Numbers show Bucs Jameis Winston improving to top tier QB

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The Buccaneers grabbed Jameis Winston with the first pick in the NFL Draft last year thinking he would one day rank among the most efficient and effective quarterbacks in the league.

Well, that day has actually arrived.

After a rough first month in which he completed just 58.2-percent of his passes (103-of-177) and threw as many interceptions (eight) as touchdown passes, Winston has been among the sharpest passers in the league.

Since Week 7, Winston has completed 62.9-percent of his passes (83-of-132) for 1,022 yards and thrown 10 touchdowns passes against just two interceptions for a passer rating of 105.7.

That’s the sixth-best passer rating in the league over that four-game span and the fourth best among quarterbacks who have actually played the last four weeks.

Only Tom Brady (three games-117.1 rating), Marcus Mariota (4-116.3), Drew Brees (4-113.0), Matt Ryan (4-110.9) and Dak Prescott (3-105.7) have been better, which isn’t bad company at all. Now, Winston’s completion percentage over that span ranks last among those six quarterbacks. It’s also last among the 10 quarterbacks with the highest passer rating the last four weeks.

But his 10 touchdown passes are the third most in the group –  trailing Aaron Rodgers (12) and Mariota (11) – and those touchdown passes have sparked a scoring spree the likes of which the Bucs have not seen a while.

The Bucs have scored at least 24 points in each of their last four games, making this the longest streak of 24 points or more since they scored 24 or more in six straight games in 2012.

Not all those points are coming from the offense, of course. The Bucs got nine from their defense in beating the Bears last week. Still, they have scored 122 points overall the last four games, the fifth most in the league during that span.

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