It’s time for PewterReport.com’s 2-Point Conversion post-game column, which features two statements, two questions and two predictions based on the latest Bucs game. Tampa Bay won its fourth game in a row behind another record-setting performance by quarterback Jameis Winston, who had four touchdown passes and a career-high 458 yards as the Bucs improved to 7-7 on the year with the chance to finish .500 or finish with a winning record. The loss was Detroit’s seventh in a row.

2 BIG STATEMENTS

STATEMENT 1: Record-Setting Winston Leads Bucs To Fourth Straight Win

Records continued to fall for both quarterback Jameis Winston and the Bucs offense in Sunday’s 38-17 win at Detroit, which was the team’s fourth straight victory as Tampa Bay improved to 7-7 on the year. Winston passed for a record 458 yards and four touchdowns in the win just a week after throwing for 456 yards and four touchdowns to beat Indianapolis.

On Sunday, Winston broke his own Tampa Bay single-season TD record of 28, which was set in 2016. Winston now has 30 touchdowns this season with two games to go. Winston trails only Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (33) for the league lead in touchdown passes.

Winston is in an unenviable position to lead the league in both touchdown passes and interceptions this year, which is a rare possibility. In fact, only three QBs since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger have led the league in touchdowns and interceptions in the same year. The first was Cleveland’s Brian Sipe in 1979 (28 TDs, 26 INTs), Lynn in 1983 (32 TDs, 29 INTs) and New Orleans’s Drew Brees in 2012 (43 TDs, 19 INTs).

The reason I bring this up is because Winston threw his NFL-leading 24th interception of the season.

It didn’t look good early on, as Winston threw that interception on Tampa Bay’s first drive of the game, but as we’ve seen so many times this year, he’s proven to be quite resilient. Winston came back on the Bucs’ second drive and threw a beautiful 34-yard touchdown strike to Breshad Perriman to give the Bucs an early 7-0 lead. Winston started the game 6-of-7 for 101 yards and a touchdown with his lone incompletion being his INT.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Getty Images

“Okay, throw an interception, get it over with and let’s go win the game,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. “I thought Jameis played really, really well. … That first quarter was lights out. Every ball was on the money. I can’t say enough about him.”

His second drive was even better. Starting at Tampa Bay’s own 1-yard, Winston helped the Bucs go 99 yards for a touchdown to go up 14-0 over Detroit. Winston connected with Chris Godwin on a 51-yard catch-and-run and then capped off the drive with a beautiful 33-yard TD pass to Scotty Miller, which was the first touchdown for the rookie in the NFL.

Even more impressive was that Winston did it without Mike Evans, spraying the ball around the field to seven different receivers in the first quarter alone. Winston passed for 221 yards in the first quarter, which was the most by any quarterback in the NFL this year, surpassing Patrick Mahommes’ 211 yards in Week 1.

Winston had over 300 yards and three touchdowns by halftime, marking the 10th 300-yard passing day he’s had this season and the 26th of his career. Winston has thrown for at least 300 yards in seven of the last eight games with his 268-yard effort at Jacksonville being the only game that didn’t meet that mark.

The second half was much more of a struggle for Winston and the Bucs offense, especially after losing Miller and Godwin to hamstring injuries. Godwin had five catches for 151 yards, while Miller had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. Tampa Bay’s offense accounted for just 10 points in the second half as Winston connected with Perriman for a third touchdown, but it was enough for the win.

Winston, who is in a contract year, has presided over the most explosive offense in franchise history this year. Tampa Bay set a franchise record for points in Detroit, surpassing the 396 points the team scored last year. With 38 points on Sunday, the Bucs now have 434 for the year, which is a new record and the first time Tampa Bay has ever eclipsed the 400-point mark in team history.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

As the wins pile up and the records fall, Winston’s stellar play down the stretch is going a long way in helping his cause to remain in red and pewter in 2020 – and perhaps beyond. On Sunday, Winston became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 450 yards or more in back-to-back games.

Another record falls, courtesy of No. 3.

“There’s more good than bad – and that’s what we’ve been looking for the whole time,” Arians said about Winston’s performance down the stretch.

And to think that Winston did this with a broken thumb while wearing a glove and a brace.

