The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played game two of their preseason schedule last night. There were highs and lows, but overall, several players on the team impressed. Jameis Winston had himself quite a night going 13-18 for 226 yards, two touchdowns and more importantly, zero interceptions. While Jameis impressed overall, there was one play that was questionable.
Jameis is a gunslinger
Before we get into the play, can we establish something first? In case you just started watching Jameis Winston and didn’t realize, he is absolutely a gunslinger. Jameis has most often drawn comparisons to Brett Favre and rightfully so. Ignoring his rookie season where he appeared in only two games, at the the start of season four, Favre had 69 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. At the start of this season, his fourth, Jameis has 70 touchdowns and 44 interceptions. While most Bucs fans have realized this by now I’ll say it again, Jameis makes some fantastic throws, but he also has the ability to drive you crazy with his decision making. I accept that. I’m okay with that. I think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will still take Jameis Winston over Marcus Mariotta 10 out of 10 times, but let’s not put the blinders on people. With that being said, let’s talk about last night.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 19, 2018
After avoiding two would be tacklers, Winston scrambled to his right and lobbed the ball into the back of the endzone. Not only was the throw off his back foot, but Chris Godwin was in triple coverage. Godwin did (somehow) come down with it for a touchdown. There was a flag on the play which ended up being a defensive holding on the Titans. While the play resulted in a touchdown in the end, it was a bad decision.
Call a spade a spade…
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There is no way to prove what Jameis was thinking. Did Jameis Winston see the flag and know he had a free play or did Jameis throw the ball because that’s who he is. One thing is certain, it wasn’t a good call. We can call it Jameis doing Jameis things, but that ignores the reality that the decision was not a good one. 9/10 times if there is a flag on that type of play, it’s an offensive holding. Whether you want to admit it or not, its quite common. We see those types of plays often in the NFL. A quarterback rolling out and throwing a ball deep down the field only for it to get called back for holding. If that particular play ends up being picked off, Jameis never hears the end of it. More often than not, If the play isn’t a offensive holding, it’s an interception. Greg Auman had an interesting tweet regarding the throw.
Whether he did or not, if I’m Winston, I say I saw the flag and thought I had a free play. Then it’s a great play to take a shot. https://t.co/BWSiD5oLOY
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 19, 2018
If I was Jameis, I wouldn’t admit it either. Why would he?
Update: After the game Jameis did say he had seen the flag, but probably should have thrown it away.
So what now?
We have seen these types of risky throws from Jameis time and time again. Am I suggesting that we should replace him with Bridgewater? No. Am I saying Jameis is a definite bust? Negative ghost rider. My point is simple, don’t let your support of Jameis blind you from understanding that was not a throw that anyone would suggest Winston should make more often. I support Winston fully, but that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge his flaws. Is that such a bad thing? I don’t expect Jameis Winston to change his mentality, I don’t expect him to to stop being a gunslinger. I do expect to be allowed to think a bad play, is a bad play. Does one play overshadow the phenomenal night he had? No, but it sure is something The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to see Winston work on. Taking care of the ball has been a common theme. This time it was a touchdown, what will the next one be?
Feel free to vilify me on twitter.
Marc Magana is one of two managing editors for the Full Press Coverage Buccaneers. He has been writing about the Bucs for two years now. His tweets can be found @FPC_Buccaneers or on his personal page @Bucsfan02.