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Jameis Winston’s interceptions tell a dangerous story

Can Winston learn to be a little more careful?

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In his sophomore year in the NFL, Jameis Winston has again thrown for over 4,000 yards as well as over 20 touchdowns. In his second year, he has also thrown over 14 interceptions, 18 interceptions for this past season. Those 18 interceptions have him throwing the second most last season. Folks, we have a swashbuckling gunslinger heading our attack!

Let us inspect those 18 interceptions.

1st down and 10+ yards: 4 events

2nd down and 10+ yards: 3 events

3rd down and 10+ yards: 4 events

There seems to be no pattern attached to the downs, as Winston does not discriminate. The pattern here is the turnovers often occur from intermediate to deep on 14 occasions. This implies Winston loves picking up chunks of yards, as reflected to throwing over 4,000 yards again, ranking 12th overall in yards as a QB in the league last year. We can infer that Winston does not use his check-downs all that often nor throw the ball away.

Where the INTs are thrown and Turnover Points off of Interceptions

Not all interceptions carry the same weight. For example, out of the 18 interceptions, two of them happen to be inconsequential. The fourth interception against the Cardinals and the first interception by the Cowboys were heaves in the waning moments of the game, end of the first half for the Cowboys game.

Some interceptions are disastrous. I have highlighted where the opposing team’s Line of Scrimmage (LOS) started after the interception. 10 interceptions had the opposing offense start within Bucs territory. In fact, the opposing team’s furthest LOS inside Bucs territory is the Bucs 27 yard line. That is a very scary pattern. Winston does not take great care of the ball on his side of the field.

In these charts, I did not include extra points. So the 48 point total is the minimum amount of points given up.

Turnover Points off of Interceptions and Losses

There are two games where the Bucs could have won or tied in regulation time if the interceptions were not thrown: LA Rams and the second New Orleans game. Remember, the Bucs lost out on a playoff spot by one loss.

Of the seven losses, there were three games where a turnover had the game within reach. So yes, those turnovers mattered.


Winston is reckless with the ball in his own territory. He does not use the check-downs or simply throwing the ball away in order to play the game of field position. That recklessness in the Bucs’ territory gives the opposing offense an opportunity to score points off of a short field. One interception could have propelled the Bucs into the playoffs last year. But the fact there were 10 short field scoring opportunities should bring an alarm to the Bucs’ offensive coaching staff and Winston.

I hope that Winston learns to become a wonderful cog again instead of believing he has to carry this team. Last year, it was the offense that carried the team to wins. Winston just had to not screw up as often.

The evolution to being great is excelling within the game. Placing your team in a negative disposition is not a sign of excelling within the game, it is putting you first before the team. Can the Bucs’ coaching staff wrangle Winston into greatness? Will Winston want to wrangle down his recklessness?


Do you believe Winston can corral his recklessness?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Yes. Year 3 is the year of growth for most QBs
    (477 votes)
  • 7%
    No. Two years of 15 or more INTs is a bad sign.
    (57 votes)
  • 24%
    No, but that’s a gunslinger trait.
    (190 votes)
  • 6%
    Not this year
    (50 votes)
774 votes total Vote Now