Final

Jaguars 24

(5-2, 3-0 away)

Buccaneers 23

(4-4, 3-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:05 PM ET, October 28, 2007

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
JAX 7 10 0 724
TB 3 10 10 023

Top Performers

Passing: J. Garcia (TB) - 267 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: F. Taylor (JAX) - 24 CAR, 68 YDS

Receiving: J. Galloway (TB) - 6 REC, 115 YDS, 1 TD

Jags defense snuffs out Bucs, pick-free streak of Garcia

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Quinn Gray slept well the night before his first NFL start. When he found out Jacksonville quarterback coach Mike Shula did the same, he felt even better.

"If he didn't get any sleep, I probably would have been like 'Oh, here we go,'" the seldom-used backup said after helping the Jaguars rebound from a tough loss and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-23 on Sunday.

"For some reason I was able to be comfortable. First of all, I knew we were going to run the ball a lot. That was comforting. But at the same time, when my number was called, I was able to deliver a little bit."

With Gray replacing injured David Garrard, the Jaguars put their trust in a vibrant running game and sturdy defense that forced three turnovers and scored a touchdown to help the inexperienced quarterback.

Although the plan didn't work to perfection, it was effective enough to bolster the Jaguars' belief that Gray can help the team stay afloat while Garrard is sidelined up to a month with a sprained left ankle.

"Obviously we did things to minimize the burden that was going to be placed on him, knew that we wanted to play to our defense and run the ball," Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said, adding that the best thing about Gray's performance is "he's 1-0."

The fourth-year pro overthrew open receivers most of the game, but made several key completions when his team needed them most, including an 8-yard touchdown throw to Matt Jones that put the Jaguars (5-2) ahead for good with 11:37 to go.

The Jacksonville defense, which ended Jeff Garcia's long streak of consecutive passing attempts without an interception, made the slender lead stand by forcing two punts and intercepting Garcia for a third time the rest of the way.

Gray was 7-of-16 for 100 yards, but did not throw an interception. One of his biggest plays came in the third quarter when he fumbled in his own end zone, but recovered and crawled out to the 1-yard line to avoid a safety.

"They don't trust their quarterback to throw the football. We knew that," Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber said.

"It was on us to stop the run. Those were going to be our big plays. At times it was good enough, at times it wasn't. Two drives in particular, they just ran it down our throat, and that's what we can't do in a situation like this."

Garcia threw a 58-yard TD pass to Joey Galloway to help Tampa Bay (4-4) overcome a 17-3 deficit. Michael Bennett's 19-yard TD run put the Bucs ahead 20-17, and Matt Bryant's third field goal made it 23-17 before Gray led an eight-play, 53-yard drive that Jones finished with a one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone.

Garcia, who had not thrown an interception in Tampa Bay's first seven games, had a streak of 217 consecutive passes without a pick stopped when Aaron Glenn stepped in front of a sideline throw intended for Galloway. He returned it 28 yards for a second-quarter TD.

Gray's inexperience showed when he replaced Garrard during last Monday night's 29-7 loss to Super Bowl champion Indianapolis. He threw two interceptions and was limited to 56 yards passing, however the Jaguars were confident he would play better with five days to prepare for Tampa Bay.

The Bucs defense has a history of feasting on young quarterbacks, a group that's included Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper and J.P. Losman among others over the past 12 seasons under defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Gray is 28 years old, but before Sunday had only gotten into five games over four NFL seasons.

Jacksonville was determined to take the pressure off him by feeding the Bucs a steady diet of running backs Fred Taylor, LaBrandon Toefield and Maurice Jones-Drew, who played despite being limited in practice all week after injuring his left knee against the Colts.

The Jaguars opened the game by running on 15 of their first 16 offensive plays, the lone pass a middle screen that Jones-Drew turned into a 15-yard gain to the Tampa Bay 1. Toefield scored on the next play for a 7-3 lead.

John Carney's 41-yard field goal made it 10-3 midway through the second quarter, and it looked like Jacksonville's game plan had a real good chance of succeeding when Glenn made an excellent break on his interception and raced to the end zone untouched to put the Jaguars up by two touchdowns.

"He just did a great job of jumping the route," Garcia said.

Jacksonville was outgained 385 yards to 219, but was able to help Gray by rushing for 133 yards. Taylor had 68 yards on 24 carries, Jones-Drew gained 48 on 10 attempts and Toefield ran six times for 12 yards.

Garcia was 19-of-41 for 267 yards and was sacked twice. The Bucs, who have lost three of four, fell for the second straight week despite compiling a huge advantage in yardage. They outgained Detroit 422-278 the previous game.

Game notes


Taylor moved within 73 yards of becoming the 21st player in NFL history with 10,000 yards rushing. ... The Jaguars, who improved to 3-0 on the road, began the NFL's only three-game road trip this season. ... Glenn, making his first start of the season, went to the locker room for intravenous fluids after cramping in the third quarter. ... Bucs special teams standout Torrie Cox left in the first half with a knee injury and did not return.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
JAX
TB
1st Downs1218
Passing 1st downs
612
Rushing 1st downs
65
1st downs from penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
4-164-14
4th down efficiency
2-30-1
Total Plays6264
Total Yards219385
Yards per play3.56.0
Total Drives1514
Passing86249
Comp-Att
7-1619-41
Yards per pass
4.85.8
Interceptions thrown
03
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-142-18
Rushing133136
Rushing Attempts
4421
Yards per rush
3.06.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-21-3
Penalties5-457-74
Turnovers03
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
03
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession32:0527:55

Passing Leaders

JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Gray7/161006.3102-14
TBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Garcia19/412676.5132-18

Rushing Leaders

JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor24682.8012
Jones-Drew10484.8021
TBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Graham14624.4014
Garcia44511.3021

Receiving Leaders

JAXRECYDSAVGTDLG
Estandia13030.0030
Jones11818.0018
TBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Galloway611519.2158
Stovall5479.4013

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERJAXTB
tbFG7:32Matt Bryant 44 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 44 yds, 3:45
03
jaxTD1:36LaBrandon Toefield, 1 yd run (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 50 yds, 5:55
73
SECOND QUARTERJAXTB
jaxFG7:30John Carney 41 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 34 yds, 2:11
103
jaxTD7:18Aaron Glenn, 28 yd interception return (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 28 yds, 0:00
173
tbTD5:58Joey Galloway, 58 yd pass from Jeff Garcia (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 81 yds, 1:24
1710
tbFG0:19Matt Bryant 22 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 57 yds, 1:46
1713
THIRD QUARTERJAXTB
tbTD3:29Michael Bennett, 19 yd run (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 33 yds, 1:24
1720
tbFG0:11Matt Bryant 42 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 1:34
1723
FOURTH QUARTERJAXTB
jaxTD11:45Matt Jones, 8 yd pass from Quinn Gray (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 53 yds, 3:28
2423