Bucs QB Jameis Winston (Photo by Cliff McBride/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.
Each week PewterReport.com will chronicle Winston’s performances throughout his rookie season.
Winston’s First Drive – Giants 0, Bucs 0
Winston’s first pass was a poorly thrown fade to Mike Evans on third-and-5 from the Giants’ 8-yard line. Tampa Bay settled for a 26-yard field goal by Connor Barth.
Winston was 0-of-1
Winston’s Second Drive – Giants 3, Bucs 3
Winston’s second pass of the game was a 68-yard pass to Mike Evans, who took the ball down to the Giants’ 12-yard line. That pass was the longest of both Wintson’s career and Evans’ career. On second-and-8 from the 10, Winston’s pass to Evans was overthrown. On third down, Winston’s pass to tight end Cameron Brate in the end zone was incomplete, but there was a flag on the play for offensive pass interference on Brate, which was declined.
Winston was 1-of-3 for 68 yards
Winston’s Third Drive – Giants 10, Bucs 6
Winston’s pass to Brate gained five yards, but the Bucs opted for a defensive holding penalty instead. Doug Martin fumbled the ball on the next play.
Winston was 0-of-0
Winston’s Fourth Drive – Giants 17, Bucs 6
Winston hit Evans for a gain of nine yards to the Tampa Bay 19. On first down at the Tampa Bay 20, Winston connected with Evans for a gain of four yards and then hit Adam Humphries for a 16-yard gain out to the Tampa Bay 40. Following a personal foul on the Giants, which set up first-and-10 from the New York 44, Winston teamed up with Humphries for an 11-yard gain. Winston had back-to-back incompletions on pass attempts to Evans, including a throw on third-and-2 at the Giants 25 that was dropped by Evans. Barth missed a field goal on the drive.
Winston was 4-of-6 for 40 yards
Winston’s Fifth Drive – Giants 17, Bucs 6
Evans hauled in a 25-yard gain from Winston down to the Giants’ 40-yard line. After an offside penalty, which gave the Bucs a first down at the 35-yard line, Winston hit Humphries for a gain of five yards down to the 30. Winston scrambled for a 12-yard gain and a first down to the New York 18. Winston was hit late after an incompletion, which drew a 9-yard roughing the passer penalty. Winston hit Dye for a 4-yard gain down to the 5-yard line, and then went back to Dye in the end zone, but the pass was almost incomplete. On third down, Winston scrambled for a gain of two yards down to the Giants’ 3-yard line, but had to settle for a third field goal by Barth.
Winston was 3-of-5 for 34 yards and scrambled twice for 14 yards
Winston’s Sixth Drive – Giants 17, Bucs 6
Winston hit Doug Martin with a 2-yard gain and then hit Evans for a 9-yard gain on third-and-3 to pick up a first down. Yet on the next play, Charles Sims fumbled the ball and the Giants took possession.
Winston was 2-of-2 for 11 yards
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images
Winston’s Seventh Drive – Giants 20, Bucs 9
After a holding penalty caused a second-and-14 situation at the Tampa Bay 13, Winston completed a 9-yard screen pass to Martin. On third-and-5, Winston got hit as he threw, but hit Humphries in stride for a gain of 16 yards. On first down, Evans dropped a bomb from Winston. On third-and-7 at the Tampa Bay 41, Brate made a great, diving 17-yard catch on pass from Winston for a first down. On second-and-6, Winston hit Evans for a gain of four yards. On third-and-2, Winston’s perfectly thrown pass on a wheel route to Martin was dropped. The Bucs had to settle for a 53-yard field goal by Barth to tighten the score to 20-12.
Winston was 4-of-6 for 48 yards
Winston’s Eighth Drive – Giants 20, Bucs 12
Winston hit Lane with a 5-yard gain on first down. After a 5-yard run by Martin picked up a first down, Winston’s end zone shot to Evans fell incomplete and then he followed that up with a dropped pass on second down. Then on third down, Evans had what was likely his fourth dropped pass of the game and the Bucs were forced to punt.
Winston was 1-of-4 for 5 yards
Winston’s Ninth Drive – Giants 20, Bucs 12
After a 59-yard run by Sims, Winston hit Evans for a gain of 18 down to the 10-yard line. On second down, Winston’s screen pass to Dye was incomplete. On third-and-10, Winston scrambled and dove into the end zone for a touchdown. The Bucs went for a 2-point conversion, but Winston’s pass was too high for Russell Shepard.
