Cowboys QB Dak Prescott & Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak came to a screeching halt in Dallas after a 26-20 loss to the Cowboys, who improved to 12-2 on the season. The Bucs, who are now 8-6, no longer control their playoff destiny and need help to make the postseason. The Bucs also need better play from quarterback Jameis Winston, who had four turnovers and a critical penalty in the loss on Sunday Night Football. Can Winston and Tampa Bay’s defense rebound on Christmas Eve and win in New Orleans to stay in the playoff picture at 9-6?
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.
TWO BIG STATEMENTS
STATEMENT 1: WINSTON LOOKED LIKE THE ROOKIE – NOT PRESCOTT
The Buccaneers used the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on a big-time quarterback with big-game experience when they selected Jameis Winston, who was a Heisman Trophy winner and the winner of a national championship at Florida State as a redshirt freshman. He was drafted for big games like Tampa Bay’s game at Dallas on Sunday Night Football.
But instead of looking like the rookie sensation that threw for over 4,000 yards and went to the Pro Bowl during his first NFL season, Winston looked … well, like a typical rookie quarterback. The problem is that Winston is not a rookie and is almost through his second NFL season.
The fact that Winston once again looked too amped up to start a big football game and contributed four turnovers was the story of the game. It was Dallas’ Dak Prescott, the actual rookie quarterback in Sunday night’s game, that played like the poised veteran the Bucs hoping Winston becomes.
Prescott was comfortable and in rhythm all night, completing 32-of-36 (88.9 percent) of his passes for 279 yards, finishing with the second highest completion percentage in NFL history with a minimum of 30 passes.
“He’s amazing,” Winston said. “He’s playing really good, and the team is playing really good around him. He’s got a great young running back in Zeke [Elliott], who’s playing very good. He’s taking care of the football. He definitely won the turnover battle against me tonight, so that’s how you win games.”
At halftime, Winston completed just 6-of-12 passes for 81 yards and threw an interception right before halftime. But it was his fumble at Tampa Bay’s own 14-yard line that led to Dallas’ first touchdown in the second quarter and build a 10-3 lead. Meanwhile, Prescott was an incredibly efficient 21-of-25 passing for 191 yards with 17 rushing yards and a touchdown in the first half.
Almost as deadly as Winston’s fumble was his inexcusable head butt on linebacker Justin Durant after he had a rough tackle on running back Doug Martin. Winston took issue with Durant throwing Martin down to the ground after a tackle and that 15-yard penalty in the red zone ultimately stymied the Bucs’ drive and forced the Bucs to settle for a field goal.
“We had a penalty,” Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said. “Jameis let his emotions get the best of him on that. That can’t happen. He had the one interception at the end of the half. He did a great job in the third quarter, though, getting us back in and then we couldn’t get anything going in the fourth.”
Winston threw his second interception in the fourth quarter as his arm got hit by defensive end David Irving, who right tackle Gosder Cherilus had trouble handling all night. His third and final pick came on Tampa Bay’s final drive after being pressured by Irving once again.
“We saw the streaky side a little bit of Jameis,” Koetter said. “He got off to a slow start. Even though we got a good drive and got that early lead, against a team like this, you can’t kick field goals and expect to win. You look at the stats at the end and we’re 1-for-3 in the red zone. Those other eight points would have helped us. The second one was that penalty that you mentioned earlier. That’s been hurting us the last few weeks and it caught up to us tonight. The flip side is what Jameis was able to do when we got some rhythm going there in the third quarter. That’s a plus. That shows you what we’re capable of doing when we’re firing. We got a little hot there in that third quarter and we came right back.”
There’s no doubt that Winston is a talented player. He’s thrown 47 touchdown passes in his first two years in the NFL, which is tied for fifth all-time with Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton (2011-12). With six more TD passes over the final two games, Winston would tie Peyton Manning (1998-99) and Russell Wilson (2012-13) for third best all-time mark behind Oakland’s Derek Carr (53 from 2014-15) and Miami’s Dan Marino (68 from 1983-84).
But the maddening thing about Winston’s game is that he is a streaky quarterback. He’s either hot or he’s not, and you don’t know when he’s going to get hot, nor do you know when he’s going to suddenly cool off, either. Winston had five chances in the fourth quarter to lead the Bucs to a 27-26 victory, but was 3-of-12 for 19 yards with two interceptions over Tampa Bay’s final five drives. That’s ice cold.
STATEMENT 2: BUCS WERE A RIGHT TACKLE AWAY FROM BEATING DALLAS
At 10:49 p.m. ET it became apparent that Tampa Bay veteran right tackle Gosder Cherilus couldn’t handle Dallas left defensive end David Irving one-on-one. That’s when I texted my good friend, Rick Zois, who is a huge Cowboys fan, and relayed that message. He texted me back and said, “That’s the first time anyone has ever said that. Ever. Lol.”
Bucs QB Jameis Winston gets sacked – Photo by: Getty Images
Cherilus was starting his second straight game in place of the injured Demar Dotson, who is still in the concussion protocol from the New Orleans game, and got absolutely owned by a relatively anonymous second-year defensive end. Irving, who came into Sunday night’s game with exactly 1.5 sacks in his first 24 NFL games, suddenly looked like the second coming of Dallas legend Ed “Too Tall” Jones, while Cherilus suddenly looked like former average-at-best Tampa Bay right tackles Jason Odom or Kenyatta Walker.
The 6-foot-7, 273-pound Irving simply took over the game in the fourth quarter, and finished with two sacks, five quarterback hits, several more pressures and a batted pass. Cherlius, who whiffed blocking anyone in space on a critical screen pass to Charles Sims in the fourth quarter that looked like it had the chance to be a big play, was pulled in favor of undrafted free agent tackle Leonard Wester. He fared no better, and head coach Dirk Koetter and the offensive coaching staff did too little to help Cherlius and Wester against Irving in the fourth quarter.
The Bucs should have kept a tight end or a back in to chip Irving more than they did, and Winston might not have had such a horrific fourth quarter – he finished the game completing just 3-of-12 for 19 yards with two interceptions. You have to wonder if a healthy Dotson allows Winston more time to scan downfield and hit more throws to lead the Bucs to a comeback victory. Perhaps he does.
