Bucs face important game vs. Jags

by Gary Shelton on December 23, 2023

in general

Evans needs big game./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

The answer is all inside of Trevor Lawrence’s head, of course.

When you look at Sunday’s  game between Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, the main subject is Trevor Lawrence’s concussion. It’s left him questionable for the game, even though he practiced Friday. How big a deal is that? Consider this: Lawrence has thrown for 18 touchdowns this year; his backup, C.J. Beathard, has thrown 14 passes.

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So yeah, it’s kind of important. With Lawrence, the Jags have one more win, and they’re tied for the AFC South lead. Without him, even the Bucs corners should be able to keep from flaming out.

That said, however, Lawrence’s injury isn’t the only problem the  Jags have.

They’ve lost three straight, and they’ve given up 86 points (and 1,226 yards) in the slide. They haven’t been the same team that won seven of eight earlier in the season.

Of course, if the Bucs could beat the Jags, it would be the only time this year they’ve beaten a team that currently has a winning record.

Still, there is reason to hope. The Bucs are on a three-game winning streak, and they’re coming off their best game of the season. Baker Mayfield was perfect. Chris Godwin was dangerous. Rachaad White was efficient, And so on.

Other Bucs who need a big game? Antoine Winfield. Mike Evans. Tristan Wirfs Cade Otton. Lavonte David. Vita Vea.

Of course, the Bucs need more of a pass rush. They need to do a good job along the line. And Mayfield needs to be good again,

Can all of that happen?

Depends on how Lawrence’s head feels.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 23, Jacksonville 21,

In other NFL games:

Atlanta 24, Indianapolis 21.

Green Bay 27, Carolina 24.

Miami 30, Dallas 28.

Philadelphia 30, New York Giants 10.

San Francisco 28, Baltimore 23.

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