Though the Bucs were without their star receiver and playing a quarterback who was less than 100 percent, Tampa Bay’s offense caught fire early in the cold of Detroit to tame the Lions by a score of 38-17.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished last week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts strong, coming back from being down 14 points in the second half to capture the home victory 38-35. Much of that could be attributed to the second half heroics of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who toughed it out playing with a fracture in his throwing hand. Winston was cleared to play and started against the Detroit Lions, but on his first series, he made an all too familiar mistake by throwing an interception.

Thankfully for the Buccaneers, that turnover did not yield any points, as the the Bucs defense held the Lions to negative three yards and a three-and-out on their first series. As he often does, Winston bounced back from the turnover drive with a nearly flawless second series, completing five straight passes, the final one being a 34-yard score to wide receiver Breshad Perriman.

When the Bucs defense took the field for the second time in the game, they didn’t hold the Lions to a three-and-out, but they did hold them to just four plays before forcing yet another punt. On the next series, Winston continued his hot streak, completing all but one pass on a 5-play drive that included a big 51-yard connection to wide receiver Chris Godwin and was capped off with a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Scotty Miller. That touchdown was Miller’s first of his career, and brought the score to 14-0.

The Lions defense was once again only able to call three offensive plays before being forced to punt. It was on this drive that Bucs pass rusher Shaq Barrett recorded sack number 16.5, which tied the franchise record. The Bucs didn’t have the same kind of success they were used to on their next drive, as they were forced to punt the ball after just five plays. But when the Lions got the ball back, it was the same old story and another three-and-out.

The Bucs offense was able to get into a more controlled rhythm on their next drive. Winston was able to spread the ball around quite a bit through the air, as he would end this game having completed passes to 11 different players. At the end of the drive, it was Perriman in the end zone yet again for his second score of the game bringing the Bucs lead to 21-0. Finally the Lions were able to get something going on offense in response, as they were able to get the ball into field goal range before the half, breaking their scoreless streak and making the score 21-3 at the half.

The Lions started the second half with the ball, but their first drive fate was the same as the Bucs’ was in the first half, as Detroit quarterback David Blough threw and interception to Tampa Bay safety Andrew Adams. In response, the Bucs were able to drive 39 yards in five plays to get into field goal range and make the score 24-3.

With the game getting out of hand, the Lions offense was finally able to settle down and move the ball consistently throughout a drive. Back-to-back passes to wide receiver Danny Amendola got things going, and that sparked a drive that brought the Lions all the way to the 1-yard line where they were able to punch it in and bring the score to 24-10.

After an eight-play drive, the Bucs were forced to punt again, and gave the ball back to a red-hot, in-rhythm Lions offense. That Detroit offense indeed picked up where it left off, driving the ball 97 yards in seven plays, including a 48-yard pass to Amendola, which once again brought them to the goal line yielding another 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 24-17.

When the Bucs took over, needing something to get the offense going again, running back Peyton Barber set the tone with a flattening block and a crushing truck on a defender. The drive was able to get into field goal range, but the long 54-yard Matt Gay field goal went right off the left upright to keep the score at 24-17.

With momentum on the side, the Lions took over with their best field position of the day. A quick pass and a long run got the Lions into Buccaneer territory. Blough had been able to connect with Amendola all game long, and as he went for him again, rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting undercut the route and took it back for a pick-6 bringing the score to 31-17 in favor of the Buccaneers.

On the Lions next series, they were held to just 21 yards before turning it over on downs. The Bucs took over with a two touchdown lead and four minutes to go in the game. Turns out they didn’t even need the four minutes to put this one away, as Winston hooked up with Perriman in the end zone for the third time bringing the score to 38-17.

And that’s how this game would end.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at:
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1 year ago

Great win. Great game by Jameis. He is our franchise QB. 4 in a row feels good. Let’s get another win next week!!! Go Bucs!!!

1 year ago

4 in a row, Juggernaut Jamies!

