Buccaneers defeat Titans to end four-game slide

Buccaneers defeat Titans to end four-game slide

Baker Mayfield threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 20-6 win over the Tennessee Titans in Tampa, Fla.

Mayfield completed 18 of 29 passes with an interception as the Buccaneers improved to 4-5 and moved within a game of first-place New Orleans, pending the outcome of the Saints’ game in Minnesota.

Tennessee quarterback Will Levis connected on 19 of 39 passes for 199 yards with an interception in his third NFL start. Levis was sacked four times and hurried on other throws as the Titans’ makeshift offensive line experienced issues protecting him.

Those issues cropped up on the game’s first drive when Tennessee (3-6) reached the Tampa Bay 9-yard line before Levis was nailed for a 9-yard loss by Vita Vea on third-and-goal. Nick Folk got three points out of the march with a 38-yard field goal at the 8:34 mark.

Mayfield gave the Buccaneers the lead for good with 5:39 left in the first half by connecting with Rachaad White on a 43-yard touchdown pass that polished off an 85-yard drive.

Tampa Bay added to its lead in the third quarter. Chase McLaughlin connected on a 25-yard field goal with 10:42 on the clock, finishing a 68-yard drive. On its next possession, Mayfield found Mike Evans for a 22-yard scoring strike that capped an 80-yard march, putting the Buccaneers ahead 17-3. Evans caught six passes for 143 yards.

The Titans mounted a promising drive late in the third quarter and early in the fourth period that got to the 9 before stalling. They elected to kick a field goal and Folk delivered from 27 yards out with 12:54 left. However, Tampa Bay melted nearly six minutes of clock before McLaughlin hit from 35 yards out with 7:01 left for the game’s final points.

The Buccaneers limited Tennessee to 209 total yards. Titans running back Derrick Henry managed only 24 yards on 11 rushes.