But the 31-year old Dotson hasn’t been a pillar of granite at the right tackle position this year, either. The right tackle position may have cost Tampa Bay a shot at winning the NFC South and making the playoffs in Dallas. It’s a position that suddenly becomes a glaring need for general manager Jason Licht to address in the 2017 NFL Draft as Winston needs better pass protection next year.
TWO PROBING QUESTIONS
QUESTION 1: DID AGUAYO ACTUALLY OUTKICK BAILEY?
No, not really – but really.
One of the few bright spots for Tampa Bay’s anemic first half offense was the field goal kicking of rookie Roberto Aguayo, who was perfect on the night. The Bucs had the worst field goal percentage in the league at 72 percent, but it was Aguayo that connected on both of his kicks in the first half to give Tampa Bay its first six points.
Dan Bailey came into Sunday connecting on 21-of-24 (87.5 percent) kicks as Dallas entered the Bucs game with the 10th-best field goal accuracy. Yet he missed two out of his first three field goals of the game.
Bailey’s 56-yarder fell short at the end of the first Cowboys drive and then he missed a 52-yard field goal right before halftime to keep Dallas’ lead at 17-6. Bailey did connect on a 27-yarder in the first half before hitting a 40-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 20-20. He then tacked on a 38-yard field goal to give Dallas a 23-20 lead and then another one from 33 yards to push the Cowboys’ lead to 26-20.
Aguayo had a rough start to his rookie season, missing five of first 11 field goals, but has made 14 of his last 16 (87.5 percent) field goals, including a 25-yarder to start things off in the first quarter and give the Bucs an early 3-0 lead. Aguayo’s 34-yarder was his final field goal of the game, but the arrow continues to point up for this promising rookie, who also made both of his extra point attempts against Dallas.
QUESTION 2: CAN THE BUCS REGROUP AND WIN IN NEW ORLEANS?
It’s been a long time since the Bucs tasted defeat – five weeks to be exact. Tampa Bay finally learned how to handle success this year and string wins together. The Bucs’ five-game winning streak was the longest since the Super Bowl season in 2002. Now can Tampa Bay learn how to handle defeat the right way and not let a loss beat you twice?
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Getty Images
The Bucs still have a lot to play for, as the final NFC Wild Card spot may not be decided until Week 17. In order to give themselves a shot at the playoffs, Tampa Bay has to win out and go 2-0 down the stretch to finish 10-6.
“You hit next week hard, and your goal is to go 1-0 against the Saints, and then the next week you go 1-0, and the next week you go 1-0, and start stacking up those one win seasons,” said Winston.
With the loss in Dallas, the 8-6 Bucs are currently on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Washington is 7-5-1 and if they win on Monday Night Football they will be the current placeholder for the sixth playoff spot in the NFC over Tampa Bay and Green Bay, which is also 8-6. Should the Redskins lose, the Packers would move into the sixth playoff spot as Green Bay has the current tiebreaker over Tampa Bay.
The Saints are 6-8 and out of the playoff hunt, but won on the road in Arizona, beating the Cardinals 48-41, and want to avenge a 16-11 loss at Tampa Bay from two weeks ago. The Bucs need to show some mettle, regroup and finish their 2016 road schedule with a win and a 6-2 record away from Raymond James Stadium.
TWO BOLD PREDICTIONS
PREDICTION 1: TAMPA BAY FINISHES 2016 WITH 10-6 RECORD
I hate to say I told you so, but I forecasted the Buccaneers’ loss at Dallas on Sunday, and I predicted that right here in this very column last week. On Saturday, I offered my official score prediction of 23-20, and it turned out to be a 26-20 loss instead.
But I am predicting a rebound game for Winston and the Bucs next week in New Orleans as Tampa Bay improves to 9-6 on the season and posts its first winning record since 2010 when the Bucs went 10-6. Sweeping the Saints is no easy feat, and Winston will have to come in with a laser focus and outduel Drew Brees, who lit the Cardinals up for 389 yards and four touchdowns on Sunday, hooking up with Brandin Cooks seven times for 186 yards and two scores.
Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, who had a career-high 21 tackles and a forced fumble against Dallas, needs to continue to play well, and Tampa Bay will have to weather the loss of defensive end Will Gholston, the team’s chief run stopper, who is out for the year with a dislocated elbow. Brees is always dangerous, but he’s deadly when the Saints have balance to their offense, and running backs Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower combined for 115 yards rushing and two scores on Sunday.
It’ll be a close shootout, but Winston goes off and gets the win for Tampa Bay.
PREDICTION 2: MARTIN FAILS TO HAVE A 100-YARD DAY IN 2016
In addition to finding a better option at right tackle in 2017, Licht is also going to have to add some real, legitimate competition to the Bucs’ backfield as Martin has looked like a shell of his former self this year. Missing five games with a hamstring injury, Martin has rushed for just 421 yards and three touchdowns on 144 carries this year (2.9 avg.), and his lack of production has hurt Tampa Bay’s offense.
RB Doug Martin – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
The Bucs re-signed Martin to a five-year, $35.75 million deal with $15 million in guaranteed money after he ran for 1,402 yards and six scores last year, finishing as the league’s second-leading rusher behind Adrian Peterson. So far he hasn’t come close to earning that money and hasn’t even rushed for 100 yards in any game this season. Inconsistent run blocking hasn’t helped, either.
Martin’s best output this season was gaining 87 yards on 23 carries (3.8 avg.) in a 14-5 win against Seattle, and that was the last time he’s averaged at least three yards per carry. Martin’s longest run this year has been a 17-yarder in Week 1 against Atlanta. Since then it has been a 15-yarder at San Diego.
Dating back to 2015, it’s been 14 straight games since Martin has rushed for 100 yards or more. The Bucs have only had two 100-yard rushing performances by a running back this year, and those came from reserve running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who despite being inactive against Dallas is still Tampa Bay’s leading rusher this year with 422 yards on 97 carries (4.4 avg.).
