Jameis Winston has done it again to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the fan base. With a new coaching staff, it was supposed to be different. Bruce Arians and new OC, Byron Leftwich were supposed to be able to mold Jameis into the QB he was drafted to be. They were supposed to be able to tame the turnover beast that is Winston’s alter ego.
One game into the 2019 NFL season it seems that that may not be the case, after all.
Yes, it was only one game, and it is only week one under the new regime.
Yes, the offensive line is not particularly very good, and the 49ers had an active defensive line. But, at this point, it is a problem. And, today? This was a breaking point for a lot of people.
This is Jameis Winston's 17th career game with multiple interceptions, passing Blake Bortles for most in the league since Winston entered the NFL in 2015. pic.twitter.com/2jiXnz9E8w
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 8, 2019
The First INT of the day wasn’t all on him though. O.J. Howard had the ball bounce off of his hands and into the hands of a linebacker.
The second interception was terrible. With a 5-wide set, the Bucs puzzlingly had RB Peyton Barber on the outside matched up on Richard Sherman. This didn’t go well, as you would expect, and Winston threw a pass that looked like it was meant to be an out route that ended up right in the hands of Sherman. And, he took it to the house as Barber sat his route and didn’t break out.
The third pick is the one that sealed the fate of a lot of Bucs fans. Down 6 with the ball with a little over two minutes left, the Bucs had a chance to win the game. Winston could right the wrongs of the day and get a signature moment for his career.
To start the drive the Bucs called a running back screen that the 49ers sniffed out. With RB Dare Ogunbowale smothered by white and gold Winston was also pressured by the D-line. However, instead of throwing the ball away or even into the ground, he elected to try to somehow find Oguenbowale, who could hardly, if at all, be seen on our T.V. screens or in the stands in the mass of bodies.
The pass was floated over the RB and lineman and picked off by the Niner’s Ahkello Witherspoon who raced 25 yards for the return, and easily into the endzone for the second pick six of the second half.
This was a pass that a 5th year QB just CAN NOT MAKE. Period.
You can not make that kind of throw, that late into a game and not expect the doubters to come for you.
The Bucs this offseason will have a decision to make.
Winston will be up for a new deal and plays like that one and games like today, are just making it easier and more comfortable for the Bucs to go in a new direction. Winston his whole career has delivered great plays like his touchdown to Chris Godwin earlier in the third quarter, to crazy plays like the one called back to Cameron Brate, but to downright bone-headed ones like today’s last pick.
With a short week coming up with a trip to Carolina on Thursday, Winston will need to tighten up. We have heard him say multiple times the games are on him, he needs to do better, and he needs to take care of the ball.
At the end of the day, we have not seen those things happen for a full stretch of games consistently.
Winston is playing for his Bucs future, and the front office and scouting department are probably already planning trips out to Tuscaloosa, Eugene, and Athens.
With 15 more games to go this season, Jameis Winston, you are already on the clock.
Bucs pass rusher Barrett named NFC Defensive Player of Week
Off their impressive Road win last Thursday night against division rival Carolina, the Buccaneers also got an individual accolades on Wednesday morning.
That’s when the NFL announced that edge pass-rusher Shaq Barrett had been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week:
And it's only the beginning.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 18, 2019
Barrett had a tremendous game, or should we say third quarter specificall, in the win over the Panthers. This as, he registered not one, but three quarterback sacks, in the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s 20 – 14 victory.
Barrett became the first Buccaneer since Simeon Rice in their Super Bowl season of 2002 to have that many sacks in a single 15 minute period. He’s also the first Bucs pass rusher to get three sacks in a single game since the 2015 season.
Barrett also had a sack in Tampa Bay’s week one loss against San Francisco and obviously, leads them now with four of them through the first two games. The four sacks in two games has matched the best start in sacking the QB in Buccaneers franchise history.
The last time the Bucs had a defensive player win player of the week honors, was also 2015. That’s when linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander each took home the honor in separate weeks.
The six year veteran came to Tampa Bay after having spent his first five years with the Denver Broncos. This included his being part of the Broncos Super Bowl 50 winning season of 2014.
Barrett had 14 career sacks coming into this season and is already thriving early in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ defense. The Bucs are pairing him on the outside with Carl Nassib in Bowles’ 3-4 scheme.
He is also the former Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year at Colorado State, where he had 12 sacks and three forced fumbles in his senior season and was eventually signed with Denver, as an undrafted free agent.
Bucs coach Arians rightfully fearing Giants RB Saquon Barkley
Regardless of the Giants starting rookie Daniel Jones at quarterback on Sunday, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians knows the real key for New York resides deeper in their backfield.
That’s where second-year running back Saquon Barkley is expected to be busy, especially early in the game. And, he may very well be the reason or not that New York has a chance to get their first win of the season Sunday in Tampa.
Arians made it clear right away at his Tuesday press conference that Barkley will be a challenge for a Buccaneer defense that has been stingy so far this year against the run:
"I’ve had the confidence all along… We have to practice the same this week, after a win, as we did after a loss. The sense of urgency can’t leave."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 17, 2019
“He’s got more 50-yard runs than anybody I’ve seen in a long time,” Arians said. “He’s hard to bring down. He doesn’t run over many people – he runs around them and runs past them. The size and the speed combination are extremely rare.”
The Bucs held the 49ers in check for just 77 yards on the ground in their opening loss two weekends ago, but then, played even better against Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers running attack last Thursday night. They held McCaffrey to only 37 yards on 16 carries, including the biggest moment of the game. That’s when DB Vernon Hargreaves stopped McCaffrey one-on-one from getting the one needed yard to keep Carolina’s final drive alive and hopes of winning the game.
As for Barkley, he comes off a tremendous debut season with a 1,300 yards rushing and another 700 receiving. He’s arguably the best dual threat back in football.
And, with a 120 yd rush game on just 11 carries in the opening week game at Dallas, Barkley followed up with another 100 yard game last week against Buffalo registering 107 yards on 18 carries. Still, the Giants dropped both games and at 0- 2 and have decided to shake it up at QB.
Giants second-year coach Pat Shurmur will try to establish the run early on in the game to take the pressure off his rookie quarterback making his debut.
The Bucs know that as well and looked at stuff to run with Pro Bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh and former first-round pick Vita Vea. Both guys have been big keys in clogging up the middle and helping the Buccaneers stop the 49er and Panther backs.
And if they do so Sunday at home, it will be a big key for a second straight win.
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