1. Bucs

Bucs' Austin Seferian-Jenkins posts pair of TDs

Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (87) hauls in a 5 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jameis Winston in the second quarter. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (87) hauls in a 5 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jameis Winston in the second quarter. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Sep. 14, 2015

TAMPA — TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins had two touchdowns in Sunday's loss to the Titans, matching his total from his entire rookie season, but that was little consolation after the way the Bucs opened their season with a 42-14 loss to the Titans.

"I want to win. I want the W, so personally, when my head hits the pillow, I'm thinking about how we're going to get better for the New Orleans Saints," he said.

"I'm not worried about my stats. What I did is great, but we all saw the scoreboard. We lost, and the most important thing is winning."

Seferian-Jenkins finished with five catches for 110 yards — the first 100-yard game for a Bucs tight end since Kellen Winslow in 2011.

MISSING EVANS: The Bucs had to open the season without top WR Mike Evans, who was inactive with a lingering hamstring injury that sidelined him the last two games of the preseason as well.

That put more pressure on WR Vincent Jackson, who had 11 targets but just four catches for 51 yards. Louis Murphy, who stepped into a starting role with Evans out, had three passes thrown his way but caught none, and backups Russell Shepard and rookie Adam Humphries combined for 20 yards on three catches.

"Mike's a phenomenal player. Unfortunately we didn't have him," Seferian-Jenkins said. "We have to step up our game as receivers when Mike's not out there."

MOVING THE CHAINS: If the scoreboard didn't illustrate how far apart the offenses were, consider how consistently each moved the ball down the field.

Tennessee had at least three first downs on five of its first six drives, with all five finishing with touchdowns. The Bucs had more than one first down on just one drive in their first nine possessions.

LINED UP DEEP: While Humphries had been listed first on the depth chart on both return jobs, it was RB Bobby Rainey who was deep on all the Titans' punts and kickoffs. Rainey finished with 17 yards on two punt returns and averaged 27.7 yards on his three kickoff returns, with four touchbacks for the Titans.

INJURIES: LB Danny Lansanah left the game with an ankle injury in the second half and did not return. … LB Bruce Carter injured his ribs on the opening kickoff but later returned, finishing with one special-teams tackle. … S Major Wright drew a 15-yard penalty on the game's first play for a high tackle on a Titans incompletion. He later left the game with a hip injury. … In addition to Evans, the Bucs played without backup CB Mike Jenkins, who has a hamstring injury. DE T.J. Fatinikun missed the game with a shoulder injury.

THIS AND THAT: A total of 19 players made their Bucs debuts, with four rookies in the starting lineup: QB Jameis Winston, LT Donovan Smith, RG Ali Marpet and LB Kwon Alexander. Alexander tied for the team lead with five total tackles. … Largo grad Dexter McCluster made his return to the Tampa area, returning two punts for 14 yards and running twice for 8 yards for the Titans. … DE George Johnson, who had six sacks for Detroit in a reserve role last season, made his first NFL start Sunday. He finished with one tackle but did have a fumble recovery on the Bucs' lone takeaway.

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Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.


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