CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03: Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drops back to pass during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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 – Panthers 0, Bucs 0
Winston’s first pass of the day came on third-and-9 and he hit Donteea Dye for a 13-yard gain and a first down. Doug Martin caught Winston’s second pass of the day for a gain of seven. On third-and-4 from the Tampa Bay 47, Winston’s pass to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but it was dropped and the Bucs had to punt.
Winston was 2-of-3 for 21 yards
Winston’s Second Drive – Panthers 0, Bucs 0
Winston caught a screen pass for 20 yards down to the Carolina 25 on first down. On the next play, Winston’s pass to Dye went for minus-1. On third-and-6 from the Panthers 21, Winston’s deep pass to Russell Shepard was too long and overthrown. That set up a 39-yard field goal by Connor Barth to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead.
Winston was 2-of-3 for 19 yards
Winston’s Third Drive – Panthers 7, Bucs 3
Winston’s first pass of the drive was incomplete to Dye, and it looked like there was some miscommunication on the play. On third-and-9, Winston avoided the blitz, but his pass to Dye was hurried and overthrown, which forced a punt.
Winston was 0-of-2 for 0 yards
Winston’s Fourth Drive – Panthers 10, Bucs 3
Winston’s first pass of the drive was overthrown, but he came back and hit Mike Evans with a gain of 27 yards and a first down. Winston then threw into double coverage and was intercepted by linebacker Thomas Davis. The pass was intended for Adam Humphries.
Winston was 1-of-3 for 27 yards with an interception
Winston’s Fifth Drive – Panthers 17, Bucs 3
On third-and-14, Winston’s pass to tight end Luke Stocker only picked up three yards and that resulted in the second three-and-out of the day for the Bucs.
Winston was 1-of-1 for 3 yards
Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Photo by: Getty Images
Winston’s Sixth Drive – Panthers 24, Bucs 3
Winston’s passes to Charles Sims were incomplete on first and second down, but then he hit Evans with a gain of 26 yards on third down out to the Tampa Bay 46. Winston misfired on a pass to Evans on first down, and then hit Sims for a gain of seven yards on second down to the Carolina 47. On third-and-3, Winston rifled a pass to Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of seven yards to the Carolina 40. Winston’s screen pass to Humphries on incomplete on first down. Dye took a huge hit from Courtland Finnegan on second down, but held on for a gain of 14 yards down to the Carolina 26. Winston hit Sims for a gain of eight yards down to the Panthers 13. On first down, Winston’s fade pass to Evans was incomplete with 15 seconds left. On second down, Winston hit Sims for a gain of 11 yards down to the 2-yard line with seven seconds left. Winston’s pass to Seferian-Jenkins was incomplete. On the final play of the half, Winston’s pass to Seferian-Jenkins fell incomplete short of the end zone.
Winston was 7-of-14 for 73 yards
Winston’s Seventh Drive – Panthers 24, Bucs 3
Winston scrambled for a gain of six yards on the first play of the second half. Winston hit Martin with a gain of four yards on second down, but Winston was sacked for an 8-yard loss on third-and-4 and the Bucs had to punt.
Winston was 1-of-1 for 4 yards with one run for 6 yards and was sacked once
Winston’s Eighth Drive – Panthers 31, Bucs 3
Winston hit Martin for a gain of six yards on first down. After a 30-yard gain on third-and-1 from the Tampa Bay 29, Winston hit Martin for a gain of five yards down to the Carolina 33. Winston found Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of 21 yards down to the 4-yard line. On the next play, Winston used a bootleg play to run for a 4-yard touchdown to cut into Carolina’s 31-10 lead.
Winston was 3-of-3 for 32 yards and a 4-yard touchdown run
Winston’s Ninth Drive – Panthers 31, Bucs 10
Following a Lavonte David fumble recovery, Winston hit Martin for a gain of four yards on second-and-14 out to the Tampa Bay 23. On third-and-8, Winston hit Evans for a gain of 15 yards and a first down at the 38-yard. Winston then hit Evans with a 30-yard gain down to the 32. His throw to Seferian-Jenkins on the next play was incomplete. Winston’s pass to Brate was intercepted by Robert McClain on third-and-6 from the Carolina 28. Brate slipped on the play.
