For the first time since 1987, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick and selected former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The area is abuzz with excitement for the Bucs news quarterback, one the fans and the organization hope becomes a franchise quarterback, and can lead the Buccaneers back to the playoffs for the first time since Jon Gruden roamed the sidelines at Raymond James Stadium.

PewterReport.com has chronicled Winston’s practice reports throughout training camp and the preseason, and now breaks down his performances in the regular season games.

Winston’s First Drive – Bucs 0, Saints 0
Winston’s first pass was a gain of 36 yards to Vincent Jackson, but was negated by a holding penalty on Donovan Smith to set up first-and-20. After a Doug Martin run picked up three yards, Winston found tight end Cameron Brate for a gain of 11 yards. On third-and-6, Winston’s pass to Adam Humphries was incomplete and the Bucs had to punt.
Winston was 1-of-2 for 11 yards

Winston’s Second Drive – Saints 7, Bucs 0
After two runs by Martin set up third-and-2, Winston threw a pass to Charles Sims, which turned out to be a lateral for a 4-yard loss. That forced the Bucs’ second punt of the game.
Winston was 0-of-0

Winston’s Third Drive – Saints 7, Bucs 0
On second-and-8, Winston hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins with a gain of 13 out to the Tampa Bay 26. On first down, Winston’s pass for Seferian-Jenkins was high and overthrown. Winston was sacked on third-and-6 from the Tampa Bay 30 and the Bucs had to punt for a third time.
Winston was 1-of-2 for 13 yards and was sacked once

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Winston’s Fourth Drive – Saints 14, Bucs 0
Winston found Jackson for a gain of five yards. On second down, Winston’s pass was tipped and the line and was incomplete. A personal foul on Saints cornerback Kyle Wilson gave the Bucs a first down after he hit Martin after the play. Wilson then hit Humphries high after an incomplete pass to give Tampa Bay another first down at the New Orleans 42. After a Winston run picked up no yards and his pass to Donteea Dye was incomplete, Winston scrambled for 18 yards on third-and-10 to pick up the first down at the New Orleans 24. After a 1-yard loss by Sims, Winston hit Sims for a 6-yard gain to set up third-and-5. Winston’s pass to Seferian-Jenkins in the end zone was incomplete, but a defensive holding call on Saints cornerback Brandon Browner gave Tampa Bay a first down at the New Orleans 14. On the next play, Martin ran right then cut back to the middle for a 14-yard touchdown.
Winston was 2-of-5 for 11 yards and ran twice for 18 yards

Winston’s Fifth Drive – Saints 17, Bucs 7
Winston hit Sims with a gain of 14 yards out to the Tampa Bay 47. Winston ran for a gain of six yards and then a 5-yard penalty on Wilson for illegal contact gave the Bucs another first down and stopped the clock. Winston then hit Dye for a gain of 16 yards down to the New Orleans 26 and spiked the ball. After Winston hit Brate with a gain of five yards down to the 21-yard line and was pushed out of bounds, Connor Barth’s 39-yard field goal was good to cut New Orleans’ lead to 17-10.
Winston was 3-of-3 for 35 yards and ran for a gain of 6 yards

Winston’s Sixth Drive – Saints 17, Bucs 10
After a 22-yard run by Martin, the Bucs had a first down at their own 38, but Winston’s pass to Seferian-Jenkins was overthrown and nearly intercepted. On third-and-5, Winston hit Sims with a screen pass for 10 yards and a first down. On second-and-10 from the New Orleans 47, Winston hit Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of nine yards. After a 1-yard run by Martin picked up a first down at the 37, Winston’s pass to Martin was incomplete. On third-and-6, Winston’s pass to Evans picked up four yards and Barth was brought out to attempt a 47-yard field goal, which he missed.
Winston was 3-of-5 for 23 yards

Winston’s Seventh Drive – Saints 17, Bucs 10
After a 5-yard run by Martin out to the Tampa Bay 25, Winston’s pass to Seferian-Jenkins was incomplete. On third-and-5, his pass to Brate was broken up by safety Jarius Byrd and the Bucs were forced to punt.
Winston was 0-of-2

