While no one is going to declare the rookie season of Jameis Winston a raging success, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are pleased to see the number one pick in the 2015 NFL draft making quick strides towards establishing his place in the league.
Winston didn’t come in like Andrew Luck with the franchise quarterback halo all around him, nor did he have the debut Robert Griffin III had for the Redskins. Winston threw two interceptions while the Bucs got crushed by Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans on a double quarterback debut. He threw five more interceptions, including four in one game, as the Buccaneers lost three of their next four games.
But since then, things have settled down. The Bucs have won two of four to make this season already look better than the previous one and maybe take some heat off of head coach Lovie Smith. Winston has stopped throwing interceptions, currently owning the second longest streak in the league of not getting picked off, four games, which is huge for a rookie.
He didn’t look great in the last two games, a win over the Falcons and a loss to the Giants, but he didn’t lose the game for his team. If it wasn’t for Mike Evans shattering NFL records of recent years for drops, the Bucs might be at 4-4 right now, which means looking not too far from threatening a Wild Card spot in the weakest NFC we’ve seen in years.
Winston isn’t near the top of the charts in any of the major statistics for quarterbacks, and he wasn’t expected to. But his completions average 13.4 yards, third best in the league and he also has a 6.93 net yards per pass, ninth in the league. Nothing too special, but another part showing he’s been having a solid rookie campaign, on pace to be the best ever for a first-year quarterback in Tampa.