When the Buccaneers were 4-7, a division title didn’t seem like a likely destination, but the last four weeks have changed everything in Tampa.
Mike Evans caught two touchdowns and the Bucs defense forced four turnovers as they toppled the Jaguars for a 30-12 home victory. The win, which was their fourth in a row, brings them to 8-7 and they will win the division for the third year in a row provided they win one of their next two games. They host the Saints in Week 17 and visit the Panthers in Week 18.
Evans scored both of his touchdowns in the first half as the Bucs used their veteran receiver and three takeaways on defense to take a 20-0 lead after 30 minutes of play. Evans finished the day with seven catches for 86 yards and quarterback Baker Mayfield continued his own streak, going 26 of 35 for 283 yards.
Linebacker Devin White put a tumultuous week behind him with an interception that set up White’s first score and a half-sack. Safety Antoine Winfield suffered an interception and a sack, but his condition will be one to monitor after he left for evaluation of a concussion in the second half.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence returned from a concussion to start Sunday, but he didn’t appear to be 100 percent. He threw both interceptions and lost a fumble before leaving the game with a shoulder injury as the Jags led 30-6 in the second half. It’s the third straight injury week for Lawrence — he suffered a sprained ankle in Week 14 — and the fourth straight loss for the reeling Jaguars.
They are now 8-6, which leaves them with the same record as the Colts and Texans. They have a home date against the 2-13 Panthers next week and that would usually prompt a sigh of relief, but there’s little about the Jaguars right now that suggests they can be considered a value sure to win any match.
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