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Winston’s Eighth Drive – Saints 24, Bucs 10
Winston’s screen pass to Sims on first down was incomplete. On second-down, Winston hit Sims for a gain of nine yards. On third-and-1, Winston scrambled around and then hit Evans for a gain of 13 yards. Winston hit Russell Shepard for a 6-yard gain, but Evans was flagged for offensive pass interference, so there was no play. On first-and-20 Sims rushed for six yards, but an unnecessary roughness penalty on Evans backed the Bucs up to a second-and-29. Winston hit Sims for a gain of 14 yards. On third-and-14, Winston hit Sims for 11 yards to set up fourth-and-4 from the Tampa Bay 48. On the next play, Winston hit Seferian-Jenkins with a gain of nine yards and also picked up 15 yards on a roughing the passer penalty. On first-and-10 from the 28, Winston hit Evans for 22 yards down to the New Orleans 6. Winston hit Humphries for a 6-yard touchdown to cut New Orleans’ lead to 24-17.
Winston was 8-of-9 for 84 yards and a TD

Winston’s Ninth Drive – Saints 24, Bucs 17
After a 24-yard run on first down by Martin, Winston’s pass to Evans was high and incomplete. On second down, Winston overthrew a wide-open Sims downfield on a wheel route. On third down, Winston hit Dye in stride across the middle of the field, but the pass was dropped and the Bucs had to punt with just over four minutes left.
Winston was 0-of-3

After Sunday’s loss, Winston discussed the offense’s problem sustaining drives and mentioned Smith’s 10-yard holding call that negated his 36-yard completion to Jackson.

“The first half [was] unfortunate,” Winston said. “First play, explosive, but we get called with a holding. So that definitely took our momentum, especially that first drive. But, you know, we have to bounce back. Quick turnaround, we got the Rams, and play better.”

Winston addressed the Bucs’ missed opportunities throughout the game, including Dye’s big drop on third down, which would have given Tampa Bay a first down in New Orleans territory with 4:28 remaining. The Bucs would punt on the next play and never get the ball back.

“No, one play doesn’t determine the outcome of the game,” Winston said. “I know I made a lot of plays, but there’s a lot of plays that I should have made out there that would have helped us win the game.”

One of those plays Winston almost made was on a deep pass to Sims on a wheel route on the play prior to Dye’s drop. The pass was overthrown, but Winston said that linebacker Dannelle Ellerbe should have been flagged for pass interference.

“No, actually 20 yards down the field, No. 59 hit Sims and it slowed him down,” Winston said. “So, yep, that throw would have been right on the money [otherwise]. But we didn’t get the call. Like I said, there’s a bunch of unfortunate things that happened out there, but we can’t hurt ourselves, that’s the main thing. We can’t hurt ourselves and we have to bounce back.”

One of the few bright spots for Winston was his 6-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Adam Humphries, who got his first NFL touchdown on the play. That play cut into New Orleans’ lead and made the score 24-17 and extended Winston’s streak of scoring at least one touchdown – passing or rushing – to 13 straight games.

Bucs WR Adam Humphries - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Getty Images

“Oh man, it was amazing,” Winston said. “The whole week it was just like, ‘We are going to get Adam a touchdown.’ We actually had a play dialed up for him that we didn’t get to run today that I was going to throw it to him no matter what. But I’m happy we got him in.”

After the game, Winston reflected on Saints quarterback Drew Brees completing 31-of-41 passes for 312 yards with two touchdowns and helping New Orleans convert 12-of-17 (71 percent) on third down. Winston and the Bucs converted just 4-of-11 (36 percent) on third down.

“He was amazing,” Winston said. “When you convert, I think it was four third-and-extra-longs – I mean when you are playing against the best, we knew it as an offense [that] we have to show up. Drew Brees just outplayed me. This was the game for me to have a breakout game and put up some points on the board and he played better.

“Them having a new defensive coordinator, it was hard for us to get the tendencies and basically know what they were doing on third downs. This had to be one of our worst third-down performances we’ve had in a long time. And that’s situational football. That’s how you win football games. You look at the way the game turned out, Drew Brees, they converted a lot of their third downs and we didn’t. That’s why I say for quarterback play, me as a quarterback lost the battle against Drew Brees, definitely, in the third down competition.”

PewterReport.com Analysis: Outside of throwing four interceptions, including a pick-six in a 37-23 loss to Carolina, Winston might have had to worst game of his rookie season in Sunday’s 24-17 loss to New Orleans. No, Winston didn’t throw any interceptions nor did he fumble the ball. He was just off with his passes, which mostly sailed high on him against New Orleans. Winston completed (56.3 percent), but just wasn’t the playmaker the Bucs needed him to be on Sunday outside of a few throws. Dirk Koetter’s play-calling was baffling at times and it mirrored the poor execution by his players, including Winston. The Bucs offense had three three-and-outs out of nine possessions, including one in the fourth quarter trailing 24-17. Two more possessions lasted just four and five plays before ending in punts, too. The offense had two decent drives and could muster just 17 points against the worst defense in the NFL. Tampa Bay’s offense was held to 291 total yards, which was the third-lowest output of the season.