And without Evans.

Wow.

STATEMENT 2: Perriman Stating His Case To Return To Tampa Bay

Don’t look now, but the Bucs are strongly considering re-signing wide receiver Breshad Perriman, and why wouldn’t they? Perriman had a very slow start to the year in Tampa Bay with 11 catches for 139 yards and one touchdown in the first 10 games. Then Perriman exploded for eight receptions for 157 yards over the last two weeks and caught the game-winning touchdown pass in last week’s win over Indianapolis.

In Sunday’s 31-17 win at Detroit, Perriman had four catches for a career-high 88 yards and two touchdowns – at halftime. He added a 25-yard touchdown in the second half to finish with five catches for 113 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Sunday’s performance was the first 100-yard game in his five-year NFL career.

“I’m surprised it took this long, I really am,” Arians said. “I guess with Chris and Mike having the years they’ve had it’s been hard, but he had a great ball game in the last one and a great throw-and-catch [for the game-winner against the Colts]. We had him earlier and [Winston] got hit, and I thought he had a long one – a 99-yarder. Yeah, I can’t say enough about him.”

Bucs WR Breshad Perriman
Bucs WR Breshad Perriman – Photo by: Getty Images

Perriman, whose father Brett was a receiver for the Lions and had a 10-year career in Detroit, was signed to replace both third receiver Adam Humphries and speed receiver DeSean Jackson this offseason. It’s taken awhile, but he’s outperformed both.

Coming into Sunday’s game, Humphries had 37 receptions for 374 yards (10.1 avg.) and two touchdowns, while Jackson has only been active for two games due to injury and has just nine catches for 159 yards (17.7 avg.) and two touchdowns.

After Sunday’s game, Perriman now has 24 catches for 384 yards and four touchdowns. Perriman has 14 fewer catches than Humphries does, but he has 10 more yards and two more TDs. With Evans and Godwin out for the rest of the season with hamstring injuries, all of a sudden, Perriman is Jameis Winston’s No. 1 receiver.

Look for the Bucs to work to re-sign Perriman in the offseason to be the No. 3 receiver again – after he spends the next two weeks as the primary.

2 PROBING QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Did The Bucs Defense Get Overshadowed In The Win At Detroit?

Yes. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston’s record-setting performance captured the headlines, but a big part of Tampa Bay’s 21-3 halftime lead is the “three.” That 18-point differential wouldn’t exist if not for an outstanding effort by the Bucs defense.

By the time the Bucs were up 21-0 in the second quarter, Tampa Bay had out-gained Detroit 314 yards to just two yards. Lions starting quarterback David Blough, who started the year as the third-string QB, was 1-of-5 passing for 2 yards and the Lions had gained zero yards on the ground when factoring in the seven yards gained on seven carries was nullified by the 7-yard sack of Blough by Shaquil Barrett, who tied Warren Sapp’s Bucs single season sack record of 16.5.

“That’s a huge record – I don’t think we can overlook that one at all,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. “That’s big time.”

Thanks to Tampa Bay’s stingy defense, the Lions didn’t get their initial first down until the 7:17 mark of the second quarter, while they were trailing 21-0. The Lions eventually got on the board with a 44-yard field goal from Matt Prater late in the second quarter. But at halftime, the Bucs had out-gained the Lions 336-56.

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – Photo by: Getty Images

In the second half, safety Andrew Adams got his first interception of the year on Detroit’s first drive of the second half, returning it into Lions territory. The Lions threatened in the second half, and cut the Bucs’ lead to 24-17 with two touchdown drives – largely due to strong safety Jordan Whitehead going out early in the third quarter with a hamstring injury. The whole demeanor of Tampa Bay’s defense changed when Whitehead went out.

Things looked a bit grim as the Lions were driving into Bucs territory for a potentially game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter until rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting intercepted Blough and got his first pick-six, returning the ball 70 yards for a huge touchdown to give Tampa Bay a 31-17 lead with just over five minutes left. Murphy-Bunting, who was born in Macomb, Michigan, went to Central Michigan, and sealed the Bucs’ fourth win in a row.