Boca James (Boca Raton Florida)
1 year ago

Another first series interception another roller coaster of emotions. I never thought I’d say this but we have to find a way to resign Winston. The guy is putting up unbelievable numbers. With another year under Arians guidance and in the same offense he should be better. Need to draft a OT and G/T and resign as many players as we can. The future is brighter now than it has been in a long time! Another good win! Go Bucs

1 year ago

Yep! I guess this officially puts the Jameis will he/won’t he to bed! Good win for the Bucs! A gutsy and impressive game by Jameis! Nice to see the defense playing better as well! What an Offense we r developing in Tampa! Winston is a gunslinger and every game is a shootout at the O K Corral! Sunday r just a little sweeter when the Buc’s win. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all Buc fans!

1 year ago

Well that was was a heck of a solid win. Jameis did great dispute having almost no healthy wide receivers. Still putting up insane numbers. I would like to know what Buncnut, BAB, and sunshineben have to think. Oh that’s right, it’ll be another silent week from the negative trolls.

1 year ago

I’m worried about Godwin, by Bruce Arians reaction, it does not look good.

Captain Sly
1 year ago

Been a long journey But 7-7 Bucs feels real Good right now! Another Big Day for Winston which if I’m not mistaken he now leads the league in passing yards. Some are going to only focus on the interception but Winston is Winston and he’s our QB. However The picks on the 1st series of games is starting to make me a believer in Sports Psychology. Lol

1 year ago

What a strong win. Got a little closer than i wouldve liked at a point there, but damn this offense is clicking. And that is with a god awful running game. I mean absolutely terrible. Jameis was spreading the ball around like christmas presents. Everyone got a piece. Jameis’ touch today is what really impressed me, it almost looked effortless. The first interception was a heck of a play by a linebacker running the opposite way and reaching back and snagging it. But there is no doubt jameis will be back next year ive been saying it for weeks. Hes… Read more »

Reply to  cgmaster27
1 year ago

Agreed, play calling has been trending upward the last few weeks.

1 year ago

Another great win, I guess we all have to live with Winston throwing 1-2 int while also throwing 3-4 TDS. We definitely need to draft Oline for sure. It’s going to be that much harder now to win out if Godwin and Miller are both out. Let’s keep this win streak going all the way to 2020!!! Go Bucs!!

1 year ago

Great win. Now, let’s beat a good team at home next week.

1 year ago

Let’s give it up for Josh Wells for playing solid after those early penalties.Maybe a right tackle prospect next season.

Boca James (Boca Raton Florida)
Reply to  dexfields22
1 year ago

I had to listen to the game but I agree. Gene pointed out he did have some help and often. From tight ends extra offense lineman and running back‘s but still a good game considering.

1 year ago

Credit where it is due – that’s one heck of an opening paragraph Trevor.

An extremely underrated aspect of life when the Bucs play well is that our local journalists begin to write again with passion.

It certainly makes for more fun reading. :)

Go Bucs

1 year ago

During the latter stages of the game, I saw a graphic on the screen that kind of shocked me. Winston is the first QB in THE ENTIRE HISTORY of the NFL to pass for 450+ yards in 2 consecutive games. I was kind of surprised that this had never been accomplished before. If this is accurate, Winston accomplished it WITHOUT his #1 WR for 7 quarters and his #2 WR for most of 2 quarters. 11 receivers this week. Impressive, most impressive.

1 year ago

Winning makes what it’s all about. What a change of feelings about the Team, QB, GM and the team. No matter what happens in these last two games, we have turned the corner. Go Bucs; keep winning!

1 year ago

Another great team win, this time on the road! Winston, Shaq and Godwin played great and the O-line gave Winston time to throw. I can’t say I’m going to lose my mind with a win over the Lions, but a win for me is always fun and makes for a better week at work. Go Bucs!

Reply to  pinkstob
1 year ago

Was that a comment praising Winston my friend?

Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

Arians took Koetter’s 5-11 roster from last year and has squeezed out two more wins this season, and we shall see how they finish in the end.

It look very promising because Arians is guiding the 2nd youngest team in the NFL which is very impressive.

1 year ago

As I have said all season Trust BA He Will Find a Way! And Licht brought us the winning players and has earned his five year extension too! Glad to see Horse back on board too. I must admit I sure wasn’t sold on Perriman during the first of this year, but BA has turned him into a Superstar! And despite his bad thumb Jameis has been throwing extremely accurate long passes finally too; like Fitzmagic used to thrill us the first two games last year. I recommend Jameis keep throwing with that same glove on his right hand the… Read more »