Martin finished the Dallas game with a paltry 42 yards rushing on 16 carries (2.6 avg.) and I don’t see him topping the century mark against New Orleans or Carolina down the stretch, either.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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
I hope that Koetter and Bajakian put together a reel of 100 great 2-minute drives for Winston to study in the offseason. Yes, Cherlius was lousy, but Jameis needs learn to be more patient. Every play in those last two drives looked like he was looking for the home run. Let’s face it, the Bucs and Jameis have grown leaps and bounds this year and I’m very excited for the future of this team. When they were down 17-3 on the road against an 11-2 team, most other Bucs teams would fold like a cheap suit. The fact that they hung in there and actually took the lead back is amazing. There is a lot of young talent on this team and I look forward to seeing them grow together.
E,what are u talking about?how can jameis be more patient in the final two minutes of this game when g.cherilus couldn’t block and Jameis was getting hit every play.is he suppose to hold the ball and just take the sack?your comment makes no sense what so ever.he needs to be more patient while he doesn’t have a chance to even set his feet.what game were you watching?sure glad you weren’t a commentator for the game.ignorant statement friend!
jmeeks, It’s called check downs. Jameis knows that he is going to have very little time in the pocket to throw. You counter that with dump offs to running backs and shallow crossing routes. So, just curious how you would have handled the Bucs last couple of drives???
You do know that when he did check down, the ball was either batted or tipped back in his face because Gosder was busy looking at air.
You’re right that the line wasn’t leaving Jameis much time. But rather than check downs, very quick three step drops, perhaps with an extra blocker in the backfield would have perhaps worked better. That’s not all on Jameis as he doesn’t design or call the plays – that’s on Dirk Koetter.
If I am disappointed in one aspect of the Koetter-Winston relationship, we’ve see a lack of offensive improvement and learning over the last 5 games. Winston has weaknesses (as well as strengths), the offensive line has weaknesses … at least when one of our key starters is out on injury. So how do we mitigate those weaknesses? I was hoping to see evidence of that “work around” in this game, but it wasn’t there.
Yeah those last two drives, Jameis had ZERO time to throw. The only one I say he should’ve hit was the one to MIke. Have to make that throw. But he was literally hit 5 times on his last 6 drop backs, that’s just stupid.
What exactly is stupid, cg?
How many times he was hit was what I was referring to. Also just saw a stat, he was pressured on 10 of his 16 snaps in the 4th quarter. Hard to hit a checkdown when you have 1 second to step back and someone is in your face.
Yes, that’s ugly. But, what other option do you have when you have one second to throw? Draw plays, shallow crosses, dump off to Sims, QB roll outs, etc. I’m not sure what everyone is playing at… How else do you move the ball forward with one second to throw? I didn’t see any underneath options considered with 1:43 on the clock.
What the hell Scott, you “predicted” this loss anyway. Jameis did not play well but there’s no quit in him and he will rebound. You cannot type Dak is better than Jameis because of that game……. can you?
Our OL struggled mightily and Jameis tried to do too much.
Jason Licht needs to work on the OL during the offseason and that means no more disasters like the ill advised Sweezy mistake.
But all in all I’m very much still on board and hoping for a sweep of the next two games. IF this is a playoff team it will happen. If not, this team is well on it’s way to becoming one next season and beyond.
No question Jameis was out of sorts last night. However he did come out firing in the 3rd, and believe he would have continued in the 4th if he had ANY time to throw. Whatever happened to Cherilus or the DE for Dallas in the 4th quarter changed the game. IF the BUCS could have blocked better in the 4th quarter I think Winston could have recovered from his dreadful 1st half, and possibly won the game.
Sadly this is one of the worst draft classes for tackles to most pundits, so there likely isn’t a plug & play option available. If there is Licht will find him. We need a horse 2nd WR to take the focus off Evans.
More importantly, whether it’s the OL or Martin we have got to get our running game going, or it’s dooms day for the offense. Winston is best when he can use play action, and that only works if the running game is a threat.
Winston looked like the rookie because he had no time and Dak had all day. Aside from the head butt penalty. That was stupid and I don’t think a rookie would make that move. He really got him with that head butt to. To the top poster… how can jameis be patient when the pocket disintegrates around him every play?
SaskBucs – I’ll tell you how, but it’s of course easier said than done. Get rid of the ball quicker. Unfortunately, Jameis Winston is the opposite of a quick release, quick twitch quarterback. He just doesn’t do quick release. Consequently, he has to rely more upon the offensive line.
Also, another factor working against Winston is his accuracy on long throws has been mostly very bad, and we saw that yesterday again. Which means that defenses don’t respect the medium to long passing game, which means they can load up the box and both stuff the run and rush the passer without having to worry much against getting burned downfield. Jameis did have one long throw that resulted in the TD last night but it is treated by defenses as a black swan event rather than an expectation they have to account for.
This has nothing to do with Winstons release and everything to do with offensive line play and the play calling. Did you not notice the routes being ran last night? That’s our offensive philosophy. We are a deep route tree offense with the occasional screen, of what we only ran 1 time last night, and no slants and quick hitters. As for his release, as a Noles fan, I can tell you it’s gotten significantly better and more compact over the last two years and will improve with reps.
As for the long throws, yeah he missed some last night no doubt about it. But he was hitting 15-25 yard seem routes with ease last night so you can’t say his deep ball looked terrible. His go routes and timing seem to be his biggest weakness.
He’s a gambler like Farve ans that’s what you get. heck there were times when it was 3rd and 1 and he has green in front of him and I’m yelling it run for the first you fool,. and he throws a 22 yard completion down the field. haha
No it’s definitely NOT all on the line. I know just like clockwork the Noles fans always go to the mattresses to defend Jameis as never at fault for anything, but that’s not how it works in the NFL. It’s not that it’s all Jameis’s fault either … reality is always a combination of several things, including his slow release, his inaccuracy on anything but short throws this year, plus an O-line that has had variable performance (Dotson being out was definitely a factor), and it’s also design of the offense. If Dirk Koetter doesn’t have plays that are designed to either take advantage of Winston’s strenghths AND plays that are designed to mitigate his weaknesses, then the playcalling is a negative factor.