Winston’s Final Stats: 18-of-32 for 182 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions, and 24 yards on three carries and was sacked once

PewterReport.com Game Grade: C-

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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Horse
Horse
5 years ago

I’m not about to give him a C-; maybe B-. Where was Evans? Why didn’t Dotson start who had previously proven Martin can get yards with him blocking? Why was Dotson on the Inactives List? Penalties was our issue today. Winston was hit constantly and the pocket didn’t hold as well as it should have. Tough game ahead with DL hurting so badly.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
Reply to  Horse
5 years ago

Agree horse…this wasn’t on WINSTON…they had way more pressure than they were entitled to….our receivers largely forgot to show up….and for some reason Doug Martin’s 20 yard runs weren’t impressive enough to get his number called again….

ELBUCCS
ELBUCCS
5 years ago

Games like this remind us how young this team is. Execution just wasn’t there. The good was no giveaways. The bad was drops and untimely penalties. Dye’s drop was huge. The hands to face call on a sack play really hurt. The PI call on Evans was questionable, especially when the bump of Simms wasn’t called.

grafikdetail
grafikdetail
Reply to  ELBUCCS
5 years ago

saints ran a real pick on the 1st score…i mean the WR was literally blocking our DB and nothing… evans simply runs by a guy & barely touches him & he gets flagged… smh

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  grafikdetail
5 years ago

I saw the same thing, that was the definition of a pick play. The reciever was blocking our guy before Bree’s even threw the damn ball.

jiggyjoe
jiggyjoe
5 years ago

I think Winston played fine, he just didn’t get much help from his receivers. The more I see him play, the better I like him. I like what Horse said and I have questions also.

grafikdetail
grafikdetail
5 years ago

also on the “overthrow” to Sims… Winston said the backer grabbed Sims & threw the timing off & that it would’ve been in stride if not for that… but no flag by the refs SMH

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

Lighten up on yourself, young man. No! You are not Drew Brees yet, but on a trajectory where you can be and possibly more. Brees did not outplay Winston today, stats aside, his team – as bad as they are, outplayed Winston’s team. Brees looked great today because one, he’s a 15 year Super Bowl winning franchise QB and two, he was playing against the absolute worst secondary in the NFL. Absurd to compare the two at this point, but it always helps any QB if your receivers catch the ball and your defense puts pressure on the opposing QB… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Great synopsis by PR and macabee. This is just another example of rookie play. One week your on a high and your ruling the world and the next week you flat line.
Unfortunately I could see this coming.
The Saints were blown up last week but it was basically because of blown assignments, not because they lacked the talent.
At the same time the Saints hung 38 points on a very tough Panthers defense.
We just need more talent.
Hey, I just saw Leonard Johnson playing for the Patriots.

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

I don’t recall any Saints receivers dropping the ball. Then again, Brees is deadly accurate. Even when he throws up a duck on 3rd and long the pass was uncontested by our secondary.

matador
matador
Reply to  scubog
5 years ago

That’s the key – accuracy. JW was not accurate with his throws. Brees always is. It’s the difference between good and great when it comes to QB play. His ability to improve ball location will determine whether we are marginal playoff contenders or a powerhouse in coming years. Especially since I don’t trust Lovie to build a strong team around him.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  matador
5 years ago

True Jameis was high yesterday, but you’re comparing a guy who’s been in the league for 15 years to a rookie. In Brees’ first three seasons he completed 60% of his passes only once.

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

Look at the picture of Brees, and Winston. jameis gets it. You can see in his eyes he’s sucking up any knowledge Brees is willing to give. That’s our hope right there.

jme0151
jme0151
5 years ago

Defense terrible….period!! Always be a mediocre team with this defense. Never press receivers..limited blitz package. Can’t get off the field. Winston can’t do it if we keep loosing time of possession battle.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

When I was in the stands and saw the first TD I just knew there had to be a pick on the play. After watching the game rewind my suspicions were correct.
There was also PI on Simms. Face mask penalty on Jones was correct. He grabbed it and never let go.