Jacksonville Jaguars Considered As Favorite By NFL Sportsbooks Over Tampa Bay Buccaneers In Saturday’s Pre-Season Game

August 26, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

After a close loss to their nearby rival Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars will take on another in-state opponent when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium Saturday night. The Jaguars feel they have something to prove after finishing at the bottom of the AFC South with a 7-9 record, and 3-3 in the division.

The Buccaneers won only three games last season, and finished in last place in the NFC South with a 1-4 division record. An overtime win against the eventual Super Bowl champions New Orleans Saints at the end of the year was the only consolation for rookie Josh Johnson and the franchise.

Bodog sportsbook has set the Jaguars as three-point road favorites when they roll into Tampa Bay, and the line has been seen anywhere from two and 2 1/2 points. USA welcome sportsbooks have set the over/under at 36 1/2 points.

The Jaguars will hope to have Maurice Jones-Drew back in the lineup after an unreported ailment kept him out of practice Wednesday. If he cannot make the list, Rashad Jennings will try to lead the team in rushing as he did against the Dolphins. Mike Sims-Walker is racking up impressive pre-season numbers in his fifth year out of Central Florida, and he is followed closely by the likes of Jarett Dillard and Mike Thomas. David Garrard continues to be the unquestioned starter, while Luke McCown is firmly holding the backup spot on the 2010 Jacksonville Jaguars season preview. Putting pressure on the two quarterbacks will be first round draft pick Gerald McCoy out of Oklahoma, who is projected to earn a starting spot on the defensive line. behind him will be Quincy Black and Geno Hayes. Both players saw significant playing time in last week’s win against the Kansas City Chiefs. Derrick Roberson and Brandon Anderson both had interceptions for the ‘Bucs last week, and Ronde Barber will be entering his 15th season with the franchise.

Johnson will not likely make an appearance after suffering a thumb injury against the Chiefs. That leaves the door wide open for Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter to fight for the backup role. They will looking for Michael Spurlock, who had a 53-yard reception for a touchdown in last week’s game. Tight end Kellen Winslow is expected to remain on the bench for the duration of the pre-season. Running back Derrick Ward is also listed as questionable for the game against the Jaguars, and Kareem Huggins will look to move up on the depth chart ahead of him because of his injury. Carnell Williams remains the projected starting running back when looking at the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season preview. Looking to step up their play on the defensive line will be Derrick Harvey along with Terrance Knighton, who started all 16 games for the ‘Jags last season. Kirk Morrison was added from the Oakland Raiders last season at linebacker along with Freddy Keiaho and Teddy Lehman. The team is looking for Reggie Nelson to win back his free safety job after being benched late last year for Anthony Smith.

Josh Scobee made his only field goal attempt from 38 yards against the Dolphins, and Connor Barth was 2-2 with a long of 36. A bright spot on the special teams for the Jaguars has been Deji Karim with 142 return yards in last week’s match up.

The forecast for Saturday’s game is not looking to be favorable football weather as there are storms out in the Gulf of Mexico. There is a 60 percent chance of rain, with the winds out of the Northeast at 11 mph. The high is set at 88 degrees, and the low currently rests at 77.

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