“Obviously, Sean gets the pick-six and puts it on ice,” Arians said. “That was a huge, huge play. You know they kept throwing to the guys that can’t catch. They finally threw to the guy that can catch and he went to the house. [Jamel] Dean had the easiest pick-six he’s going to ever get and it goes through his hands, and Carlton [Davis] waves at one. It was a big, big play in the game.”

Murphy-Bunting also came up with a clutch, second-half interception at Jacksonville, and now leads the team with three INTs.

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh
Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh – Photo by: Getty Images

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was drafted by Detroit with the second overall pick in 2010, had a second half sack to aid the Bucs’ cause, and linebacker Lavonte David forced a late fumble that was recovered by rookie linebacker Devin White. David also had an interception in the fourth quarter, but it was nullified when outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul jumped offsides.

Tampa Bay’s young defense is finally learning how to shut down opponents in the second half and protect leads. Better late than never.

QUESTION 2: What Is With All Of The Bucs’ Hamstring Injuries?

That’s the big mystery this season in Tampa Bay. The pulled hamstring has been the injury with the Bucs this year, especially at wide receiver. Breshad Perriman pulled his hamstring in a Week 4 win at Los Angeles. Scotty Miller has dealt with hamstring injuries at three different points this season.

And of course Tampa Bay’s top two targets on offense, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, suffered pull hamstrings over the last two games, respectively.

Right tackle Demar Dotson suffered through a hamstring strain at midseason, and strong safety Jordan Whitehead left the Detroit game in the third quarter after pulling his hamstring. After the game, head coach Bruce Arians was asked why this particular injury has afflicted the team this year.

“We’ll be talking a lot to our sports science about it,” Arians said. “Maybe I’ve overworked them in practice – the receivers – because we need the reps. Our quarterback needs the reps. We run a little bit more [in practice] this time of year than I would probably like to do, but we need the reps.”

2 BOLD PREDICTIONS

PREDICTION 1: The Bucs’ Four-Game Winning Streak Will Be Snapped

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but with wide receivers Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller going out with hamstring injuries on Sunday, and with Mike Evans already out for the season with a hamstring injury, I don’t think the Bucs have the horses to compete with and beat Houston on a short week. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is playing out of his mind right now, but the lack of healthy, quality receivers and the Bucs’ inability to run the ball is going to come back to bite them.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs WR Chris Godwin Photo by: Getty Images

Tampa Bay won its fourth game in a row, beating an injury-depleted Detroit team. Each of the four teams the Bucs have prevailed against – Atlanta, Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Detroit – has a losing record, but the Bucs will have a real test on Saturday when they host the 9-5 Texans at Raymond James Stadium. And I’m afraid that the Bucs’ red-hot offense just won’t have enough firepower to match DeShaun Watson and Co.

“It will be a big test now – we’ll see who’s left for Houston on a short week,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said.

PREDICTION 2: Winston Will Throw For 5,000 Yards This Year

In last week’s win over Indianapolis, not only did Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston set a new personal best with 456 yards passing, but he also surpassed his franchise record of 4,090 passing yards, which he set in 2016. Winston, who has three 4,000-yard passing seasons in his five years in Tampa Bay, passed for a career-high 458 yards on Sunday in Detroit to increase his season total to 4,573 yards. And he did that with a slightly fractured right thumb on his throwing hand.

If Winston averages 214 yards per game over the last two weeks of the season he will eclipse the 5,000-yard mark, which of course, will be the first time that has been done in franchise history. In fact, that has only been accomplished 11 other times in NFL history with Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (5,129) and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (5,097) reaching the 5,000-yard mark last year.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Only seven other quarterbacks have surpassed 5,000 yards – Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Dan Marino, Matthew Stafford, Roethlisberger and Mahomes. Brees is the only quarterback with multiple 5,000-yard seasons, reaching that mark five times. Manning set the all-time record of 5,477 yards in 2013, while Marino was the first NFL QB to hit 5,000 yards with 5,084 yards in 1984.

Winston is 427 passing yards away from being in some very select company.

Previous articleBucs’ Winston Breaks Franchise And NFL Record
Next articleBucs Monday Mailbag: Are The Bucs For Real? Has Winston Done Enough?
Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

57 COMMENTS

  1. Winston has been known to pass the ball around to different receivers so you never know what he can do even when it seems the deck is stacked against him.