No quarterback has a perfect set of skills, and has only strengths and no weaknesses, so the Noles going to the mattresses need to get over themselves. This isn’t the run-up to the 2015 draft – this is reality as long as Jameis Winston is our quarterback.
Now, I will agree that Jameis’ release is better than two years ago, but he had like one of the slowest releases of any first round quarterbacks, so he’s had a long ways to go. And, part of it is genes – he will never be a “quick twitch” quarterback. What he CAN do is work very hard on getting rid of the ball sooner. The difference between getting sacked multiple times in a game and/or throwing inaccurately when the O line is not at peak strength, and not getting sacked multiple times, is likely only a couple of tenths of a second. But that is what separates the guys who are champions and those who want to be but aren’t yet. Jameis is a work in progress, and he will be the very last person to say he is just a victim of his O-line as his Nole apologizers continue to argue.
SO you agree with me that his release is quicker and that the line has some fault in this so why exactly call me out for being a Nole fan? Other than it’s cool to pretend that Noles fans think Jameis is perfect. I’ve stated many times how off he was, so what’s the point of the comment? And of course Jameis wouldn’t call out his line, as a NOLES fan, that’s what we’ve seen from him day one. Not a Jameis apologist, just a realist as you’ve seemed to have completely contradicted yourself in your statement. The anti Noles fans ,LIKE YOURSELF need to get over themselves. Either find me one statement of a NOLE fan saying he is perfect, or get off of your crusade for something that isn’t there.
OH and above you agreed with my play calling aspect as well so again, I ask, why the noles comment? You a Gators fan or something?
Thank you for understanding the offensive concepts Dirk’s offense is built around. He rarely gives Jameis the easy throw or check down to help get the offense going. Even in the 4th, when Gos was getting blown up, nothing quick and easy to move the chains. Maddening. Evans is almost unguardable on a slant route. He rarely runs them.
Can’t argue with the facts of yesterday’s game results. I certainly expected better, particularly of our defense … again, everybody talks almost exclusively about Jameis Winston and the offense, when they played pretty much just like they have for the last month. It was the defense that let us down yesterday. 20 points should have been enough to beat Dallas if our defense had kept playing like they have for the previous 5 games averaging only 12.8 ppg allowed … instead, they gave up more than twice that many points to Dallas .. and actually, the defense looked even worse than that in terms of allowing the Cowboys to run and toss their way downfield drive after drive. It was only the fact that our D managed to toughen up in the red zone that kept this 6-point loss from being a 20 point blowout.
Winston played pretty much as he has most of this season … as Dirk said, very “streaky” and unpredictable, with our offense continuing to struggle in the run game and in the red zone. What was most disappointing with the offense, though, was the fact that our defense finally did manage to give them back the ball twice in the final three minutes and the opportunity to win the game with a touchdown, only to (1) punt the ball away and then (2) thrown an INT. Winston is not able to will his offense to come up with big time drives in big situations. That’s a concern, because I think most of us thought that is where Winston would shine in this league.
1) SR, your Statement 1 is spot on and exactly how I felt watching that game last night. I’m an FSU grad, I love Winston, and I love that he will be the Bucs QB for the next 10+ years. That being said, his biggest weakness by far is his inability to control his emotions at times. It impacts his accuracy and decision making and I personally think it’s something he’ll have to improve on if he wants to be mentioned with the all time greats. The good news is that he seems to be someone who’s willing to do whatever it takes to be great so I’m confident that he’ll be a much more mature QB in a few years.
2) “I hate to say I told you so”?? I laughed out loud when I read that. You are the king of “I told you so”. It’s a constant theme in your writing and one of minor issues I have with Pewterreport.com. I’m thankful for the inside info, knowledge of the game, and outstanding writing that you and this website provide and it’s why I log on daily during the season. I could, however, do without the constant reminders of when you predicted something correctly.
And the many times PR’s “predictions” are wrong? Silence. And most of the time they ARE wrong. Why? Because they are wild guesses at best and if anyone COULD “predict” the future they’d be very, very wealthy. Football’s bounce funny. Anyone else notice that? LOL
You know, just stop reading them. You come on here every damned werk and complain about the predictions by the writers and commenters here. Really, nobody is forcing you to read. Just go somewhere else if you don’t like the product here. It’s a free internet.
Nah, I’ll just keep typing my opinion when I want to and where I want to. And you’ll keep getting angry about it. That’s MY “prediction.” It IS a free Internet.
You need to let up on Scott here. Yes, he tells us when he was right and many others, perhaps most, thought he was wrong. He should do that, as long as he also admits when he’s wrong, which he does do.
What I will say is that Scott is never obnoxious about his predictions and how they compare to reality. He doesn’t ladle it on, he does not come off as preachy or condescending. He tells it as he sees it. Few other members of the professional sports media ever own up to their errors and wrong predictions … they just go into the memory hole never to be heard again.
I for one didn’t agree with his prediction of a loss to the Cowboys yesterday, and I posted my reasons why. His prediction was correct and mine was not. Bucnut, whom many here get into regular arguments (especially the Nole boosters who hate that he doesn’t love Jameis Winston like they do) was also right in his game prediction comment. He predicted that Jameis would play much worse than Dak Prescott, and that the Bucs would lose. I disagreed with him, and agreed to disagree, but he was right and I was wrong.
Scott is always a cool buy about his writing and his predictions, and he’s not afraid to slaughter the sacred cows, be they coaches or quarterbacks, when they deserve a skewering.
LOL Wipe that brown stuff off your nose kid, it’s unbecoming. I’ve known Scott a long time, he can definitely take criticism from message board posters.
Naples thinks he’s the room moderator all of the sudden and how dare you disagree with Scott garv. Best report to Naples so he can take you to your safe place with crayons and you can color out your problems.
You’re right Naples, “Scott doesn’t come off as preachy or condescending”, but at times you sure do. You’re a softer, wiser and more local version of my old nemesis BucFan47. I do look forward to and enjoy your posts though. Always well written and generally rational. Might not always agree, but I always see your logic.
