The struggling Buccaneers, having lost five of their last six games, head to Atlanta this week to face the red-hot Falcons. The loser falls into sole possession of last place in the NFC South heading into the final month of the 2019 season.
Tampa Bay may not have a lot on its side heading into this game, but if there’s one thing that’s been consistent about Jameis Winston in his career, it’s that he shows up against Atlanta. The overall record (3-4) is deceiving, as plenty of quarterback win-loss records are. In those seven games, Winston has completed about 67% of his passes for 1,985 yards and 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He has also rushed 25 times for 123 yards and two scores.
Those 20 touchdown passes are the most he’s thrown against any opponent, with the second-most being 11 against the Saints. His two fourth-quarter comebacks against the Falcons are also the most he has against any one team (though both came in his rookie year).
The point is, Jameis Winston is better against the Atlanta Falcons than any other team. During his media session on Wednesday, Winston talked about playing the Falcons, making the trip to Atlanta (a short drive for his family to make from Alabama) and seeing former Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter again.
(On the atmosphere at Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
“I think I like the most is that I treat Atlanta as a trip for me to get home. I have probably over 80 family members there. [I] just get a chance to see some of my cousins and get a chance to play in front of a lot of people that can’t see me play unless we play against Atlanta, so that’s what I take the most from it.”
(On his previous success in Atlanta)
“I think it’s always a tough matchup against Atlanta – and any division opponent – but I think I enjoy playing in front of my family in the way I enjoy playing in front of Tampa Bay too, in front of our fans here too. Atlanta is like a home game.”
(On how many family members will be at the game in Atlanta this weekend)
“Probably 80-plus – there will be a lot.”
(On seeing his former coach and current Atlanta Falcons Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter again)
“I’m excited to see Coach Koetter. We did some great things here, while he was here and I just truly appreciate how he coached me and how he handled the team. I’m excited to see him too – he’s back in Atlanta where he came from before he came to Tampa. I think he’s up in the box, so I probably won’t get to see him on the field, but probably pregame I will say hello and give him a hug.”
*Transcript courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Communications