Jameis Winston played another solid game, making smart decisions and not turning the ball over. Although the run game struggled, this was another complete game by the Buccaneers.
Let’s double up Sunday’s hero and Pick Six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Visor Jameis Is Still The Best Jameis. Since coming back on to the field against the New York Giants, Winston has turned the ball over only once (on a desperation hail mary) while leading the Bucs to a two game winning streak. He says the visor is for “swag” but something seems different about him. I’m still of the belief the visor has some sort of prescription since Winston doesn’t like wearing contacts. Whatever the case may be, keep wearing it. It’s obviously working.
2.) No DeSean Needed. DeSean Jackson was inactive with a thumb injury and the Buccaneers showed exactly why they don’t need to bring him back. Chris Godwin - who started in his place - was the team’s leading receiver. Adam Humphries was heavily involved. There is no more need for the distraction, the complaining, the sub-par effort, or forcing passes to DJax in order to try and keep him happy. Part ways after the season, save the money, and move on. Honestly, the team will be better off without him.
3.) Donovan Smith Is Playing Himself Out Of A Contract. Donovan Smith was absolutely atrocious Sunday. At one point, he allowed sacks on back to back plays. His play has not warranted a second contract, especially not the way he will want to be paid. I’ve often defended Smith. Not because I felt he was great, but because I felt he was average and not quite as bad as some people made him out to be. At the end of the day, he’s at the low end of average on his best day. Left Tackle may be the position the Bucs go in the first round of the draft if there is a solid prospect available. Smith just isn’t cutting it.
4.) Is Dirk On The Verge Of Saving His Job? Personally, I don’t believe so. Even if the Bucs manage to crawl back to 8-8, Koetter hasn’t done enough to stay with the team. There have been too many bad decisions, mismanaged situations, and questionable moves. The quarterback carousel, the continued support of Mike Smith whose defense was on a record setting pace of futility, the overuse of Jacquizz Rodgers, the flip-flopping on the play calling. Its been a mess. The Glazers may decide that rallying this late in the season is deserving of another year, but it seems unlikely.
5.) D-Line Shaping Up. Cam Newton was under pressure all day. The defensive line accounted for two of the four sacks with the others coming from Kevin Minter and Lavonte David (welcome back, sir) and it took Cam off his game all day long. Two of his interceptions were due to pressure and/or getting hit right as he threw. That was what Bucs fans have needed to see for a while. The rotation was working well, pressure was coming from not just the edges but also the interior of the line. Need more of that.
6.) The Bucs Aren’t Mathematically Eliminated, So There’s Still Postseason Hopes. Eh, not really. It’s nice to kind of think about and they essentially ended the Panthers’ hopes Sunday given Carolina’s remaining schedule (New Orleans twice, Atlanta, Browns). The Bucs still have the Ravens, Cowboys, Falcons, and the Saints next week so the hopes are as slim as any, but the dream is still alive. However, if the Bucs keep playing this way - and they get a little help - they could just pull off a miracle. Just don’t bet your mortgage on it.
Six Numbers To Consider
4 - Interceptions by the Bucs Sunday. They had three in the first eleven games
81 - Career touchdown passes by Jameis Winston - most in franchise history
2 - Consecutive turnover free games for Winston
7 - Players in the secondary the Bucs were missing Sunday (Carlton Davis, Vernon Hargreaves, Chris Conte, Brent Grimes, M.J. Stewart, Justin Evans (left game with injury), and Isaiah Johnson
3 - Bucs players with three interceptions in one game - Andrew Adams, Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib
13 - Points allowed per game the last two weeks by the Bucs’ defense
Six Best Tweets
The Buccaneers have six different players with at least 4 TD catches this season (Evans, Howard, Jackson, Godwin, Brate, Humphries). They've never had more than 3 in any season before.— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) December 2, 2018
And Jameis is now the franchise leader in touchdown passes, passing this guy. pic.twitter.com/5m7zJvaYAQ— JoeBucsFan (@JoeBucsFan) December 2, 2018
Adams looking at Cam following his 2nd interception of the day pic.twitter.com/82tm6Vcumd— Bucs Nation (@Bucs_Nation) December 2, 2018
Six Ways To Beat The Saints Next Week
6.) Slip weights into the soles of Cam Jordan and Marshon Lattimore’s cleats. Slowing those two down has to help, right?
5.) Pay the bus drivers to take them to Amalie Arena instead of Ray Jay - don’t show, can’t win
4.) Wear masks disguising the defense as the Dallas Cowboys. Brees will panic.
3.) Kidnap Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Lock them inside the pirate ship.
2.) Make sure all the food they order for room service is improperly cooked, causing a team-wide food poisoning outbreak and they have to forfeit.
1.) Do exactly what you’ve been doing. Put pressure on the opposing quarterback, don’t turn the ball over, get takeaways on defense. The Saints were exposed on Thursday. Follow the blueprint.
Six Super Bowl Bets
*As always, this list is compiled before the conclusion of the Sunday Night game*
1.) Los Angeles Rams - Division clinched and back in line for the top seed
2.) New Orleans Saints - A setback, sure. Still the biggest threat to the Rams
3.) Kansas City Chiefs - That Kareem Hunt stuff hurt and will catch up to them
4.) Pittsburgh Steelers - When they’re on, they’re near unbeatable
5.) New England Patriots - Hitting their stride at the right time, like they always do
21.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - If Winston and the defense keep this up, there’s truly reason for optimism