Sometimes? 9 times out of 10 Naples comes off as an arrogant chunp who thinks he knows more than anyone else. But what do I know I’m just a noles fan and jameis apologist.
I’m a Tampa fan in the New England market and I haven’t ponied up for the out of market games this year so I was really excited to see the Bucs in prime time. Excited and nervous that they were going to get embarrassed again like the Atlanta drubbing earlier this year. Or LA, when Case Keenum looked like an all-star. You get the idea. So, first off, it was a game until the last play! SR beats up Winston here for looking like the rookie instead of Prescott but while I wanted the win pretty bad last night, the Cowboys were without a doubt the better team last in almost every phase, not just QB play. As Collinsworth also pointed out, Winston is actually a year YOUNGER than Prescott. He’s won at almost everything in his career. He’s been able to do that via raw talent, talented teammates beside him, & inspiration and leadership. And all of those things are crucial to winning and something he brought to the Bucs who have been desperately lacking in all of those areas. But this is professional football. This is a job, and a very difficult one. To excel at this job you need all the things he brings to the table but you need something else too. You need to understand that winning isn’t just about desire and competitive spirit. It’s about X’s & O’s, out preparing your opponent, creating a plan for winning and then executing that plan with cold precision. Stick to the plan. Or as a certain winning New England team’s dictum states: Do your job. Koetter’s honestly the perfect coach to get him there from what I can see. He preaches being steady and that any one mistake can be critical. Every play is critical. No slow starts, no streaks. Determined, relentless, but steady. This is Winston’s next lesson. I’m sure he’s swallowing that lesson right now actually. But the fire you can’t teach and he has it in spades. He also had great line calls and audibles, and man can he throw on the run. I actually want to see him slow down and throw from a stronger base to be honest. He’s a little too comfortable throwing on the run. Idk if his emotions are what contribute to his streakiness and accuracy issues, but whatever it is he needs to find a way to be a more accurate passer. He missed throws that could have won them that game last night. Lot’s of people made mistakes and contributed to the loss, the missed downfield blocks on the screen to Sims comes to mind (Cowboys had an almost identical play where they screened to the side opposite a blitz, hit their blocks, and Elliot went ~ 30 yards), but Winston had Evans on the left sideline, had throws that he needs to hit. But I like what I saw last night despite the loss.
Defense looks better than it has in a while. I watched Grimes get beat several times in pre-season and the early season but he was easily our best CB out there last night. He was a baller. I have always thought of David as hugely underrated and with the addition of Kwon, our LB play to be a huge asset on this defense. But just as SR wrote an article complaining that Prescott clearly outplayed Winston, a very similar article could be written about the LB play of both teams. Dallas outplayed Tampa’s LBs and I thought that group was the strongest on our defense honestly. We can’t get consistent pressure out of just our front 4. If that’s crucial to Mike’s system, we need better D-linemen. I watched parts of the Cowboys/Giants game last week and the difference is clear. We need to either blitz more or get better personnel.
Just my two cents. Overall, feeling positive though.
Winston was too amped and tried to do too much. But its not like he had much help from the OL or running game so I think he should get cut some slack. The penalty was ridiculous but the rest was excusable in my opinion.
We definitely need Oline help in the offseason and another WR threat. The season is far from over though with 2 very winnable games for us. Hopefully Atlanta can have their yearly implosion and we take the division. If not, the Skins will hopefully drop 1 or 2 games.
I for one am still on board this ship. Go Bucs! Siege The Day! and all that good stuff.
LMAO at Winston looked like the R. Simply not true. He looked like a good qb who hasn’t hit his prime yet behind an atrocious offensive line. As is the story for this season he’s had to play hero ball because of the lack of talent around him. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Okay, I support the Bucs and want them to win these last two games. Go Bucs! I really put some of this blame on the Coach Koetter and Coach Smith; neither one were reacting fast enough to make some adjustments. On our offense we needed to throw quick short passes to force them to only send 4 guys. On defense we didn’t blitz hardly at all and the Giants did the opposite with them. We better blitz against Brees. Okay Winston blew a couple passes as he was throwing high because the offense wsn’t giving him more much protection after 1-2 seconds. We can’t do a darn thing about it this season, but we need a bigger Center and another WR & TE on Offense; we need another DE, LB on Defense. Coach Koetter needs to think about giving up his play calling and focus more on the responsibility of being a Head Coach. Just my opinion.
Statement 1: Tough one last night. Jameis did look like the rookie of the two but when they show Dak Prescott back there, tapping the ball while going through 4 reads while Jameis is getting smacked after his first, that’s huge difference. Jameis was too amped yesterday and I can think of numerous throws he should’ve made, including the long ball to Mike. The first quarter for Jameis , he was too amped, the last quarter, I think had more to do with our turn style RT who was getting him crushed every play. He was roasting hot in the 3rd quarter, imagine that , he had some time to throw.
You know it’s knee jerk reaction Monday when people start piling on. People expect a lot of Jameis, we all do, but he’s 22 and he’ll get his act together. The head butt was a stupid penalty on his part and his emotions got the best of him trying to defend Doug. Strangely enough I saw the EXACT same type of play earlier in the day yesterday and the defense got a 15 yard penalty. Not that you’d expect that in Jerry world.
Dak has a better offensive line and MUCH better running game, it’s much easier to do your to do your thing when your sitting there. Although I will say after the fact, my goodness, there is about 5 or 6 holds, blatant ones, that iI saw yesterday and none called against Dallas. Again, not that I’d expect that in Jerry world.
Statement 2: This one is easy, Gosder sucks, period. We need a RT bad and he single handily cost us that 4th quarter. Whiffing on that fucking screen was just atrocious and that play alone would’ve put us in FG range. He better not even sniff the field the rest of the season, and I don’t want to hear the injured excuse I”m reading. He’s a bum and literally got thrown to the ground on consecutive plays by a guy Dallas grabbed off of a practice squad. That guy had 2 sacks and 5 QB hits in the 4th quarter alone! That is embarrassing.
Question 1: I feel as though this part is a slight at Roberto , but he has done his part recently so no one can complain about this guy right now.