Winston was 1-of-2 for 18 yards and had a 10-yard rushing TD
Winston’s Tenth Drive – Giants 23, Bucs 18
Winston’s bomb to Dye on first down but it was just overthrown. On third-and-7 from the Tampa Bay 23, Winston’s pass to Evans picked up 18 yards to the Tampa Bay 41. On first down, Winston hit Humphries for a gain of seven yards. On first down at the New York 49, Winston’s pass to Sims was overthrown. On the next play, his pass to Evans was overthrown. On third-and-and-10, Winston was under pressure and his pass across the middle fell incomplete, which led to a punt.
Winston was 2-of-6 for 25 yards
Winston’s Eleventh Drive – Giants 26, Bucs 18
Evans dropped another Winston pass on first down and then fumbled a lateral attempt on the final play of the game. The Giants recovered the loose ball for a touchdown.
After the game, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith praised Winston’s play.
“I think you can pick out the guys that did some good things – Jameis was one,” Smith said. “You factor in the drops that we had and it’s a pretty good day for him.”
Smith noted the dropped passes – five by Evans and one by Martin – that robbed Winston of having a 300-yard passing game, a much better completion percentage and a touchdown pass or two.
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Getty Images
“Mike made a couple of good catches, but you can’t drop that many balls,” Smith said. “It’s as simple as that. We all kind of know the story was with that. We had opportunities. When you talk about finishing in the red zone and things like that, you have to make some of those plays. Mike normally does. Today we missed too many, not only him.”
Evans was beside himself over his dropped passes after the game.
“I cost my team big time,” Evans said. “My teammates played great. It’s on me. I mean obviously you watched the game, you saw it was on me. I’ve got to be better.”
Evans said the wet ball was giving him some trouble in the second half, which is when his drops occurred.
“I have to work on wet ball drills or something,” Evans said. “The Giants’ receivers were catching balls in the rain and I wasn’t. And I live here, so that’s unacceptable. I’ll be better next game.
“It was wet, but it was humid and I kept sweating through my gloves. I put the rain gloves on and I dropped the third down conversion. I had to keep changing them because the ball was too slick. But that’s no excuse. I’ve got to catch those. Other guys are catching them. I’ve got to catch them.”
Winston came to Evans’ defense after the game and put the blame for Tampa Bay’s red zone woes squarely on his own shoulders.
“No one is perfect,” Winston said. “The guy is playing his tail off so we have to think about the positives. Dropped balls, you can fix those.
“He’s one of our best receivers, he’s playing his tail off and when it started raining all eyes are on him. It’s a lot of pressure, but nine times out of 10 he’s going to come through. We have to score in the red zone. I’ve got to lead us in the red zone.”
Winston vowed to play better in the red zone going forward.
“It’s working, guys are getting open,” Winston said. “I just have to make the throw. It’s quicker, it’s faster, it’s tighter down there. I have to come through in the clutch when it’s time to come through. There’s different ways – you can pass, you can run. We just have to find a way.”
PewterReport.com Analysis: Winston didn’t turn the ball over for the fourth straight game, but only produced one touchdown – a 10-yard scramble that ended with a leap into the end zone. Winston and the offense struggled inside the red zone as the Bucs had to settle for three field goals as drives stalled inside the New York 10-yard line. Winston had at least six dropped passes – five by Evans and a sure-fire touchdown pass on a wheel route by Martin – or his day could have been much more productive. Yet Winston overthrew Evans and Dye for possible touchdowns, too, so he was far from perfect.
Winston’s Final Stats: 19-of-36 (52.7 percent) for 249 yards with no passing touchdowns and no interceptions with three carries for 24 yards and a 10-yard rushing score.
PewterReport.com Game Grade: B-
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]
Again, we played a horrible defense but given the fact who we had at wr on the field today I will judge fairly, I thought Winston is what I already see in him, at times he looks great and at times he sails the ball to far or high or today he under threw to Evans. Evans hands seem to be getting worse by the week, but Winston had his share of poor passes non more frustrating than when we went for two and had Dye and Sheppard wide open and Winston sails the ball high again causing the incompletion. Winston did make some pretty throws as well like the one to Brate and D Martin down the sidelines but I would like to see more consistency hopefully I will as his career goes on. I’m glad that another game has went by without a turnover by Winston even though he did throw a horrible ball to the corner’s chest in the corner of the end zone trying to throw to Dye who was blanketed by the corner but the corner dropped it. I will say Winston played at a B- level today just to many “oh yeah what a throw” and a few “what the hell was that throw” for me to give a higher grade
To add, the run for td by Winston and leaping into the end zone was awesome.
Oh it was more than dropped passes that resulted in another loss. I know all the players are trying as hard as they can, but they are going to have to try harder. Just too many mistakes; much more on the defense than the offense. I’m sure some will not agree with what I just said. No sacks; not enough run stopping tackles,pass disruptions, and pass break ups. No this team has to play harder and smarter. Too many penalties and personal fouls are just unacceptable. If this team is truly getting better then let them prove it by winning at least 4 more games. McCoy, Gholston, G. Johnson, Spence have to step it up. The pocket for Manning was much more of a safe haven than a hazardous area. McCoy next season needs to put some more weight back on; being quick doesn’t mean anything if you don’t get to the QB or can’t stop the RB. He played like an average DT. L. David the same thing too. Our Safety’s play too far back and aren’t quick enough to respond where the help is needed. Just my opinion.