Winston was 3-of-4 for 49 yards with one interception
Winston’s Tenth Drive – Panthers 38, Bucs 10
Winston hit Martin with a gain of 12 yards on first down. He then found Sims with a gain of 14 yards, a gain of one yards and a gain of 11 yards on three straight passes before his pass to Dye was incomplete on third-and-8 at the Tampa Bay 48. On fourth down, Winston hit Brate for a 10-yard gain to the Carolina 42. Winston was sacked on the next play, but then found Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of 20 yards down to the Carolina 26. Winston’s deep pass to Evans was incomplete on the next play, but found Martin with a gain of six yards. On third-and-4, Winston found Dye for a gain of five yards and a first down to the Carolina 15. Winston scrambled for a gain of four yards to the Panthers 11. After Winston’s pass to Evans was incomplete, the second-year receiver was looking for a flag and began cursing at the officials, which drew two personal fouls and his ejection. On third-and-36, Winston hit Sims with a 4-yard gain and then found him again for 13 more yards on fourth-and-32.
Winston was 10-of-13 for 98 yards with one run for four yards and was sacked once
Winston didn’t have his best game in Carolina, throwing two interceptions that hurt Tampa Bay’s chances of winning. But he did throw for 325 yards, which was his second 300-yard game in the last three weeks and the second of his rookie season.
Winston finished the year with 4,042 yards and became the third quarterback in NFL history to do that since 1970 behind Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (4,374 in 2012) and Carolina’s Cam Newton (4,051 in 2011). Winston surpassed Peyton Manning (3,739 in 1998) to move into third place.
Tampa Bay’s rookie quarterback came within 10 yards of passing Newton and moving into second place, and finished 24 yards away from surpassing Josh Freeman (4,065 in 2012) for the most passing yards in franchise history in a single season.
After the game, Winston shrugged off his personal accomplishment.
“No, it doesn’t matter,” Winston said. “It doesn’t matter at all. It matters for the team. It’s a great accomplishment for the city of Tampa. It hasn’t been done in a long time.”
Meanwhile, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith praised the team’s first-round pick’s achievement.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images
“Jameis as a rookie, that’s tough duty to be able to do that,” Smith said. “I think it’s safe to say that Jameis is an outstanding player that is going to have a great future and lead us to a lot of wins. When you have the main piece in place for years to come that gives you hope.”
Winston didn’t throw for a touchdown against Carolina, but rushed for one, which was his sixth of the year. That set the Tampa Bay record for most rushing TDs by a quarterback in a single season. Winston’s six rushing scores tied him with Steve Young (1985-86) for the second-most in franchise history for career rushing TDs by a quarterback. He trails only Doug Williams (13 from 1972-82) for the most in Tampa Bay history.
The front-runner for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Winston finished the year with 29 touchdowns (22 pass, six rush) and 16 turnovers (15 INTs, one fumble) and scored at least one touchdown in every game. He also became the only Buccaneers quarterback to throw every pass during the 2015 season.
Winston helped the Bucs top 6,000 total yards for the first time in franchise history. The Bucs amassed 386 yards on offense against the Panthers. That allowed Tampa Bay to finish the season with 6,014 yards.
Winston also aided Tampa Bay in producing 342 points, which was the fifth-highest in franchise history, and just four points behind the 2002 Super Bowl team’s mark of 346. Tampa Bay scored 389 points in 2012.
After the game, the ever-accountable Winston took personable responsibility for Sunday’s loss, referring to his two interceptions.
“I’m just ready for next year,” Winston said. “I can’t turn the ball over. We’re capable enough.”
Of his 15 interceptions, six of them this season have come against 15-1 Carolina, which proved to be light years ahead of 6-10 Tampa Bay as the 38-10 score would indicate. In his post-game press conference, a fired-up Winston said that the Bucs need more winners in their locker room.
“We’re going to create a mindset this offseason,” Winston said. “I guarantee you we’re going to create a winning mindset – a mindset that you will never give up, a relentless mindset of being able to persevere over adversity. We’re going to have that next year.
“That’s me. I persevere. I’m relentless. I want to win. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to protect the football. You lead. You’re the quarterback.”
Winston said there was some improvement this year, but he has to play better for there to be even more improvement.
“The offseason, we’re going to come back strong,” Winston said. “We’re getting better. Two games won last year, six this year. We have to get better. I have to get better.”
Winston was disgusted by the Bucs’ four-game losing streak to end the season.
“Right now, I’m not worried about the wins and losses,” Winston said. “I’m concerned about getting the mentality right and getting everybody on the same page and bouncing back. Ending the season 0-4 when we’re on the road like that, we’ve got to cut that. We can’t end the season 0-4. We’re way better than that. That’s disappointing. We’re way better than losing four games in a row. I don’t remember losing four … three games in a row in my life. We’re better than that.
“This game is about will, it’s about taking things. You have to at least try to take a win. You can’t go 0-4 at the end of the year.”
Winston wants to separate the winners from the losers in the Bucs locker room and get more players with a winning attitude on the team.
