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Losers and winners for Buccaneers: Lovie Smith and Jameis Winston

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers somehow turned a sure win into a loss in one of their most frustrating performances in recent memory. They blew a 24-point second-quarter lead, couldn't stop one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL and wasted the best game the offense has had -- and Jameis Winston's best NFL performance.

So we have a lot of losers to talk about, and yes, a few winners as well.


Lovie Smith

The Bucs' head coach is now 4-18 in two seasons in Tampa Bay. His defense, supposedly his calling card, is garbage. The team is undisciplined. The fans hate what's happening. Everything is awful.


Sixteen penalties for 138 yards, including one that nullified a 20-yard touchdown. Granted, that one was iffy, but this kind of lack of discipline is ridiculous -- and the Bucs would not have lost this game without those penalties.


The Bucs benched Tim Jennings, deactivating before the game. It didn't help. This secondary is still garbage, and continues to leave players wide open on far too many plays. Mike Jenkins still isn't any good, but it's not like the Bucs have many other options here. Most of this is not on the scheme per se, but on the players' terrible execution of it -- but that's on coaching and personnel selection, too.

Vincent Jackson

Jackson had one catch for 13 yards before leaving with a knee injury. We have no word on how serious that injury is. He didn't return to the game and was wearing a baseball cap in the third quarter, but we didn't see anyone working on his knee either and he wasn't on crutches.

But Jackson has really been invisible for most of the season, producing only one game with more than 60 receiving yards and now two with fewer than 15. He hasn't been bad, exactly, but this production is not worth the nearly $10 million he's receiving this year. With $10 million set to come his way next season, don't be surprised if he's not on the Bucs roster in 2016.

Louis Murphy

Suffered a knee injury in the first quarter after one game, and is likely out for the season with former NFL doctor David Chao giving giving us some bad news -- though that is sideline analysis, Chao has been very on point over the past couple of years.


Mike Evans

Eight catches for 164 yards and a touchdown, and a would-be 20-yard touchdown called back for a dubious offensive pass interference penalty. Evans displayed none of the issues he had holding on to the ball in previous games, and he was helped by improved ball placement from Jameis Winston.

Jameis Winston

This was probably Winston's best game of the season. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 297 yards, two touchdowns, one sack and no turnovers. He looked calm and poised for the most part, made a number of big throws and, aside from holding on to the ball a little too long toward the end of the game, consistently made the right decision.

Over the past two games, he's managed to complete 34 of 48 passes for 506 passes, three touchdowns, no interceptions and three sacks. That's a ludicrous 10.5 yards per play, with really no throws that were nearly picked off.


Doug Martin continues to show he's the man, getting 19 carries for 136 yards, and added another three catches for 35 yards to his total. He's definitely back to his rookie self, and he's going to get paid this offseason.

The Dougernaut now has three consecutive 100-yard games, and is on pace to finish the year with 291 carries for 1,443 rushing yards, 37 catches for 344 yards, and 11 total touchdowns. Pretty solid.

Connor Barth

Barth has yet to miss a field goal or extra point since being re-signed, and he's been surprisingly reliable on kickoffs as well, not quite producing touchbacks on every kickoff but still getting them deep enough with a high enough frequency to not make this a problem for the Bucs.