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Jameis Winston’s growth evident in the midst of Buccaneers’ offensive struggle

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Under pressure seemingly ever time he dropped back, the Bucs quarterback kept his team in the fight.

Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Will Vragovic/Getty Images

At one point Friday night against the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback had completed five of his passes and had been sacked five times.

In years past, this likely would have led to forced passes, hurried reads and desperation throws into the arms of an awaiting defender.

This time though, Winston’s only desperation throw was aimed at the sideline and he forced the ball a little too long and a little too far to the left twice targeting Breshad Perriman only to have the ball catch nothing but grass.

In the end, you’d rather Winston’s passes meet grass instead of the hands of opposing defenders.

Obviously, the preferred result would be meeting his receivers hands, but one thing at a time.

For now, despite the fact his offense was floundering, Winston made smart decisions and didn’t make any mistakes that not only would have amplified the struggles but would have given the Browns a surge of momentum.

NFL.com writer Grant Gordon commented on this demonstrated growth as well, writing,

“Certainly his 9-for-19 line for 88 yards and a 60.9 rating isn’t stellar, but in the face of near-constant pressure, he scrambled well and didn’t make bad decisions or risky throws.”

There was a play or two where it appeared Winston was focused too sharply on hitting the big play instead of taking underneath opportunities presented by the Brown defense.

Overall though, Winston’s progress has been steady. Here’s hoping the offensive line will progress to similarly effective heights. If not, the Tampa Bay quarterback is going to need every ounce of intelligent decision making he can muster.