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  2. Hamstrings normally get pulled because they have become to tight from lack of stretching or fluids.
    Both can be easily corrected by trainers stretching the players out on the sidelines and making sure they are well hydrated.

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  3. I agree with you Scott about losing Texans game. If we had enough starting receivers I think we would have had a good chance of beating them, but not now. Anyway, you never know we could get lucky.

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  4. Here’s my bold prediction.
    Bucs win next week without Chris Godwin.
    Winston threw passes to eleven different receivers and had over three hundred yards passing without Godwin. He had four TD passes, none to Godwin.
    I wish Winston had Evans and Godwin, but he has so many weapons that he’ll do just fine without Godwin.
    It’ll be closer than this week, but a win all the same.

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  5. This guys r so leaned out that pulls and cramping r going to happen. It’s a shame because both Evans and Godwin were having such incredible seasons! So, the Bucs will be playing against a team that most feel will dominate the Bucs. Perhaps they might… but I’m gonna watch with hopes that the streak continues and the rest of the country will take note of what’s going on in Tampa! There is interest building in the Bucs again. This fan thinks that’s awesome. Let’s see what this Defense can do against a playoff caliber team. At least it’s exciting to watch the Bucs again! Go Bucs!

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    • Shaq Barrett is in line for Defensive Player of the Year and probably a lock for Comeback Player…. Bold Prediction in this short week Bucs will beat the Texans on Primetime TV this Saturday. The key will be this Defensive Front led by Shaq Barrett & Ndamukong Suh getting in the face of Deshaun Watson knocking his timing off and keeping him inside the pocket. Watson is the most dangerous QB in the league once he leaves the pocket and If we’re going to have success against them we have to contain him.
      Winston is Winston in this offense and if D Smith can come back giving Winston a little more time back there then Winston will carve up this Texans secondary. The narrative coming into the season was Winston can’t throw the “Deep Ball” which I never understood considering we had a malcontent like Djax never hustling on the team. With time Winston will hit his targets and players like Justin Watson, O.J. Howard, Perriman will look like Superstars. Bucs Win in a Shootout 42-35 with Winston Cracking the 5000 yard passing mark for the first time. Bucs Win Bucs Win!!! Pom Poms Waiving again!

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      • Yep. Texans O line is their weak point. Todd Bowles will have to exploit that to win the game. Gotta shut down DHop but they were able to shut down Julio earlier in the season, so I think it can be done.

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  6. More stretching, less exercises that build leg muscle, yoga. To hard to predict the outcomes of the last two games. Did anyone pick Atl to beat S.F. on the road? Houston, Atlanta will be two tough games that can go either way. It would be nice ending the season on a six game win streak. Winston has always had trouble throwing over LBers since his days in college. He got picked twice last week, one a pick six, by the same LB throwing over the middle. Same with his pick this week. I’m assuming JW is coming back next year, so they really need to get that out of Jameis’s game. That would eliminate at least a third of his interceptions, not throwing to LB’s.

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  7. If we all have our honest hats on here, what benefit does it serve the Bucs to win either of the next 2 games? If they are eliminated from playoff contention we should put in all backups to prevent injury and get a better draft pick. I love a Buccaneer win as much as the next man, but the good of the franchise is more than just Ws.

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    • That’s why they pulled Evans. Arians is in evaluation mode for the 3rd and 4th string receiving roster. Starting DBs are starting to blossom – no need to take them out they need the practice. Shaq Barrett is looking to set a new franchise record. I think Suh is wanting to show that he would like to stay in Tampa. Jameis is still playing for his franchise tag technically. Arians’ whole purpose in coming out of retirement to Tampa is to change the losing culture. Disagree all you want, but I’m sick and tired of that losing mentality. I’ll take 8-8 or 9-7 with signs of progress over “lets just get the best pick”. Fuck the best pick, I’m tired of years of the best pick lol

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      • So when the season is lost, we should risk injury? They still may offer Winston another contract, and probably will, based on the fact that he’s a Licht draft pick. Willing to risk serious injury to our starting QB? A few years ago, the season was lost and they continued to win down the stretch. They got Vernon Hargreaves instead of Jalen Ramsey. We see how that worked out…

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        • Right, so why do you think aiming for a high draft pick will make any difference? Clearly you don’t like Licht and admitted yourself he whiffed hard on Hargreaves.