Friends, PR Posters, countrymen, lend me your ears “I come not to bury Winston, but to praise him”! That’s right! I’m taking poetic license with the arts to make my point.
All things considered, I thought Winston had another outstanding game. The game announcers went on and on about his pocket presence and his fearlessness in the game. They mentioned his competitiveness and the leadership that makes the other players want to play for him. Not bad recognition and adulation for a rookie that has played all of 8 games.
I’m with you horse. Like Simeon said, just no “killers” on defense. Lavonte and Gerald both look average at best out there and seem to be OK with that. And Evans… Just blows my mind. And then after the flat out drops he whined about 1 excuse to the next on the field. But honestly the play that bothers me even more from Evans is that nine yard completion to the sideline. All he had to do was reach the ball over half a yard as he’s running himself out of bounds to pick up the first. It’s little things like that, that and all the little things that this team doesn’t do that leads me to believe this team is not coached very well. Jameis, I felt for you out there man. You are truly impressing and am proud to say you’re our quarterback.
Year two and Mike Evens has turned into Mike Clayton. Deja vu all over again. I miss Yogi.
Evans is nothing like Clayton. I don’t know how you can even try to compare. Clayton never had 8 catches for 152 yards and that wasn’t even close to his best game. I think Daryl Moose Johnston said it best “Mike Evans makes all the incredibly hard catches and misses all the easy ones”. Clayton just missed everything. He never made a hard catch as a Buc. Dropped balls can be fixed with a little hard work.
Thought Winston played well enough to win. I’d give him a B not B-. Dropped passes and lack of run game didn’t help. Yea he missed a few throws, but can’t expect to make every throw. Evans stunk bad.Martin has had great year but guess was due for a bad game. Didn’t seem to have as much burst or moves and the dropped pass was huge. The defense again was the biggest issue to me. Did ok usually on 2nd and 3rd down, but every time it was 3rd and 8 or 3rd and 9 they allowed conversions. Very frustrating to watch. Shouldn’t be so easy to convert 3rd and long. Same crap from Lovies crew. No pass rush especially on 3rd down. Never bump receivers at the line, soft coverage, etc.
Hey Fredster, The reason that NY converted most of those 3rd down attempts was the fact that we play zone defense behind a very poor 4 man pass rush. We NEED to blitz, at least 50% of the time on 3rd and long. Most offenses have a clear check-down in case of a blitz and all you have to do is let him catch it short and make the tackle. That is even how our defense is supposed to work. Only problem is we can’t get pressure with 4, we do not blitz, and the QB just sits there and waits for someone to get open. I could be wrong, but the only 2 blitzes I saw on third and long were the interception we had covering Beckham and the errant pass and shoestring-catch by Beckham to seal the win. The only 2 times I saw a blitz, we were pretty effective!!
Thais is not the first game that Evans has said that the game was on him, yet he seems to get worse. I, for one, am tired of seeing him on the field. We have so much invested in him, but he fails time and again. I agree with Horse, the defense just is not getting the job done well enough to win NFL games. And, it isn’t one group of defenders. The line, linebackers, and DB’s all need to be better.
Jameis is the least of this team’s problems. I love the fact that he has no fear throwing the ball down the field and rarely relies on little dinks. It would be nice if Licht can find a Sproles type who can take a dink to the house.
Scu- Glennon throws the ball down the field as well, I find it interesting to note that Mariota is labeled a dink and dunk passer but he averages 8.1 yds per attempt compared to Winston at 7.7 yds an attempt so does it really matter?
Mariota is labeled a dink and dunk passer because thats what he does. Yes, he averages more yds then Winston only because his receivers YAC is double our WRs. 80% of his completions are thrown less then 7 yards. Im not knocking Mariota, he played a great game yesterday. I watched his whole game yesterday and he looked Damn good. He completed 28-39 for 371 and 4 TDs and no INTs. Even if you don’t count the lucky tip pass TD to his TE, he still had a great day. He is gonna be a really great QB in the league someday. Will he be better than Winston? Only time can tell.
On occasion he does but not like Winston.
#11, Mr. Humphries. Could he be the slot receiver everyone (me anyway) dreams of having? The chain mover? That slippery-when-wet guy that is simply money when you need it? He had last week’s game won for us had the pass stayed aloft 3 more feet. Believe he caught all 5-6 passes thrown his way today. Advice to Jameis: Take #11 home with you, to the grocery – ooops, check that, to the restaurant with you. I think I see a bright future for this relationship. Go Bucs!
