week 4, the Jaguars' special teams failed them in a big way.

Bortles' numbers so far this season are similar to the statistics he posted in his rookie campaign, and his completion percentage is actually four points lower. But he has cut down on his mistakes, posting a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio through four weeks after throwing six more picks than touchdowns last year.

Interceptions have plagued Winston this season, as he's thrown a league-leading seven in four games, including a pick-six in the Bucs' loss last week to the Panthers. Winston has also only completed 54.9 percent of his passes in 2015.

Though running back Doug Martin rushed for over 100 yards last week, the onus may be on Winston to win this game for Tampa Bay. The Jaguars have the fourth-best run defense in the league, surrendering only 83 yards on the ground per contest.

Conversely, it could be a big day for rookie Jacksonville running back T.J. Yeldon, who gained 105 yards on 22 carries last week. The Buccaneers have allowed more than 130 yards on the ground per game this season.

In addition to Yeldon, the Jags will probably look to get second-year wideout Allen Hurns involved in the offense early on. He had a career-high 11 catches against the Colts last week. But it's worth noting the Bucs have the second-best pass defense in the league.

The outcome of Sunday's matchup between these two 1-3 teams is close to a toss-up. Five out of our eight experts say the Bucs will win at home, whereas six out of CBS' eight analysts like Jacksonville to walk away victorious.

Ryan Van Bibber Stephen White Joel Thorman David Fucillo Danny Kelly Matt Ufford PFT Commenter OddsShark Computer
JAX @ TB TB TB JAX TB TB JAX JAX TB