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          • I think aiming for a higher pick improves your chances of getting a home run type player. Winning helps what… I get the team confidence. Anything else?

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          • Looks like you trust Licht’s draft judgement more than your screen name would imply…

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        • Also Jalen Ramsey is a diva who would’ve wanted to be traded from here anyways just like Jacksonville. Screw that.

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          • A very talented diva who produced more in one season than hargreaves did his entire career. Tell me, what did Jacksonville get in that trade again?

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            Rating: -10. From 10 votes.
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          • Either Jason Licht sucks at drafting or him drafting high is the best chance at a winning team. Which is it? Do you even know? lol

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          • Nothing in any of what I’ve said trusts Lichts judgment. Dont know where you got that from… arguing over not having Jalen Ramsey is asinine lol.

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          • Um..he’s the one who makes the executive draft decisions…so discussing poor draft picks like Hargreaves directly goes back to Jason Licht lol.

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          • And that means I trust his decisions how?

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        • Am I the only one who suspects that Buc-ass-bob has changed his name to FireLichtMovement?

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          • My grammar is much better lol… unpopular opinions in a room full of emotional football fans are always frowned upon… logically thinking about a situation is uncommon here

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          • FireLichtMovement is quite possibly another Pewter Report staffer signing on under a different name to generate controversy and conversation. I’m convinced that’s what Buc-Ass-Bob is.

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    • I am weary of pinning all hopes on a high draft pick. I want to win those last two games, because Bucs would then have a winning record and be riding a six game streak. Winning can only boost team confidence, something that has been lacking the past few years.
      Screw the high draft pick. I want to win.

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    • I don’t see coaches like Sean Payton or Jim Harbaugh or Bill Belichick or Pete Carroll concerned with getting the highest draft picks. They’re concerned with winning with the weapons they have.

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      • John Harbaugh** lol

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      • That’s funny because they’re never sitting out the playoffs lol

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    • I appreciate your thoughts so here are a few reasons to Win:
      1) The Bucs need to shed this losers Mentality.
      2) There are a few of these guys playing for huge contracts but not only that Winston & Barrett are playing themselves into the Bucs History Books. So there’s a lot of motivation there.
      3) Finally You said we should “play our backups to prevent injuries”. This was the problem with Dirk Koetter, he was so afraid of injuries that he would not allow his players to practice hard. As a result the team became “Soft”.
      Maybe that’ll help!!

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    • That’s a terrible idea. You’re trying to instill a winning culture and you want to give the last two games away? What sense does that make? And you say it’s to get a better draft pick. Those hardly work out the way you think they do. Look at Jameis draft year… the entire first round was practically a bust. Drafting early doesn’t always mean you’re going to get a better player. Just look at teams like the browns, giants and dolphins who pick high almost every year. When’s the last time any of those three teams have even sniffed the playoffs?

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      • The browns sniffed them last year. That’s why everyone was so high on them coming into the year. Terrible idea to have a better chance of a good player? Key words there, better chance, but if you’re going to point to one draft and say we wont get a better player because of that, that’s ignorant. Draft is stacked with tackles, which is something we need, but they’ll be gone after 15 picks. Playing for pride is high on a losing team’s priority list.

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        • Btw, a lot of really good players in the 2015 draft not in the first. Look it up.

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          • That’s exactly the point. You don’t have to have a high pick to get a good player. Win the games and go from there. The draft is a crap shoot safe for a few can’t miss studs here and there every year.

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    • I have my honest hat on. I want to win as many games as possible and so do the Bucs players. After a 4 game winning streak, you want the coaching staff to take the foot off the gas and play subs and lose just to move up 2-4 spots in the draft? How in the hell does THAT build an attitude “refusing to lose”? Damn, I hope you’re not in charge of morale at your job.