Question 2: This one worries me as the Saints carved up Arizona yesterday. It’s a must win for us and sweeping the Saints would be huge.
Prediction 1: A 10-6 record ould get us in the playoffs I think. With the schedule for the rest of these teams having to play each other, we could squeek in, but only if we win the last two. Nothing would be worst than closing on a three game losing streak.
Prediction 2: This one will be spot on. I caught a lot of heat from some fans saying that Doug wasn’t worth the money and he’s not. Our line has been terrible at run blocking this year no doubt, but this Doug is a shell of his former self. He missed two running lanes that I can think of off the top of my head yesterday. Charles simms still loves to dance behind the line for 10 minutes before running so RB is something we’re going to have to look into unfortunately. Fortunately Doug’s contract is essentially a 2 year deal. Like I said earlier in the year, Doug Martin will not be on this team after next year, you can book it. Heck , he might not be on it next year.
There’s no way anyone with common sense walked away from the game and can make the statement that Jameis looked like a rookie. Go look at some footage of Carson Wentz and Jared Goff then let me know if it’s even close. Our offensive line is incapable of opening running lanes and yesterday allowed absolutely no time for Jameis to complete passes down the stretch. That’s not saying that Jameis shouldn’t have hit Mike Evans on the deep ball or that he wasnt erratic on some of his throws but who could blame him when he was either sacked or running for his life after we got the lead. Ideally we should’ve continued running the no huddle which had the defense gassed but thats hard to do when the first play is 6 yard sack. Jameis rebounded from the head butting penalty early and got the lead with some gutsy throws and his never say die attitude. Moral of the story Jameis’ head penalty or erratic throws didnt cost us the game. The inability to protect him or create holes for any of our RBs did.
I have common sense and I think Jameis looked like a rookie last night. I agree with Scott. This was one of Jameis’ worst games this season, and about the fourth game in a row where he was streaky – a common trait of rookies who haven’t learned yet how to sustain a professional performance across multiple drives – and in this game in particular he was too emotional, also a typical trait of a rookie.
It’s not that Jameis can’t improve on his performance last evening – but c’mon, call a mediocre performance when you see one. And not only was his performance not good, but it showed that the grossly-over-hyped “leadership” trait for quarterbacks cannot drag your offense down the field. Sure, I’d rather have a quarterback with good leadership qualities, all other things being equal. But all things aren’t equal. I’d much rather have a quarterback who can sense the pressure and get rid of the ball quickly and accurately when his offensive line is not at peak performance.
Besides, it’s the opposite of leadership to draw an unnecessary roughness penalty – as a quarterback, for god’s sake!!! – by doing something as unsportsmanlike and flat out stupid as head butting an opposing player after the play was over. In high school or college, that kind of stunt gets a player benched.
I also recall quite a few critics here going after Donovan Smith for drawing a 15-yard penalty, but failing to consider that all he was doing was actually defending himself from an opposing player who was yanking the hell out of his facemask (which the refs did not see or call), In fact, I’ll bet some of those Smith critics are some of those waving off Jameis’ penalty when he had no call whatsoever to do what he did.
How right you are Naples. I didn’t see Prescott head-butting the opposition. I also did not see him overthrowing wide open receivers when he had PLENTY of time(see throw to Evans). I also did not see Dak under throwing a wide open receiver which should have been picked but took lucky bounce for a TD. Long story short, Winston had 1 good quarter, 3 bad. The line was bad at times, but at other times Winston had plenty of time. HE didn’t play well at all and looked like a rookie.
The reason this isn’t a valid comparison is because we are comparing apples to oranges. Dak had all day to scan the field, text his loved ones, decide on dinner and then make a throw while Jameis was under duress from the time he said hike on most plays. Jameis threw an INT due to his arm being hit as he threw, another to end the half on a hail mary and the last one due some of that nonstop pressure most posters keep mentioning. The fumble is his to own but that play didn’t cost us the game. Russell Wilson looked awful when he was constantly pressured was that a rookie like game from him? We picked off Brees on some questionable throws, was that a rookie performance from him? Any QB under constant pressure looks bad and we have seen several elite QBs look bad at the hands of our defense so we know it can happen.
As for that grossly over hyped leadership trait I’m of the opinion thats the only reason this team kept fighting and didn’t quit like we have seen many times over the years with this very group in primetime games. The infamous head butting penalty was not his best decision but we took the lead after that and had two drives to win it late but couldn’t get them started bc the OL got manhandled not bc of a head butting penalty that occurred 2 quarters prior.
The lack of a “quick release” is more about the lack of shallow crossing routes in our offense. I don’t recall any quick slants being called, the one screen play was blown up bc of missed blocks and these have nothing to do with Jameis. The Donovan Smith penalty you mention has nothing to do with me bc I was perfectly fine with that penalty once I saw the replay of that guy grabbing his facemask so I’ll let whomever that was directed to respond accordingly.
Jameis had a bad game but we lost bc Cherilus played like an off duty security guard instead a professional athlete and was dominated the entire 4th quarter. There’s no quarterback that could’ve overcome that porous blocking late in the game, not even SR’s beloved Dak.
Don’t try stl, Naples fails to see the routes we run apparently and thinks Jameis should be pin point form 25 yards out on every throw, all while releasing it in 1.2 seconds , which is about how much time he had last night. He fails to see what a terror show our line put on last night. And he calls a guy that’s had a 97 QBR or higher the last 5 weeks while playing 2 top 5 defenses unable to sustain play. Not allowed to have an off night in Naples book.
He is entitled to an off night, just call it that and stop blaming everything else. SR has it right, JW has a long way to go.
I did call it an off night but thanks I don’t need your permission to speak my mind. You and Naples should get a room sometime so you too can bitch to yourselves after every throw.
I agree St.louisbucsfan. of the 4 TOs, you can only stick one on hiim and that was the last INT when he was desperately trying to make something happen.
Give Winston Dallas’ front line and we have a different story.
How anyone can seriously count a hail Mary pass with no time left as a serious TO is beyond me.
