The Tampa Bay Buccaneers started the game against the San Francisco 49ers slow, but have scored 17 unanswered points to take the lead. This was the touchdown at the end of a half, a beautiful strike to the criminally underused Russell Shepard.
Winston has been inconsistent this season, but when he’s on, he’s on. And overall, he’s playing quite well this game. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 165 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the first half.
There’s also Shepard, who’s now getting playing time mostly because Vincent Jackson is on injured reserve and Cecil Shorts probably isn’t ready to take on a full starting role, having only just returned from injury himself.
What’s impressive here isn’t just the route and the throw, both of which are well done, but the way Shepard plucks the ball out of the air. He doesn’t wait for the ball to get to him, and he doesn’t try to catch it against his chest, which a lot of receivers do and which leads to drops. He reaches out and gets it before the defender even has a chance — and that’s an easy touchdown.
If the Bucs can get Shepard to be a little more consistent, he could actually turn into a decent number two receiver. Here’s his chance, we’ll see if he grabs it.