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      • I dont understand why it always becomes such an emotional decision. What helps us more? Better or worse draft slot? Our returning starting players risking injury? It’s a no brainer for me. Most people wont see it that way and that’s ok, as we’re all entitled to our opinions.im sure morale is good based on the giant scheduling f up this year, and them making millions upon millions of dollars. I want to win, but when does next season start? Every season that isnt the playoffs is one more year of losing to me, no matter how much promise the team has shown. Dirks first year was great too… that said, I like Arians, and no thankfully I’m not in charge of morale lol

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        • It’s not an emotional decision, it’s a rational psychological decision. Do you want to break a mental cycle of expecting to lose or don’t you? It’s not about emotions so much as it is about how the human brain is wired. This is a young team, most of whom came from winning programs in college. Continual losing at the NFL level can cause self-doubt to creep in and undermine a player’s decision making and lessen their expectations on the field and in the offseason preparations. Next years draft picks don’t make a young player feel better about losing this year nor does it build their self-confidence.

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      • Stats of the first round @chefboho, are about half of first rounders play well week in and week out. The percentages plummet after that. You’re telling me there wouldnt be a better chance of hitting with a higher pick? It is a crapshoot, but more times than not, the team with the better pick gets the better player.

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    • FLM: You obviously don’t plan on actually attending either of the next two “home” games. Instead of sitting in front of your TV, try sitting in the stands with Texans and Falcons fans cheering on the visitors and you just might change your perspective about the Draft position.

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      • @scubog no I don’t, I’ll be watching from a comfortable chair. That said, I wouldnt like to hear opposing fans screaming and cheering for their team. This is a point in the season where the 2 games don’t matter, and the most logical decision is to improve draft position and prevent injury. What does it matter if the team wins or loses and JW gets injured? @Albjack65 if a winning culture is all you’re worried about, I believe another offseason with Arians will change it. I dont see the need of the last 2 “preseason” games to change anything. I am also not a writer by the way lol… just a lowly truck driver who supports his team in the best way he sees fit. I truly believe most fans are overly emotional about their teams, which blinds them in seeing the correct way to proceed. I get that way from time to time. JW will throw for over 5000 yards. Do you think that will up his price tag? I do.

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  8. Those all seem like rational reasons to win. I respectfully disagree with a couple, but j understand your point of view. I’ve been a Buc fan for 30 years, and I hate all the losing I’ve seen over the course of 3 decades. I would rather not win for pride and someone else’s contract. Better draft picks=better players most times. We know Licht needs all the help he can get! Lol

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    • I wasn’t trying to come across as an asshole, my apologies if I did. My logic is: Licht is hit-or-miss in the draft. Evans, Godwin, Marpet, Vea, Devin White, etc have all been panning out. He’s done some good. But the 2016 draft was abysmal. Licht isn’t a sure-fire drafter. So I’d rather take the mental boost of stacking (even “meaningless”) W’s going into the 2020 season than killing the momentum and putting all the eggs in the Licht draft basket.

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      • No worries eaustinyoung.. I actually give Licht more credit than that… D Smith, for as much crap as he gets on here sometimes, is a very good 2nd rounder… Evans is debatable in my mind still, but one heck of an athlete. I have been very critical of Licht, especially over the last 2 drafts, with Vea and White instead of James and Allen. Maybe Licht saw something we didnt, but I dont think anyone could have predicted the year Shaq is having. If the last 2 drafts work out, I’ll be the first to say I was wrong.

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  9. Positives and Negatives out of this game
    Positives
    1) We get good Winston this week as besides the initial interception, he did play well. ESPN was quite humorous this morning on the Golic & Wingo show, discussing Winston. The question they were answering was, “Is Jameis Winston the best worst quarterback in the NFL, or the worst best quarterback in the NFL?” They said he is maddening, because he is the first QB to throw over 450 yards and four touchdowns in back to back weekends, but at the same time, has 24 interceptions and more fumbles to boot. Golic was quite specific when he said, “I don’t know what the Bucs do with Winston. You are not going to win a Super Bowl with all those turnovers but it is an exciting team to watch.” They went on to say they don’t have any idea what the Bucs will do with Winston, because after 5 years this is who he is and it is highly unlikely the interceptions will stop. They thought the franchise tag making him one of the highest paid QBs in the league was crazy, but perhaps a flexible contract which he can be cut after one year might work. They also mentioned if the Bucs do let him go, that another team will pick him up immediately as a reclamation project.
    2) B. Perriman out of necessity was pressed into service, and he is playing well. He is finally the deep threat the Bucs picked him up for. He is not dropping the ball nearly as much. Being forced into the top role is changing Perriman for the better. While it is questionable if he can keep this up, he has been a good replacement in the end as the third wideout.
    3) Sean Murphy-Bunting took the place of Vernon Hargraves full time and the defense has improved. Not all because of him, but he is part of the improvement. White is obviously contributing as well now and with the return of JPP the pressure on the line being generated has improved as well allowing others to get free for sacks (not that JPP has had a few of his own as well). Yes the defense is better overall, but it is the emergence of good rookie play and the return of JPP that has made the difference.

