Jacksonville backup quarterback Luke McCown showed his team the way to the end zone and a 19-13 preseason victory over Tampa Bay Saturday night.
Jacksonville moved the ball consistently with starter David Garrard at quarterback. But it settled for field goals on three promising drives and had its best possession of the night turned back by a goal-line interception that linebacker Barrett Ruud returned 80 yards to set up Tampa Bay’s only touchdown.
Garrard played into the third quarter and completed 24 of 31 passes for 211 yards and one interception. He completed 15 of his first 17 passes for 134 yards and was 4 of 4 in marching the Jaguars into scoring position.
McCown gave the Jaguars some relief from their frustration, throwing a 27-yard TD pass to John Matthews on his first attempt of the night to put Jacksonville up 16-13 late in the third quarter. Josh Scobee’s fourth field goal provided the final margin of victory.
The Jaguars played without running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who sat out three days of practice last week and did not make the trip to Tampa. The Pro Bowler’s agent said the fifth-year pro is not injured and that the Jaguars were holding him out of the final two preseason games for "precautionary reasons."
Jacksonville was also without all three starting linebackers — Daryl Smith, Kirk Morrison and Justin Durant. Tight end Marcedes Lewis left in the first half with a sprained ankle and did not return.