All Leftwich wanted was to find some rhythm in a new offense.
The Jaguars found plenty -- although most of it came against the Buccaneers' backups.
Leftwich was 6-of-12 for 81 yards, and the Jaguars beat Tampa Bay 31-19 on Saturday night. Leftwich was sacked once, hit a couple more times and nearly half his yardage came following a missed tackle.
"Sometimes you get put in a tough situation in the preseason because you don't know what the defense it doing," Leftwich said. "But we were determined to do well."
Leftwich was 2-of-6 for 12 yards in three series against Tampa Bay's first-team defense. He played long after most of the Bucs' starters were lifted and took advantage of the mismatch.
"We started off slow, but we finished the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter strong," Leftwich said.
His biggest play came on a short pass to Maurice Jones-Drew, who bounced off Adam Hayward's tackle and raced 38 yards to the 2. Fred Taylor scored on the next play to make it 7-7 early in the second quarter.
Jacksonville (1-1) scored on all four drives against Tampa Bay's backups in the first half.
"Our second-team defense hasn't shown up," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said.
Second-round draft pick Justin Durant hit Maurice Stovall on the next possession and caused a fumble that Jamaal Fudge ran back to the 5. The Jaguars settled for a field goal and a 10-7 lead.
The game got away from the Buccaneers (1-1) on the next two series.
Tampa Bay went three-and-out twice, and the Jaguars drove for two touchdowns.
"Some good things happened, and there are a lot of things we want to do a lot better," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "It was good to see a surge there at the end of the half."
LaBrandon Toefield capped a 60-yard drive with an 8-yard TD run, and backup quarterback David Garrard ran in from 3 yards out with 4 seconds remaining to make it 24-7.
Jacksonville has focused much of the preseason on fine-tuning Dirk Koetter's new offense, the third scheme in five seasons for Leftwich.
Leftwich was sharp in the opener, completing seven of 10 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. He wasn't nearly as accurate in this one, overthrowing some passes early and skipping others.
Garrard was 11-of-14 for 129 yards.
Jeff Garcia gave Tampa Bay an early lead when he scrambled right and found David Boston in the end zone.
"Garcia gives our football team something we haven't had before, and that's playmaking," Gruden said.
Garcia, who failed to pick up a first down in two series last week against New England, finished 6-of-6 for 43 yards. But he also was sacked once and fumbled a snap in three series.
"Things were better," Garcia said. "It was nice to get a scoring drive together and put some points on the board."
Luke McCown replaced Garcia and was 9-of-13 for 66 yards. Bruce Gradkowski played the fourth quarter and hooked up with Mark Jones for a 53-yard score, making it 31-13.
Gradkowski also led another scoring drive that cut it to 31-19 with 6:03 remaining.
Chris Simms, fourth on the depth chart after losing his spleen and missing most of last season, didn't get off the bench for the second consecutive game.
Although both teams sustained injuries, Jacksonville's could be considerably more significant.
First-round draft pick Reggie Nelson, already the team's starting free safety, sprained his left ankle midway through the second quarter and had to be helped to the bench. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays.
"It's a pretty (bad) ankle sprain," Del Rio said. "We have to evaluate it later."
Jacksonville guard Chris Naeole sprained his right knee and backup defensive tackle Tony McDaniel sprained his left knee.
Tampa Bay's Antoine Cash, a second-year linebacker vying for a backup spot, sprained his left knee early in the game and did not return. Reserve center Jeb Terry also was carted off the field with an injury.
Alvin Pearman capped a 95-yard drive for the Jaguars with a 1-yard run early in the fourth, making it 31-7. ... The teams fumbled a combined seven times. Tampa Bay fumbled four times and lost two of them; Jacksonville fumbled three times and lost one. ... The Jags and Bucs have played every preseason since 2002, and Jacksonville has won four in a row in the series.