For the first time since 1987, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick and selected former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The area is abuzz with excitement for the Bucs news quarterback, one the fans and the organization hope becomes a franchise quarterback, and can lead the Buccaneers back to the playoffs for the first time since Jon Gruden roamed the sidelines at Raymond James Stadium.
PewterReport.com has chronicled Winston’s practice reports throughout training camp and the preseason, and now breaks down his performances in the regular season games.
Winston’s First Drive – Bears 0, Bucs 0
Winston’s first pass to Donteea Dye was incomplete. On third-and-13, Winston found Mike Evans for a gain of 16 and a first down at the Tampa Bay 31. On second-and-12, Winston scrambled for a gain of four yards. On third-and-8, Winston ran for a 7-yard gain, but was tackled a yard short of the first down.
Winston was 1-of-2 for 16 yards and two carries for 11 yards
Winston’s Second Drive – Bears 0, Bucs 0
After a blocked punt by linebacker Jeremiah George gave Tampa Bay a first down at the Chicago 4, Martin ran the ball for a touchdown to go up 7-0.
Winston did not have any stats on this drive
Winston’s Third Drive – Bucs 7, Bears 0
Martin rushed for six yards before Winston hit Luke Stocker with a gain of seven yards on a tight end screen to pick up a first down at the Tampa Bay 23. Winston then hit for 16 yards and a first down at the Tampa Bay 39. On second-and-5, Winston’s pass to Martin was deflected, but on third-and-5 left tackle Donovan Smith was flagged for hands to the face, which negated a 9-yard pass that would have picked up a first down. On third-and-15, Winston’s pass was almost intercepted.
Winston was 2-of-4 for 23 yards
Winston’s Fourth Drive – Bucs 7, Bears 7
Winston hit Evans with a gain of 15 yards on first down. On second-and-8 from the Tampa Bay 49, Winston found Martin on a screen pass for a gain of six yards, but Martin fumbled the ball at the Chicago 45.
Winston was 2-of-2 for 21 yards
Winston’s Fifth Drive – Bears 10, Bucs 7
Winston was incomplete on second-and-4, and on third down he was sacked by Pernell McPhee to set up fourth-and-14 and a punt.
Winston was 0-of-1 for 0 yards and was sacked once
Winston’s Sixth Drive – Bears 13, Bucs 7
Winston kneeled the ball down for a loss of one yard to end the first half.
Winston with one carry for minus-1 yard
Bucs RB Charles Sims – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Winston’s Seventh Drive – Bears 13, Bucs 7
Martin started the second half with five carries for 28 yards before Winston hit Charles Sims for a 50-yard touchdown to give Tampa Bay a 14-13 lead.
Winston was 1-of-1 for 50 yards and a touchdown
Winston’s Eighth Drive – Bucs 14, Bears 13
On second-and-12, Winston’s deep pass to Evans was underthrown and broken up. On third down, Winston’s pass to Evans was complete for 14 yards and a first down. Winston connected with Austin Seferian-Jenkins for 17 yards before finding tight end Cameron Brate for a 32-yard gain down to the Chicago 11. On second-and-11, Winston’s pass was incomplete, and on third down, Winston’s pass to Sims was intercepted at the 1-yard line and intercepted by safety Harold Jones-Quartey, who returned the pick 23 yards to the Chicago 24.
Winston was 3-of-6 for 63 yards with one interception
Winston’s Ninth Drive – Bucs 14, Bears 13
On the first play of the drive Martin was stopped for no gain and fumbled.
Winston did not have any stats on this drive
Winston’s Tenth Drive – Bears 20, Bucs 14
On first down, Winston hit Humphries with 10 yards on first down. On second-and-9, Evans dropped a deep ball, and on the next play, Dye was underthrown deep and the pass was broken up to force a three-and-out.
Winston was 1-of-3 for 10 yards
Winston’s Eleventh Drive – Bears 23, Bucs 14
Sims rushed for a gain of nine yards before breaking off a gain of 29 yards down to the Chicago 42. On second-and-10, Winston fired an 18-yard pass to Russell Shepard. On first down at the Chicago 24, Winston’s pass to Martin was incomplete. On the next play, Humphries feet got tangled up and Winston’s pass was incomplete. On third down, Winston picked up a bad snap by center Joe Hawley and was tackled for a loss of 10 yards. That set up a 52-yard field goal into the wind that was missed.