I agree Golf- Humphries could be that guy for us
Completely agree with you here. Loved this guy at Clemson. The little guy that just has spunk. I think he will solidify that spot next year as this year goes on. Very impressed with him.
Gulfstrings, you are right. Humphries makes a great slot receiver, something we haven’t had here in years.
The young man just knows how to get open.
As people read the stats for yesterday’s game, especially those fantasy people who don’t live in the real world, it will look like Evans had a stellar day, and Winston was mediocre with a passing percentage just above 50%. The reality is that Winston, for the most part, was poised and on the money. I counted 8 dropped passes. But let’s take PR’s number of 6 dropped passes. If you add those in, then Winston would have been just shy of a 70% completion rate. I also think it is safe to say a couple of those completions could have led to touchdowns. There are 2 areas he does need to work on and that is the deep ball and red zone. The deep ball is hard because he hasn’t had any speedsters to stretch the field or the same receivers to develop timing with and timing is everything on the deep ball. With Red Zone he does need to anticipate more and make quicker decisions. That will come with experience. After a rough start to the season, you can see the young man improve every week. Now the defense is a different story. There is too much wrong with the defense to cover here, so I won’t since this is a column about Winston.
JayBuc52- agree with your assessment on Winston, he did have Evans drop around 6-7 balls alone, and his day would have been better if not for that, but he under threw Evans badly on one deep pass and that shouldn’t happen, had a int dropped in the end zone by the corner hit him right in chest and over threw the wide open wr Russel on two pt conversion other than that he had a very good day but he did have those plays so it ended up being a decent day
Winston will be fine. He’s a ROOKIE. He’s still learning and, let’s face it, with Jackson and Jenkins out, the talent is limited. So far, he’s established himself as a leader. He has not yet established himself as a winning quarterback. Neither has Mariota, but Mariota’s tats are far superior and he has even less talent surrounding him. Both the guys are going to be good. No can PR stop with all the “we made the right choice” and get on with analysis of how we can upgrade the defensive talent to compete for the playoffs next year. This division still is weak outside of Carolina. As for Evans, he needs a little humility. I think he will be fine in the long run, but he’s a bit of a mental case cut from the same mold as Johnny Football. No excuses for all the drops.
I have the NFL ticket and watched the Titans game. Mariota did do the dink and dunk thing. His one long pass for touchdown was an interception waiting by two players who fought over the interception with no Titan around. They flubbed the ball in the air and a Titan just ran by and caught the ball and went 60 yards untouched for touchdown. There is how he got those yards per catch. Dumb luck. Lets just keep Winston,s work the focal point. I like both QB’s but Winston is OUR GUY and glad he is. Go Buc’s…..
^perfect example of a bias post against Mariota- the guy has 380 yds and 4 td’s and this post above talks about his one lucky td, ok whatever
btw 29 completions in 380 yds is like a 13 yd per completion average so who cares how may yds his pass sails in the yds its all bout the yds per completion and his is higher than Winston those are just facts.
*sails in the air its all about the yd’s per completion, if he throws bubble screens all day it gets the qb 380 yd’s, so what’s your problem then? ha
Tom Brady throws 5 yd slants all day long it doesn’t matter if your successful doing it
I’ll point out that the Saints defense has to be worst in league since all the Mariota supporters keep saying who has Winston played. Falcons are at least mediocre defense and a good team overall. Saints Gave up 6 TDs to Eil last week so 4 to Mariota is about par for course. Not taking anything away he played pretty good. Yet to see him play good int. Free game on a mediocre to good defense though. Wil see what happens. He does have great accuracy.
Saints defense isnt that bad. They held Winston to 200yds and 1 TD. ALso the Giants defense is just as bad if not worse then the Saints defense. They gave up 7 passing TDs last week. Give the man credit, he had a great game this week. He out played Winston this week. There have been multiple weeks where Winston has out played him though also. So far this year they have been very even, maybe slight edge to Mariota. It doesn’t mean Mariota is gonna be better then Winston when it is all said and done.
Marriota looked very good on NFL Red Zone. Let give him his due.
There is no reason to keep the Mariota/Winston debate going. I don’t care one “iota” about anyone who plays for another team. Just people wanting to belabor their point. JonnyG even praises Mariota while wearing Winston’s shirt.
Jongruden….your the one who is biased. I said I like Mariota. He will be a good QB just as Winston will be. His down field throws over 30 yards ( yes his new coach let him throw deep )were off target. All his other throws were perfect and accurate.
I am a Buc’s fan so Winston is my guy. Just happened to watch the entire Titans game and that was my observations of his performance.
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