The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons are off to a somewhat slow start, for two offenses who are supposed to be explosive. The Bucs defense has been busy shutting down the Falcons offense, except for that one big play, but the Bucs offense has mostly been shut down by Jameis Winston’s inaccuracy and poor decisions.
So far, Winston has completed just two of six passes, including one interception. That pick was particularly egregious, throwing the ball inside while Vincent Jackson broke outside — but even if they’d been on the same page, there was no room to fit the ball in that window.
It’s especially damaging because the Bucs had started off impressively, shutting the Falcons offense down on the first drive and notching a field goal on their own initial drive. Had Jameis Winston not overthrown both Adam Humphries and Mike Evans, that drive would have resulted in a touchdown.
The Bucs defense wasn’t entirely acclimated to its new scheme, though. Matt Ryan found a wide-open Mohamed Sanu for 60 yards, as the entire secondary looked discombobulated. A sack by Robert Ayers and some solid play by Vernon Hargreaves limited the damage to just a field goal, and the game returned to a 3-3 tie with the Bucs defense returning to shutting down Matt Ryan and company.
Until the interception, that is, as the Falcons turned a very short field into a touchdown.
Winston has been off and inaccurate in several ‘first’ games, and he should be fine by the second quarter, if history is any indication. He had the same issue in his first preseason game, his first regular season, his first national game, and now the first game of his second season. Hopefully that’ll be enough to compensate for the hole he put the Bucs in.