Thank you Dr. D. Some folks just want to blame the QB and fail to see what affects his ability to perform. Cherilus can’t hold a block for even a half second and “Winston should get rid of the ball quicker”. The “trotting game” (no running game here) is a non-factor causing teams to ignore the run, put defenders in his face immediately, focus on Evans and “Winston needs to be more accurate” Good grief.
Dallas offensive line is made up of three 3/5 Pro Bowlers. Wide Receiver is one of the league’s best. TE is a sure HOF’er. RB is Rookie of the Year and rushing leader.
Compare that to Tampa Bay: One 1/5 guy in his second year who garners any respect. One WR who is one of the league’s best. TE who is an undrafted pass receiver (not a blocker) and RB that struggles to gain 3 yards.
For those who want to lay the blame at the QB’s feet for a stupid penalty and a desperation pass at the end of the half and end of the game that get picked. Think that makes a difference?
How dare you speak facts scu! Jamie’s should be able to block for himself and throw passes to himself. Yes jameis was off that night no doubt, but there is NO reason he can’t block for himself. Haha
It’s so convenient to just gloss over that his fumble and INT were a direct result of his arm being hit before he released the ball. All they see is 4 TO’s and the sky is falling. It was even crap of Dirk to mention the first INT in his post game presser. It was a fail mary he called.
If Winston is a streaky qb, you Scott Reynolds are a streaky writer. You have nothing but praise for jameis but then are quick to judge him. In sorry, but dak prescott is playing behind by far and away the best offensive line in football. Period. There is zero debate on that. As another poster said, give jameis as much time as dak gets had be almost perfect every game. Jameis is back there, running for his life and enduring hit after hit. Did I mention we have one of the worst rushing attacks in the whole league. Our leading rusher maybe has 400-500 ads..maybe…good god what else do you want from the kid at 22 yrs old. He’s literally being asked to lead our team to the playoffs with little to no help. This is why I rarely follow pewter report anymore. Just like you claim Winston to be streaky, you Scott Reynolds are streaky and your twice Winston age…just saying. …
SR is just calling it like it is. Yes he is 22, but that a middle school move. Please stop defending a guy who was REALLY bad last night.
SR wrote an article that’s nothing more than a knee jerk reaction. It’s one thing to say he didn’t have his best game but to say he looked like a rookie is just bad reporting. Much the same type of reporting that lead to the “Should we fire Mike Smith” Fab 5 that he posted awhile back. We see how “right” he is on these hunches. They are nothing more than educated guesses but this one was just bad and unnecessary. If he didn’t post an article about Russell Wilson looking like a rookie after we manhandled him then I dont want to see this nonsense article when Jameis brought us back and clearly was not the reason we couldnt hold the lead.
Jameis may have to get his fiery demeanor under control, but if were gonna throw him under the bus everytime he goes through his growing pains, then this website truly lacks football knowledge
Calling JW “Streaky” is a kind way of saying he is VERY inconsistent. SR has finally taken off his Garnet colored glasses. Oh, please people watch some NFL football other than the Bucs. Had most of the people on this site watched other teams and games, 80% of you would not have predicted a Bucs win at Dallas. I give Scott a lot of credit for calling it for what it is. I have been blasted on this site for telling what I believe to be the truth about this team. The truth is we are improved. We have some nice talent. We have a bright future. AND our team and our QB are not there yet.
Unfortunately coach Carter used that word in his Press Conference. I was surprised he did because he took no blame for his play calling.
You know , sitting back and having time to think about things always provides additional clarity on a subject. I mean let’s really think about this. We played the number 1 seed in the NFC, in their house, refs included. Played our worst game in over a month, and still only lost by 6. I know close loses mean nothing, but I”m a glass half full kind of guy. Unless we’re talking about Gosder, then you can kick his big ass to the curb.
I absolutely agree. I was just talking to a Cowboys fan at work and told him that I want to play them again in the playoffs. Zeke ran for 150, Prescott completed damn near 90 percent of his passes and we were a RT away from a win. The only thing I learned about us yesterday that I didn’t know was the Cherilus is not even a replacement level tackle and should be unemployed when the flight lands. Everything else we have won in spite of during the streak we just couldnt overcome them yesterday bc the OL got dominated. Take care of business the next 2 weeks and then we can earn our chance at a rematch.
Ah Scott, I normally agree with you but on statement 1, no way. So I guess the week before Jameis was the calm veteran and Drew Brees played like a rookie? No TD’s, 3 INT’s. I could stand behind Dallas’ O-Line and be calm, cool and collected. They showed that he barely had to move his feet. Our O-Line play in the 4th quarter let us down and even with the turnovers, we still had 2 chances to win the game. Any bit of O-Line play on the right side would have helped and made it happen, but it didn’t. Also, Cris Collingsworth showed how bad the blocking was on the screen pass to Sims. They didn’t get a hat on anyone! Properly done, that could have been a TD, or at least a 20+ yd play. The win streak had to come to an end so I hope they learned, but I will take the risk-taking Jameis any day as my QB. Of the 4 turnovers, only one is on him imo and that’s a forced throw on 4th and a mile. Again, he’s 22. There will be good days, bad days and great days, as fans we have to live with that. Anyways, that’s my rant, off to New Orleans, let’s go Bucs!
Tampa Bay owns the tie breaker over green Bay. So if Washington loses we move back into the six seed.
Scott, you wrote that “With the loss in Dallas, the 8-6 Bucs are currently on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Washington is 7-5-1 and if they win on Monday Night Football they will be the current placeholder for the sixth playoff spot in the NFC over Tampa Bay and Green Bay, which is also 8-6. Should the Redskins lose, the Packers would move into the sixth playoff spot as Green Bay has the current tiebreaker over Tampa Bay”.
NFL reports this: Tampa Bay Wins tie break over Green Bay based on best win percentage in common games.
Who’s right and how do you justify your comment?
You’re not Scott, so I don’t care what you think, or what you care about. That’s why I didn’t ask you Bozo.
WOW!! Name calling. Thank you for the interaction. Best to you.
The Packers have it based on strength of victory as the Bucs and Packers are tied in common games.