Winston was 1-of-3 for 18 yards and a run for minus-10 yards
Winston’s Twelfth Drive – Bears 26, Bucs 14
Winston hit Dye for a gain of 15 yards and a first down, and then followed that up with a toss to Sims for 12 yards. After an incompletion to Evans, Winston found Sims for 10 yards and then spiked the ball at the Chicago 43. With 10 seconds left, Winston heaved the ball down field and Seferian-Jenkins caught the Hail Mary touchdown with one second left.
Winston was 4-of-6 for 80 yards and a touchdown
Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Winston’s final stats looked solid. He completed 15-of-29 passes for 295 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 96.2 QB rating. But a closer look reveals he had an average game. His second touchdown pass was a 43-yard Hail Mary to Seferian-Jenkins, and he threw a red zone interception – his first of the year – when the Bucs were about to increase their 14-13 lead in the third quarter. Winston was being pressured and threw off his back foot. His pass to Sims sailed high and was picked off by Harold Jones-Quartey at the Chicago 1-yard line.
“You can’t throw it, period,” Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said. “He wasn’t trying to throw it to them, for sure. Bad play on our part.”
“Trying to get somebody to make a play in the end zone,” Winston said.
The Bucs’ rookie quarterback had some success throwing some jump balls earlier in the game. He found Sims for a 50-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to allow Tampa Bay to retake the lead, and then hit Brate with a 43-yard pass later that quarter.
“I was happy that Cam made a heck of a play,” Winston said. “I looked back at the ref; I mean, I don’t know how many times you’re going get hit to the head and [aren’t] going to get a call, but that’s how it is. That’s how it is. People playing hard, we’re playing fast, and I’ve just got to lock in and can’t turn the football over in the red zone. That’s it – that’s all on me.”
Sims’ jump ball resulted in a 50-yard touchdown that gave the second-year running back a team-high five receiving scores this year.
“You all can attest to me, every time I’m in here and you all talk about Doug [Martin] and Doug having a great game, the next thing that comes out of my mouth is ‘Charles Sims is a great complement to Doug Martin,’” Winston said. “Those two guys make our team go. When they’re playing a great game, we’re doing good. On that drive, it was Doug and Charles Sims. That’s our identity. We give everybody the ball, everybody has to make plays for us, I have to be on top of my game – the offensive line has been solid the whole year. So it’s up to me and the skill [players] to help us move and win the games.”
But for those successes, Winston also had a couple of failed deep ball attempts. In the fourth quarter with the Bucs trailing by six points, Winston’s pass to Evans, who had a step on a Bears defender, was off the mark. On the next play, Winston underthrew a wide-open Dye and the pass was batted down, forcing a three-and-out. Winston said he continues to work on his deep ball accuracy.
“That’s something that I work on every day at practice, and that’s what I was just talking about – making the plays,” Winston said. “If I want to be good in this league I have to make those throws, and the good quarterbacks in the league make those throws and complete those throws. So, like I said, that’s a learning tool for me. I’ve got to make those throws. When you’ve got Mike Evans, and arguably one of the fastest guys on our team [Dye] wide open, you’ve got to put it in the bread basket and those have got to be touchdowns.”
Winston’s last deep ball – a 43-yard Hail Mary to Seferian-Jenkins – did hit the mark, though, as the second-year tight end hauled in his fourth touchdown of the season.
“It just shows the personnel that we have,” Winston said. “Austin made two big catches for us today and he wanted it. He went up there and boxed the guy out and made the play. He’s a great player and that’s what he does.”
