When light starts to dim – as it already is – on the 2019 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one big question to address – will they bring back franchise leader Jameis Winston? Winston, who is 25 years young, had the most famous Jameis type performance perhaps he ever could of had last week in a 38-35 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Winston launched the ball through the air to the tune of 456 passing yards, and 5 total touchdowns, including one on the ground. Winston also threw for 3 interceptions and battled a thumb injury which caused him to miss some of the game. Some may ask, what makes a 3 turnover performance so special?
For starters, Winston for most of the game was without star WR Mike Evans. Evans appeared to pull a hamstring while connecting with Winston on a 60+ yard touchdown strike through the air in the first half. Winston also left the game via hand injury – only to come back and lead the Buccaneers to a come from behind victory. Winston overcame both 10-0 & 35-21 deficits in Sundays win. What else makes it so special? He did it all with a injured thumb – on his own throwing hand. When Buccaneers backup QB Ryan Griffin emerged into the contest, the crowd became silent, and all hope was lost. After a dismal drive led by Griffin, Winston emerged back onto the field – behind many cheers from the standing Buccaneer crowd. Even more amazing perhaps is what QB legend Jameis Winstons season has pretty much mirrored.
In Jameis Winston’s age 25 season, he has accumulated 26 passing touchdowns, 4,115 passing yards (2nd in the NFL), 23 interceptions, 6 wins, an 84.9 rating, and a 61.3 completion percentage. Peyton Mannings age 25 season mirrors just that, as he threw for 26 touchdowns, 4,131 passing yards, 23 interceptions, 6 wins, an 84.1 rating, and a 62.7 completion percentage, via CBS sports. Yes, Winston’s numbers mirror one of the best NFL players to ever take the gridiron in Manning. It is telling signs like these as to why this Buccaneers team would be dumb to edge away the former rookie of the year and Heisman trophy winner.
Through 5 seasons of Winston, the Buccaneers have only had one winning season to this point. Some of that blame can be pointed in the direction of box score looking football fans, but the reason for the losses emerge much greater than that. WInstons defenses have been atrocious, at record bad rates. Last year they let up the most points in the NFL, and this year they are not far off that pace as they rank 31st out of 32. That can all change, however as the Bucs secondary is a group consisting of mostly 1st and 2nd year players, with a fierce front 7 that can get after the opposing QB. Give this defense and Jameis one more year together, at least, and many great things could happen.
It is not often that a 67 year old head coach with many health issues is lured out of retirement. That is indeed what happened to Bruce Arians, head coach of the Buccaneers. In fact, Bruce came out of retirement to coach Jameis Winston. Bruce did not come out of retirement to hit the reset button by any means, especially with the team rolling like it is. At the very least, expect the franchise tag coming for Jameis Winston. However, if this Buccaneers front office was smart, they would offer Winston at least a contract that lines up with the rest of Arians career – and perhaps more. When contract negotiations open – do not let this man leave Raymond James Stadium without inking his name on a contract. You can listen to us interview Author Jameis 1of1, author of top selling Amazon novel Jameis Winston Derangement Syndrome, on Apple Podcasts to help understand the importance of Jameis Winston.
The author of this article, Anthony Tones Ariola, can be reached on twitter @TrickyTonesBGTE
Hi All - welcome to a little bit about me. I have been a sports freak for over 24 years, a Buccaneer fanatic for over 21 years, A fantasy football legend, among a bunch of other sports nerd things. I write for Time Skew Sports. Give us a follow on twitter @TimeSkewPod