“When you are playing with a chip on your shoulder … we have to fix the whys on this team,” Winston said. “We have to fix ‘Why are we playing football?’ We have too many different ‘whys’ right now. When we get to the same ‘why’ – when we want to win together – that true family, we’re going to be hell now.”
Winston didn’t believe the problem was Tampa Bay’s coaches, rather it’s some of the players.
“Some of our coaches want it more than some of our players,” Winston said. “That’s the bad part. That’s the bad part. Our coaches want it. I guarantee it. They are up there working hours. They don’t get to see their families. …. We need to get our guys to put in the work like our coaches put in. That’s how you’re successful.
“That’s why we have the offseason. We’re going to get guys. We’re going to make them. It’s just some construction here and there. We’re going to get them. Everybody is going to be on the right track.”
PewterReport.com Analysis: Once again Winston started incredibly slow and completed 5-of-11 passes for 68 yards and one interception on the first four possessions. Winston had a nice drive before halftime, completing half of his passes for 73 yards, but was 0-for-2 from the Panthers’ 2-yard line with just seconds left and the Bucs came away with nothing as Carolina led 24-3. Winston was 12-of-25 for 144 yards with no touchdowns and one interception before halftime. Winston threw another interception in the second half, but was more accurate and threw for 181 yards and also rushed for a touchdown to end up setting numerous Bucs and NFL rookie records. It wasn’t the type of performance that neither he nor Tampa Bay wanted against the best team in the NFL, but Winston finished off a very impressive season healthy and hungry for more in 2016.
Winston’s Final Stats: 29-of-47 (61.7 percent) for 325 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions with three carries for 14 yards with one touchdown and was sacked twice
PewterReport.com Game Grade: C+
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: [email protected]
Mariota also had 16 total turnovers…
I just hope Winston can improve on this and work on his accuracy in the off season
Mariota also played in 4 less games and has fumble issues. Much rather have my QB throw a INT down the field, than fumble at the line of scrimmage. Winston will be a 30+/14 guy next season. He will always throw INT’s because he is an aggressive passer. But, he will get better at when he throws them, and because he takes chances, his TD total will also go up. I don’t think Winston will ever be a 64% type of QB. I’d be happy with 60% and 30+ TD’s and 12-15 INT’s a year.
When do they announce the ROY, Mac? This has been a huge year for this team’s future. “We have to fix the whys on this team.” You’ve gotta love this kid’s leadership. I found it interesting that in that interview, he stood 100% behind the coaches, but he let it be know that it was some of the players in the locker room that were the problem. I hope that Licht is privy to that information and he makes the necessary moves to keep this team trending upward, regardless of the rookie wall that the team hit. Two wins to six wins with a ton of rookies and a rookie QB. If the Glazers and Licht can show some patience, this team could definitely be competing for a playoff spot next year. Continuity is the key to long term success in the NFL, as well as having a franchise QB, which we now have. The hardest part of the puzzle is solved. Keep plugging in the right pieces, Licht!
(From WIKI) Ballots are cast at the end of the regular season, before the playoffs. Since 2011, winners of the AP Rookie of the Year awards (offensive and defensive) are announced at the NFL Honors presentation the night before the Super Bowl along with the Pepsi Rookie of the Year award.
There are those that will disagree, but Winston’s got my vote for OROY – in my mind it’s not even close. Just glad he’s our QB. Can hardly wait for the sequel to this action movie!
just like to add on the 2nd INT his TE slipped… still a very good season by Winston…
Winston is ROY; who can match his play? He has also played in all games and all of the offensive plays; that’s an iron man because he has been smacked around a lot. Go Bucs!
Fantastic start to his Bucs career….finally we have a legit franchise QB…what a feeling to not to have moan about the most important position anymore….
Defensive issues fall more on poor coaching and bad schemes. Who would have thought that even three months ago? Offense is still a work in progress, but the pass defense is just a hot mess. It’s the worst I’ve seen in over six decades. The ’76 team were all-stars in comparison. The Bucs will be lucky to get six wins again if they don’t get this corrected..
Well Buc fans next year winston will get better. But it depends who the coach is and if Tampa gets another OC. I think if out OC goes to Phila. Then get Frank Reich as the New OC if we loose the present OC. Another thought.as it looks now Tampa has the #9 in Rd-1,no#8 in Rd-2 and no#11 pick in Rd-3. Tampa bay needs a top CB, a top DE and a top WR. if they(tampa) gets those three players the team will turn the bucs season around. A top WR make sense if Jackson doesn’t come back. It also will help the TE and wr Evans gets open.GO BUCS
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