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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Jackson wide-open early, quiet late in loss to Rams



ST. LOUIS -- The Bucs saw top receiver Vincent Jackson surprisingly wide-open early in Sunday's game against the Rams, but couldn't find the same connection in the second half, with just one catch after halftime the Bucs' loss.

"I don't think in the second half, many people were targeted," coach Greg Schiano said. "We only threw the ball 26 times (10 in the second half), so there were not that many opportunities for Vincent."

Jackson, drawing extra coverage from defenses as the team's leading downfield target, got open for catches of 22 and 30 yards on the Bucs' touchdown drive on their second possession. And just before halftime, he and rookie quarterback Mike Glennon connected again, with gains of 19 and 11 yards to set up a field goal on the final play of the half.

In the second half, however, Jackson only had one catch, and that with 3:15 left in the game. When the Bucs got to the 13-yard line in the third quarter with a chance to take the lead, Glennon looked for him in the corner of the end zone, but the pass was knocked down by Rams corner Janoris Jenkins.

Jackson has now reset his career high in catches in each of his two seasons with the Bucs, getting 72 last year and now 73 in 2013. He finished with 98 yards on Sunday, and if he does that again in the finale against the Saints, he'll have the Bucs' third-best season ever in receiving yards, trailing only his 1,384 yards last year and Mark Carrier's 1,422 in 1989. Jackson was not available for comment after the game.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 22, 2013 6:23pm]


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