You’re not Scott either, so I doubt you can justify how HE came up with HIS scenario…. see my reply to Bozo ahead of you.
Hey SR- Welcome to reality. JW has been inconsistent since the day we drafted him. I’ll repeat what I have said before about JW. At THIS point in his career, he is a GREAT leader and an average NFL QB. At this point he is nowhere near an elite QB. He has a lot of growing to do.
Here is my take on it. JW did a pretty good job overall. Was he a little off on some throws? Sure. But the bottom line is at the end of the game. They were in a position to win. So all you naysayers, can run your mouths today, because they lost. But I guarantee, not a single one of you were sure about how it would end. Why? Because you didn’t know if JW could pull it out or not. Hell, the whole team, thought he was going to get it done.
So at the end of the day, while you talk all this nonsense, about dumping the ball off quicker. Long release time, and he is streaky…..Deep down, you had no clue how this would end. Because they had a chance to pull it out. Whatever nonsense you want to talk about. That is why he is here. Because they had a chance.
Now as for the game…..I think Koetter called a good first quarter. The 2nd I didn’t like because it was too predictable. I am guessing he was really trying to get the ground game going.
3rd quarter they came out firing….I think this year they do better, starting off with the pass and mixing in the run. As the line has been so inconsistent with their blocking. I am also wondering, why they didnt throw that screen to Donovans side instead of Cherilus side. When he has almost no real movement skills.
4th qtr he was still trying to run the ball…..But it was a close game, so I do not want to fault the man’s call here. We need to stay in the hurry up a little more, they seem to work better than the slower pace……
Close but no Cigar……On to the Saints next week……We need to win, so the haters can go back into hiding……lol
Jameis played like sh!t last night, period. Why does he fumble the ball like he did where no one is causing it. His grip suck or something? Small hands? I have seen him drop the rock like 4-5 times since watching him in the Rose Bowl against Oregon..
This look familiar? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH2CwXum6M0
He belongs on the most Disappointing list. You can’t use him in a headline like you did here, and not add him to last list. He played terribly last night. Yes, team game – RT play was awful. No excuse for that fumble, you can’t throw picks in your own territory and dammit, if you can get the yard on 3rd and one TAKE IT. Humph bailed him out of what was almost a Winston Top 10 Boneheaded play. Why are you chucking it 40+ yards when you only need one yard? (But we scored a Touchdown!) Yeah, that ball is picked 9 out of 10 times, that was all luck for Winston – not skill. It was skill, heart, and concentration on Humph’s part.
Scott, you’re being awfully tough on Jamies and Doug. Our OL is getting crushed, James is getting hit with no time, Doug getting hit in the backfield. Dak and Zeke look like Troy and Emmit because of their O line. Watch the film and check out how many yards Zeke gets BEFORE contact. And how many seconds Dak has to just stand up in the pocket, have a beer and wait for a WR or Witten to get open. Both of our tackles on the O line are struggling. Not sure Hawley is 100% as he’s been getting banged up all season. The point here, its the O line. Jamies has accuracy issues I hope he can fix, but he and Doug are getting the snot knocked out them. I say we cut them both
This article’s title is absurd and ventures into the realm of that fanboy site with the talking Joe’s. But, this is par for the course when Winston doesn’t have a stellar game. Ignore whatever previous good play he’s had and dive right into the negative. Pretty easy for Dak to be poised when he has all day to make his progressions and hit the easy underneath/intermediate stuff. I read every single post and thankfully some of y’all understand the football concepts Jameis is asked to run. I saw so many “He’s not accurate enough!” I’m glad you’ve ignored his last 10 weeks of play to make that statement. He’s only had two games under 60% completion. He’s only had 4 under 60% all year. And 2 of those came in the first 4 weeks. His accuracy is fine when he’s allowed to find more than one read. When he plays hero ball, y’all blast him for doing too much. When he plays in the system, that Dirk calls, y’all blast him for not doing enough with the limited opportunities he gets. (Seattle game comes to mind) It’s maddening.
Did he have a good game? No. He has to focus his excitement into better play to start big games. Did Dirk help him out in the 4th quarter with play calling & shoring up the protection? No. Did the OL severely let him down when it mattered most in the 4th QT? Yes. They’ve regressed every game since Seattle against inferior DL’s. The OL & QBs’ play are linked. Y’all harp on his miss to Mike on the deep sideline route, but conveniently ignore the two previous plays before that near miss. Irving blasted Gos, and sacked him. Next play, Irving again abuses Gos, is in his grill immediately and blocks a pass. QB’s speed up their mechanics when they are pressured or expect pressure. I’m sure he felt the hit was coming and sped up the pass, resulting in the overthrow. He needs to make that pass, but please factor in the whole situation. Again, Jameis was pressured 10 of 16 snaps in the 4th. I’m sorry, but I can think of maybe 2-3 QB’s that would have had success working with that kind of pressure and the calls Dirk as making.
I’m ranting, but I’m just sick of the mob mentality whenever Jameis doesn’t have a good game. Can we not bring out the pitchforks and just acknowledge he’s probably 2-3 years away from his prime, but he’s still a damn good QB that is part of the solution to fix our beloved Bucs?
It’s called growing pains! The Bucs have to experience these types of games to learn how to win on a consistent basis. Jamesis did not play his best game for whatever reasons! It’s the NFL and that was the best team in the NFL! Period! We are not. We are making progress and Jamesis will be fine! I/We have waited decades for a Franchise QB and now we have one! He is/will be a great QB! Thought game plan would include opening up in the “No Huddle” to get Jamesis going early and stop the Boys from getting off so much and maybe tire them a bit. Jamesis seems to perform well in the no huddle and seems to be confortable playing in it! I think game plan should play to the strengths of the QB and team. No huddle, quick slants, screens would help in the Cowboy’s aggressiveness. I think OL should be our 1st round pick! I mean a big, quick, corn fed, big ass dude with a mean streak. we have to protect the Franchise! Make no mistake amigos, Jamesis IS the Franchise! Go Bucs! Merry Christmas to you and yours my fellow Buc Fans!
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