JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Blake Bortles threw two touchdowns passes in three drives and gave the Jacksonville Jaguars an early lead against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who rallied to win 27-21 in the preseason Saturday night.
Second in the NFL last season with 35 TD passes, Bortles connected with T.J. Yeldon for a 14-yard score in the first quarter and then lofted a 24-yarder to Allen Hurns in the back of the end zone in the second.
Bortles completed 8 of 11 passes for 85 yards, with no sacks and few mistakes.
Jameis Winston had a slow start, misfiring on his first six passes, but rebounded against Jacksonville’s second-team defense and found Mike Evans on a fade route for a 4-yard score. Winston finished 3-of-10 passing for 28 yards, with an interception.
Tampa Bay (1-1) and Jacksonville (0-2) held two joint practices during the week, so they had plenty of in-person preparation before a mostly meaningless exhibition.
Buccaneers: First-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III had two interceptions in a span of six plays. Hargreaves stepped in front of Chad Henne’s pass late in the first half and returned it 28 yards to set up a field goal. He picked off Henne again during the opening drive of the third quarter. Roberto Aguayo missed a 32-yard field goal and a 49-yarder. A second-round pick from FSU who finished his college career as the most accurate kicker in NCAA history, Aguayo missed an extra point in the preseason opener at Philadelphia.
Jaguars: CB Jalen Ramsey, who made his NFL debut after sitting out the preseason opener, had three tackles in his first two drives. LB Myles Jack played with the second-team defense and finished with two tackles.
Buccaneers: CB Johnthan Banks, a former second-round pick who dropped on the depth chart following the additions of Hargreaves and Brent Grimes, had an interception.
Jaguars: Backup CB Dwayne Gratz, vying for a roster spot in the final year of his contract, had an interception. LG Mackenzy Bernadeau played well despite getting flagged for a false start early.
Buccaneers: RB Doug Martin (ribs) and DT Gerald McCoy (ankle), both Pro Bowlers, were held out with minor injuries. Reserve WR Evan Spencer left the game with a knee injury.
Jaguars: S Peyton Thompson and OT Jeff Linkenbach were evaluated for concussions. CB Nick Marshall left the game with a finger injury. DT Abry Jones left with a right quad contusion. LT Kelvin Beachum (knee) missed his second straight preseason game.
Buccaneers: “Well, it’s great to get points, but we should have more.” — Bucs coach Dirk Koetter on failing to score after long, opening drive.
Jaguars: “I thought the guys did a really good job of rebounding and coming back and putting up some points.” — Bortles on scoring two touchdowns after an ugly first series.
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