Winston wasn’t terribly sharp on Sunday despite the two scores. He was barely above 50 percent and didn’t make many magical plays against Chicago that he’s becoming known for as the Bucs slid to 6-9 on the year with the loss.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“We’ve just got to bounce back,” Winston said. “It’s the NFL; sometimes this stuff happens. Obviously, we don’t want it to happen to us, but it happened. We’ve got to be accountable and every one of those games, it’s our fault. You can pick two or three plays to say, ‘This could’ve changed the game,’ and that’s what this game comes down to and that comes in my development as a quarterback, especially today – just making the throw. If you want to be great, if you want to have a great team, you’ve got to make every single play count.”
PewterReport.com Analysis: It was another slow start for Winston, who passed for 60 yards in the first half and 235 yards in the second half to finish with just under 300 yards. Winston’s red zone interception in the third quarter was costly as the Bucs seemingly had a field goal in their back pocket even if the drive stalled. That would have given Tampa Bay a four-point lead. Instead, the Bucs would never lead again after going up 14-13. Winston has become much more careful with the football over the second half of the season despite the pick against the Bears, and it was exciting to see him throw deep a lot more in the second half and find some success. Ending the game with an 80-yard touchdown drive capped off by his first Hail Mary TD was an encouraging step for a young, developing quarterback.
Winston’s Final Stats: 15-of-29 for 295 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a QB rating of 96.2 with one sack and four carries for 10 yards
PewterReport.com Game Grade: B-
Scott Reynolds is in his 22nd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following up on our talented QB’s march into the record books, he has already set Bucs rookie records for most passing yards at 3,422 and for most passing TDs at 20. Sunday he threw for another 295 yards and 2 TDs.
He has one game to go and needs only 23 yards to pass Peyton Manning’s rookie record at 3,739 – pretty sure he does this. With 335 yards, he passes Cam Newton’s rookie record of 4,051 yards – tall order, but doable. He did 363 in a loss to the Rams last week. If he accomplishes this, he would pass the 4,000 yard mark and end up only 2nd to Andrew Luck who threw for 4,374 in 2012.
If Winston throws 2 more TDs, he passes Andrew Luck for 3rd place all time, who threw 23 TDs in 2012. If he throws 4 more TDs, he ties Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson for most TDs for a rookie since 1970.
We probably won’t win the Carolina game as they have to play their starters because they still haven’t locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But if he works on the deep ball and our WRs hold on to a few more catchable balls, everything above can be done. If we gon’ win, we gon’ win big then! Go for it Jaboo!
Way to hard on Winston. Yes he made a mistake with the interception; he hadn’t done that kind of mistake since the Titan game. Winston is a leader and should be more recognized for it. My goodness Pewter Report
don’t some of you understand leadership? Too bad Lovie can’t learn anything from Jameis because of his arrogance. Players will listen to him if they too won’t to try their best. Sounds to me that not all haven’t experienced being pushed to do your best.
Saw another interesting stat today… If the Bucs lose to Carolina, they’ll be the first team since the 1970 merger to finish last in their division five years in a row. I dig the enthusiasm, Mac! I’m just happy that my one question before the season started was answered… “Franchise.”
Stats and draft position are all we have to look forward to. An over haul at HC would be nice, as well as his son and the DB coaches. Penalties and the “sieve the day” pass defense sank the Bucs’ ship. Jameis will only get better, but the team won’t win much with Lovie’s D.
I would say that either Winston really misses Vjax or the Bucs offense has hit that proverbial rookie walk. Probably a combination of both.
I know it has become somewhat fashionable out here to bash Evans, but on the tenth drive you have him dropping a ball.
How do you drop something that never hit your hands.
Just watched the 10th drive on NFL rewind and I was correct. The ball did not hit Evans hands but it did glance off his fingertips.
If the ball had been thrown over his left shoulder instead of his right he would have had a better chance of snagging the ball.
What was even worse was listening to Matt Millen talk about how Evans should have caught the ball.
Millen makes about as much sense judging catchable balls as he did making draft choices for the Lions.
Even worse was the deep ball to Dontae Dye which he actually did drop. The ball came down into his hands, bounced out and that was when the Chicago defender knocked it away,
But even worse on the play was the blocking of Demar Dotson. The reason the ball was underthrown was Dotson completely whiffed on a block on a late blitz.
At one point Dotson gets totally turned around for some reason by his own momenturm which gave the blitzer time to get to Winston untouched.
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