Well, so much for the chance at finishing the season at .500.
The Bucs lost their 2019 finale in overtime to the Falcons, 28-22, in overtime. The game ended with Jameis Winston throwing a pick-six on the first play of OT. His first pass in a Tampa Bay uniform was an interception returned for a touchdown. His career in Tampa may have ended the same way.
No, this wasn’t all on Jameis. Matt Gay missed three field goals, bringing back memory of the Giants meltdown earlier in the year. His performance Sunday should not be ignored whatsoever.
But let’s get back to Winston. By now, you’ve probably read all the stats: he threw for over 5,000 yards. He’s the first player to throw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a season. Seven of those INT’s were returned for touchdowns. And now, Tampa Bay has to decide what to do with him.
I’ve waited until the end of the year to make my personal decision. I’ve seen enough. Winston has cost this team too many games by himself. And while he is not responsible for every defeat over the last five years, he deserves a lot of the blame. There is no justification for throwing 30 interceptions (and losing five fumbles) in your fifth season in the NFL. This was, by far, the most picks he’s thrown in a season (the next highest total is 18 in 2016.) If he did that in his rookie year, I’d cut him some more slack. But he’s had five years to figure this out, and he hasn’t done it.
Winston’s critics will point to the still leaky defense, the aforementioned missed kicks, the record passing numbers he put up, the worry about starting from scratch with a new QB, etc. But for me, all of those mistakes, and the inability to play consistently well, is too much for me to stomach anymore. It’s time for Jameis to go.
Photo courtesy: USA Today