FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shot
• Here is an observation I’ve made about the play-calling of Dirk Koetter and quarterback Jameis Winston. Koetter has long preached about getting explosive plays on offense and loves taking deep shots downfield, which is part of the reason why the Bucs signed speedy wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
For the third straight week, the Bucs offense has shifted its focus from the downfield shots Koetter has wanted and more to a short- and intermediate passing game that is actually playing to Winston’s strengths – and a game plan that is accounting for Winston’s sore shoulder. It has been a welcome adjustment because Winston has struggled mightily throwing the deep ball this year from an accuracy standpoint. Most of those missed shots downfield have contributed to killing drives and led to punting situations.
A look back at Winston’s best four games from a statistical perspective since injuring his shoulder at Arizona in Week 6 reveals that his success was due to short, rhythmic passing game that features a lot of screens, a few intermediate passes and hardly any shots down the field.
Against Buffalo, Winston was 32-of-44 (72.7 percent) for 384 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Winston’s longest completion was a 33-yarder in the Bucs’ 30-27 loss. The Bucs amassed 447 yards of total offense against the Bills.
In his return to action at Green Bay from a three-game absence, Winston completed 21-of-32 passes (65.6 percent) for 270 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in Tampa Bay’s 26-20 overtime loss. The Bucs outgained the Packers 395-276 yards last week.
Two weeks ago against Detroit, Winston was 26-of-38 (68.4 percent) for 285 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Winston’s longest completion of the game went for 21 yards. The Bucs had 400 yards of total offense in a 24-21 defeat.
In last week’s 24-21 loss to Atlanta on Monday Night Football, Winston had the best game of his career, completing 27-of-35 passes (77.1 percent) for 299 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Bucs only had three receptions longer than 20 yards, including a 42-yard jump ball touchdown to Mike Evans, which was one of only three shots Winston fired downfield all night.
I’ve seen that fewer shots downfield are actually best for Winston to have success. It makes you wonder how efficient Winston could be in a West Coast offense, and it’s becoming more obvious that he’s not an ideal fit for the vertical style of offense that Koetter ideally wants to run without making the adjustments for Winston’s injured shoulder. It’s an adjustment that might have come too late for Koetter.
Sweetwater Spice Co. Ancho & Chipotle Brisket Bath Brine / $9.99
Blending the earthiness of smoked Ancho chilies and the smokey heat of Chipotle Chilies with the sweetness of Apple Juice, Tamarind, and Brown Sugar, this barbecue-centric brine concentrate accentuates the flavor of beef while producing tender, juicy brisket. All of Sweetwater Spice Co.’s brines are naturally fat free, gluten free, and contain no flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Pick up some Sweetwater Spice Co. Ancho & Chipotle Brisket Bath Brine at Just Grillin, which is located at 11743 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Carrollwood, just 15 minutes north of Raymond James Stadium. Or shop online at JustGrillinFlorida.com
• Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans needs 161 receiving yards over the final two games to reach 1,000 yards receiving. Should Evans accomplish that feat, he would be only the third receiver in NFL history to have four straight 1,000-yard seasons at the start of his NFL career, joining Randy Moss and A.J. Green.
“It would be a cool accomplishment,” Evans told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s something I’m supposed to do. I get a lot of targets. I’m a No. 1 receiver on the team. I should get that. Hopefully I get it.”
Tampa Bay head coach and offensive play-caller Dirk Koetter needs to take care of Evans and makes sure that happens. Milestones like that are important for players and franchises. The Bucs have had a 1,000-yard receiver in each of the last five seasons.
• Help us get to 29,000 Twitter followers on our @PewterReport Twitter account. For those of you who don’t follow us on Twitter, please do so. For the latest Bucs news, observations from the PewterReport.com staff, reports from Bucs press conferences and notifications of the latest PewterReport.com stories, join the masses who follow @PewterReport and help us continue to grow our following on Twitter. And if you are on Facebook, please follow our Facebook page by clicking here.
• Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is coming off one of the finest performances in his young career, completing 77.1 percent of his passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-21 loss to Atlanta on Monday Night Football. Despite being injured and missing three games and parts of two others, Winston has shown some improvement this year, completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,774 yards with 17 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.
His completion percentage is a career best and is nearly four points higher than last years, while his 2.2 percent interception rate is the lowest of his career. Winston’s QB rating if also a career high 93.6, which tops last year’s 86.1.
Pro Football Focus has the third-year Bucs signal caller rated as the 14th best QB in the league
NFL Matchup rates Winston as the seventh-best quarterback in the red zone with a 104.2 rating, which is just ahead of New England’s Tom Brady, who has a 104.1 rating.
• It’s the Holiday Shopping Season! If you are looking to buy some Bucs gear or sports apparel for ANY team (Lightning?) in ANY sport (college football, NBA, NHL, etc.) there is a way to do that and support PewterReport.com! It’s time to do some holiday shopping and • IewterReport.com has partnered Fanatics.com, the leader in sports apparel and fan gear, and receives a portion of each sale made through our site.
You might have seen the red Bucs Gear tab on PewterReport.com’s menu bar at the top of the website. Clicking on that link or any Fanatics.com banner on PewterReport.com, including the one to the right, contributes to the continued development of our website for your enjoyment.
Now you know where to visit if you are looking to purchase a Lavonte David, Mike Evans or O.J. Howard Bucs jersey – or any sports merchandise. Visit PewterReport.com first, then click on the Bucs Gear tab.
We appreciate your support, Pewter Nation. It’s help like this that continues to fund our efforts to provide you with the best Bucs coverage on the Internet.
• It’s time to recognize the job that first-year tight ends coach Ben Steele has done in Tampa Bay. Steele, who was the Bucs assistant tight ends coach the last few years under Jon Embree, took over the room this year after Embree departed for San Francisco in the offseason. Not only has Steele presided over the development of first-round pick O.J. Howard, but he’s also helped develop undrafted rookie Antony Auclair, who is making the transition from Canadian football to American football.
“Ben is a hard worker and really knows his stuff for sure,” Auclair said. “I didn’t know this was his rookie season until the second game of the year. He’s done a great job and he’s always working on details. It’s been a transition for me learning American football and he’s played a big part in helping me do it quickly. I’m getting better because of him, that’s for sure.”
Steele has also played a big role in Cameron Brate’s development over the last two years. After a breakthrough year in 2016 with 57 receptions for 660 yards (11.6 avg.) and eight touchdowns last year, Brate has 42 catches for 541 yards and six TDs. Brate and Howard are tied for the team lead with six touchdowns, which shows how important the tight end position has been in Tampa Bay this year, and speaks to the role Steele has played in developing that position.
• The Bucs travel to Carolina to play the Panthers on Christmas Eve. Will they mail it in? Well we sure did on the latest Pewter Nation Podcast, but it turned out to be quite funny – and we managed to stick in some darn good Bucs analysis, too. Here is a link to that Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 54: Winston Has Progressed, Koetter Hasn’t
Be sure to check out last week’s Pewter Nation Podcast where I shared some of my stories about Jon Gruden with Trevor Sikkema. You can click here for that Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 52: The Untold Stories Of Scott Reynolds And Jon Gruden
If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcasts yet, it’s the perfect way to enjoy your lunch on a Friday afternoon or battle rush hour traffic on your way home from work. We’ll be taping another Pewter Nation Podcast on Tuesday afternoon after the Bucs play the Falcons. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here.
• And finally, I wanted to wish all of Pewter Nation a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday! There WILL be a NEW Discount Garage Door SR’s Fab 5 column next Friday on December 29 that will end 2017 with a bang. Don’t miss it!