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 – Jaguars 0, Bucs 0
Winston came out throwing on the first pass of the game and found tight end Brandon Myers for a gain of 17 off play action. Winston’s second pass attempt went to Vincent Jackson for a gain of 14. He finished the drive perfect with a 6-yard pass to Charles Sims. On third-and-3 from the Jacksonville 20, Winston scrambled for a 2-yard gain to set up a 35-yard field goal by Connor Barth. Winston was 3-of-3 for 37 yards and a 2-yard run
Winston’s Second Drive – Bucs 3, Jaguars 0
On second-and-12, Winston dumped off the pass to Doug Martin for a gain of 13 and a first down. Winston then hit Mike Evans for a gain of 10 and a first down. On third-and-7, Winston’s pass to Jackson was too far out in front. Winston was 2-of-3 for 23 yards
Winston’s Third Drive – Jaguars 7, Bucs 3
Winston’s first pass to Evans was incomplete. On his second pass attempt of the drive Winston was sacked by defensive tackle Roy Miller. Winston attempted to throw the ball away on the sack but it was ruled a fumble instead. However, instant replay showed Winston’s knee was down prior to the ball being released, so Tampa Bay kept possession. Three plays later, the Bucs settled for a 45-yard Connor Barth field goal to cut the Jaguars’ lead to 7-6. Winston was 0-of-1 for zero yards and sacked once
Winston’s Fourth Drive – Jaguars 7, Bucs 6
A 58-yard punt return by Bobby Rainey set the Bucs up at the Jaguars’ 17-yard line. After two runs by Martin picked up seven yards, Winston found Martin on a middle screen for a 10-yard touchdown to re-take the lead. Winston was 1-of-1 for 10 yards
Winston’s Fifth Drive – Bucs 13, Jaguars 7
Following an interception by Bradley McDougald, the Bucs took over at the Jaguars’ 41. Winston’s first pass of the drive was a 17-yard strike to Myers came off play action down to the Jacksonville 20. His next pass was a dart to Evans for a gain of 17 down to the Jaguars’ 3-yard line to set up Martin’s touchdown, which gave Tampa Bay a 20-7 lead. Winston was 2-of-2 for 34 yards
Winston’s Sixth Drive – Bucs 20, Jaguars 14
After Jacksonville scored a touchdown to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 20-14 before halftime, Winston completed a 10-yard pass to Donteea Dye to the 50-yard line, but that play came back due to a penalty. The Bucs ran the ball with 29 seconds left and picked up three yards on a run by Sims to the Tampa Bay 38, but Lovie Smith went into halftime with three timeouts in his pocket. Winston was 0-of-0
Winston’s Seventh Drive – Jaguars 21, Bucs 20
Winston’s first pass of the second half was a 12-yarder to Martin. Winston’s next pass, a 10-yarder to Evans, was negated by a penalty on right guard Ali Marpet. On third-and-9 from the Tampa Bay 34, Winston was sacked for a loss of 14 yards. Winston was 1-of-1 for 12 yards
Winston’s Eighth Drive – Jaguars 24, Bucs 20
Winston was almost sacked, but managed to throw the ball away on first down. Winston’s screen pass to Dye was almost intercepted by defensive tackle Jared Odrick. On third-and-15 from the Tampa Bay 15, Winston hit Sims for a 56-yard gain on a screen pass down to the Jacksonville 29. On second down, Winston’s pass to Evans was incomplete, followed by an incompletion to Jackson. The Bucs had to settle for a 47-yard field to cut the Jaguars’ lead to 24-23. Winston was 1-of-5 for 56 yards
Winston’s Ninth Drive – Bucs 31, Jaguars 24
On third-and-6, Winston hit Sims for a gain of 11 yards to pick up a first down to the Jacksonville 36. On second-and-7 at the Jaguars’ 22, he scrambled for a gain of nine yards for a first down. On first-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Winston’s pass to Myers was incomplete, but a defensive holding penalty gave Tampa Bay a first-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Martin’s 1-yard TD run gave the Bucs a 38-24 lead with 8:26 left in regulation. Winston was 1-1 for 11 yards with a 9-yard run
Winston’s Tenth Drive – Bucs 38, Jaguars 24
On third-and-8 from the Tampa Bay 21, Winston threw a strike to Evans for 14 yards and a first down. On third-and-5, Winston hit Sims for a gain of 12 yards down to the Jacksonville 48. Winston was 2-of-2 for 26 yards
Winston’s Eleventh Drive – Bucs 38, Jaguars 31
Winston kneeled the ball twice in the victory formation. Winston carried the ball twice for minus-2 yards
Winston’s play was starkly different than it was a week ago in a 37-23 loss to Carolina where he threw four interceptions – and it had to be for Tampa Bay to have a chance to beat Jacksonville. In the win against the Jaguars, Winston didn’t have a single turnover for the first time in his career and that made a huge difference.
“It’s very important because winning the turnover ratio – if we didn’t win the turnover ratio, you never know what would happen. But having a goose egg in that turnover column is definitely a good sign.”
Tampa Bay’s running backs caught more than half of Winston’s passes (seven). Some were designed screen passes, such as his career-long 56-yard screen pass to Sims, who led the Bucs with four catches for 85 yards, and Martin’s 10-yard touchdown.
“That’s another great call by coach. Third-and-15, you never think we just want to flip the field, but Chuck made an amazing play with his legs and Coach Koetter did it again.”
Others were check down passes.
“When the big play isn’t there, he did a good job checking it down to us running backs,” Martin said. “As you can see, he’s progressing and he’s learning. And it worked.”
Winston was pleased with his progress after Tampa Bay’s second win of the season.
“Anytime you get a victory and don’t turn the ball over it’s a big positive, but it’s just one game,” Winston said. “Obviously, this is big for us to go into the bye week and I still have to get better.”
PewterReport.com Analysis: A week after throwing a career-high four interceptions in a 37-23 loss to Carolina, Winston had a huge bounce-back game against Jacksonville, completing a career-best 68.4 percent of his passes (13-of-19) for 209 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a career-high 122.5 QB rating. The emphasis this week at One Buccaneer Place was reducing Winston’s turnovers and the rookie quarterback delivered. However, there were some scary moments. Winston appeared to have fumbled when trying to throw the ball away in the second quarter, but instant replay showed that Winston’s knee was down before he let go of the ball. He also had a screen pass that was broken up and almost intercepted by Odrick in the third quarter. Thankfully, those were consequence-free lessons learned from a rookie that is still going through some growing pains. Winston made plays when he had to, especially on third down throws in the fourth quarter in which he was 3-of-3. Winston was also on the money on Tampa Bay’s 2-point conversion pass to Jackson at the end of the third quarter.
Winston’s Final Stats: 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) for 209 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions and two sacks. He also ran the ball four times for nine yards.
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: email@example.com
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