    Negatives
    1) Not sure who to blame – but the game got very tight in the second half with the offense sputtering and the defense giving up some scores. Personally I think the offense became too injured to be very effective. Healthy receivers are at a premium now, with Perriman was the only active receiver at the end of the game who had over 100 yards as Godwin got 100 yards before being injured. Then it was Miller with 49, Howard with 46, and Brate with 33. The fact the tight ends are among the leading receiving tells you had bad the state is with the Wide Receivers now.
    2) Fortunately, besides a few blown plays there was nothing terrible this game.

    I thought the ESPN discussion was telling. Broadcasters are finding Winston as a story now because he keeps giving mixed signals about his ability. He has the ability to change the game in both ways – in winning and losing – because of his propensity of interceptions and fumbles but as well as the fantastic play he is capable of doing. I still believe at this point they are going to sign him for a short term contract of some sort – maybe three years with an escape clause after one year so they can avoid the price of making him the average pay of a top 5 NFL QB which I don’t think anyone wants to do.

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  10. Hello! You play to win the game!

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    • I hear ya… I wish it were that simple in my mind. People tank all the time. I wouldn’t be mad in season if they won. Draft time will be a different story, when we see a player that could really help us go a pick or 2 before.

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      • Hmmm, and all this time I thought winning games was the object of the game. Is there some sort of trophy or ring the Bengals are going to be awarded for beating everyone to the Draft day podium? This franchise held the number one spot countless times and it never made much of an immediate difference.

        Perhaps in theory the 10th player chosen is better than the 15th, but that’s not reality.

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        • @scubog they win the choice of whoever they want from the NCAA. I’d bet money any GM would want the 10th over the 15th any draft day. As the games dont matter anymore, besides the ridiculous notion of a winning culture, benefitting the team is more than Ws. Has there ever been a team to go from worst to first? Easy answer is yes, especially in OUR OWN DIVISION! lol

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          • Also, is there some sort of prize or ring from winning the last 2 games! Lmao… love the debate

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        • Sit in the stands and then tell me which path you want to take.

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    • You are correct Herm!

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  11. On Perriman – I admit he looked very good on Sunday…exactly where do we think we’re going to get all of this cap money to give him a raise (which he surely will get in 2020) too?

    On the D being overshadowed – well, the guys they “shut-down” were some guy named David Blough (honestly, how many folks had ever heard of that guy?); Wes Hills (??); and Danny Amendola (who they didn’t really shut down as he caught over 100 yards). So, when you “shut-down” a bunch of would-like-to-be-JAGs, it’s not really going to be headline news.

    On losing to the Texans (at home): I actually think we stack up okay against the Texans. I am much more worried about an attempt to sweep the Failcons in the last game of the year (when notoriously teams do odd things…us and them). Ryan-Julio is still a deadly combination (assuming they both play), and the Failcons have had great success against us in the recent past…plus Koetter and Quinn will have the sympathy vote of their players in what could be their last games. Anyway, it will be more of a wildcard IMO – could go either way.

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  12. First off, Wells looked like he held his own at LT yesterday. I didn’t see his stats but he seems to be coming along as a solid Backup, possible RT.

