Quarterback Jameis Winston is seen as the long term solution for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,
and while he is a very good quarterback, he has yet to distinguish himself among other quarterbacks in the league. Winston has all the tools – a rocket like arm, fast feet, good football sense – but some have begun to wonder if he will be that piece of the puzzle they need to get to a winning season.
Tampa did get a win Monday night, and that was important as it raised their record to 2-3 and could provide some momentum for he rest of the season. The Bucs were without several players though, and their opponent, Carolina, was without its star quarterback Cam Newton.
But on Monday Winston did deliver. He was not spectacular, but he was effective when it mattered most and that helped them get the win.
A big part of the issue for Winston seems to be the defenses he is facing this year. An ESPN reporter examined his stats against various types of defenses and came to an interesting conclusion.
So far this season, Winston has thrown the second most interceptions, and no one else has scored as many points off turnovers than teams playing against the Buccaneers. Traditional wisdom says when you are facing a young quarterback with a strong arm like Winston, it is good to pressure them all you can.
The interesting thing the stats showed however, is that Winston actually thrives when he is being pressured. He has the best quarterback rating in the entire NFL when he is being pressured, with an impressive 88.3 quarterback rating. Against the blitz his rating is even higher. In these situations he has thrown nine touchdown passes and had only one interception.
When defenses do no pressure him, but focus on covering receivers downfield instead, Winston has a 49.0 quarterback rating, which is 29th in the league. He has three touchdowns and eight interceptions when that is the case.
The numbers show Winston is least effective when defenses do no pressure him. This means he is either no recognizing coverage or that receivers are not getting enough separation to allow him to make a good throw. It could even be both of those things.