TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Baker Mayfield threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns Sunday to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stop a four-game losing streak with a 20-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Rachaad White turned a first-quarter screen pass into a 43-yard TD. Mike Evans redeemed himself from dropping a pass in the end zone with a 22-yard scoring catch and finished with six receptions for 143 yards for the Bucs (4-5).
A week after yielding five TD passes and a NFL rookie record 470 yards through the air to Houston's C.J. Stroud, the Bucs' defense fared much better against another first-year quarterback, Will Levis, who was sacked four times and intercepted once while failing to get his team into the end zone.
Mayfield completed 18 of 29 passes and shrugged off a first-quarter interception to end Tampa Bay's longest skid since 2019.
Tennessee (3-6) lost for the fourth time in five games following a 2-2 start. The Titans have dropped eight straight on the road dating to last season.
Levis led a field goal drive on Tennessee's first possession but finished 19 of 39 for 199 yards in his third pro start — and his first since coach Mike Vrabel announced the second-round draft pick was replacing an injured Ryan Tannehill as the No. 1 quarterback moving forward.
An injury-weakened offensive line struggled to protect the rookie, and Levis got little help from a running game that produced 42 yards on 16 carries.
Nick Folk kicked field goals of 38 and 35 yards for the Titans, who haven't won a road game since a prime-time victory at Green Bay last Nov. 17.
Levis fell to 1-2 as a starter. In his three starts, the 33rd overall pick has thrown for 699 yards, four TDs and two interceptions.
Evans' TD catch put the Bucs up 17-3 late in the third quarter. He caught the ball at the Titans 5 and dragged cornerback Kristian Fulton into the end zone. Earlier, Evans forced his team to settle for a field goal when he dropped a pass in the back of the end zone.
Titans: With LT Nicholas Petit-Frere already out after being placed on injured reserve, the Titans played without two starting offensive linemen. RG Daniel Brunskill (ankle) was ruled out earlier in the week. Backup Andre Dillard started in place of Petit-Frere but left in the second quarter with a concussion. CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (thumb) was also inactive. LB Chance Campbell, who was signed to the active roster from the practice squad, was injured during pregame warmups.
Buccaneers: CB Carlton Davis III (toe) and LG Matt Feiler (knee) were inactive. CB Jamel Dean cleared concussion protocol and started.
Titans: Remain on the road next Sunday against AFC South rival Jacksonville, finishing a stretch of three consecutive games away from Nashville.
Buccaneers: Play four of their next five on the road, beginning at San Francisco next Sunday.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
Fred Goodall, The Associated Press