    We should have made the playoffs this year, like not even just a pipe dream but we should have been there. Healthy, we can beat any team, anywhere. This year was a lot of getting used to new schemes and coaches, and yes we are beating losing teams right now, but in the sloppiest game of the decade we handed the Playoff abound 49ers the first game, we would have beat Seattle if we won the coin flip, we embarrassed the Rams, we could have beat any team this year even with all the learning. We come back next year with hopefully with better OTackles and finally learning the schemes, we are gonna be Dangerous no matter what the Haters wanna day.

    Hyman (I think) looked decent for a temporary Godwin replacement. We may have a good week against Huston, especially since they may have to run more simple routes, it may be better suited for Winston anyway, even though he was dead on the money with almost all of his deep passes last game. It looked bleak at the start of the 3rd quarter but I think once the backup receivers got warmed up with Winston they did fine, so don’t count them out next week.

    Also, side note, I called it that Aaron Donald only was who he was last year because Suh was next to him. Now he’s back to his 11 sack kind of season which is who he is.

    If they keep Winston another year, and focus on improving the Oline and bring in a Vet CB, even just as a backup, our Secondary could turn into one of the best in the league. These guys are so big and fast and finally catching up to the speed of the game, Year 2 and 3 these guys are gonna be lethal! Just gotta keep a good pass rush going.

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  13. I admit to having lost patience with Winston, as well as the whole team during the first several games this year. To me – who’s just a fan w/o any real knowledge of what makes a pro team tick, I assumed ineptitude instead of accepting there was a ton of learning going on. Heck, I was a season ticket holder way back in the eighties and other than the SB years, I rarely saw anything I would call “exciting” from the team. But stayed true.

    Now, based simply on these last couple months, I have to say I’m excited! I know, too late for the playoffs, but man do I like Arians’ “down the field” style. It’s a blast. My wife summed it up perfectly when joining me at the TV yesterday just after Winston threw his Int. saying,” Well now he has it out of his system.”

    If we all awoke tomorrow and found the Bucs were11-4 and playing like this (almost) Greatest Show on Turf – style ball, it would be cool as heck.

    Not sure what where we are on cap space, but other than a tweak or two along the O line, I’d be thrilled if this team found a way to keep everybody – especially Winston!

    C’mon 2020. I’m ready!

    C’mon Management, don’t screw this up.

    Go Bucs!

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  14. There r intangibles to winning out. U build confidence and begin to establish a winning culture. This is important because any potential Free Agents would be interested in playing for a young team that is beginning to win. If u “tank for Tua” there is no guarantee that u will hit on the better draft pick as well. Lastly, I suggest there probably isn’t much difference between winning out or losing out in terms of our draft order anyway. Somewhere in the middle I presume. So, this Buc fan suggest that winning out provides more benefits for the Bucs than losing out.

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    • @bucballer reasonable. I think going from worst to first is always a possibility, as it has been shown multiple times in our own division. I’m not so concerned about the winning culture because Arians has brought it with him. It may be a difference of 4 or 5 spots, which definitely makes a difference on draft day. As there is no guarantee you will get a better player, you can only play the percentages. 4-5 spots better will be a better percentage of hitting on your pick.

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  15. A coach cant bring a winning culture to a team! Especially if its been a losing franchise for many years! If it were that simple then all a losing team has to do is fire their “losing” coach and hire a “winning” coach. U change a losing culture by winning games and getting rid of those that don’t want to be here and drafting and signing free agents who believe in the Coach’s team philosophy! BA made a statement by cutting VH3! It wasn’t necessarily that he couldn’t play ball… because he is playing with another team in the NFL…its just BA and the Organization didn’t believe he “fit” in with this teams chemistry or philosophy. It turned out to be a good move by the Bucs as it showed the young guys that no member of the team is bigger than the team. The young guys now get more playing time and they can begin to help BA establish a winning culture here. Winning culture is a process not an individual! I’m just saying…

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    • A question for you… how good were the Arizona Cardinals before BA got there? Bottom line, this 2 time Coach of the Year has simply won everywhere he’s been, no matter the personnel. How was Carson Palmer doing after his injury in Cinci? Are you saying that a coach is not the fulcrum to success? His attitude of accountability starts at the top and filters down to his players. Also, he didn’t cut VH3. Licht did.

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      • My argument had nothing to do with VH3 not being able to play. It had everything to do with draft positioning when the last 2 games won’t matter.

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