As I mentioned on the podcast, I’m trying to focus in on a particular thing when reviewing coaching tape to make the task more manageable as there are almost infinite things you could be looking at. I was intending to look at both Jameis Winston against the Giants, and the Colts’s route concepts against the Broncos mainly man pass coverage, but it appears that given the time I think it is better if I focus in on one thing per week.
Superficially this the 32-18 score line makes this look like a comfortable win for the Giants, but this was actually a closer game than that with the lead being inflated by a touchdown scored on the last play of the game when the Buccaneers were attempting a multi-lateral do or die play, and Mike Evans attempted a cross field pass to guard Logan Mankins who couldn’t catch the ball. This was not where they lost the game though, as whilst Jameis Winston did not throw an interception, nor did he throw a touchdown as the offence struggled with some key drops and the Buccaneers fumbled the ball four times and lost three of them. Ultimately, too many drives stalled and resulted in field goals, and this allowed the Giants to eek out enough of a lead to win the game.
The good news for Bucs fans is that Winston actually outgained Eli Manning in this game, completing nineteen of thirty-six throws for two hundred and forty-seven yards despite the drops. It does seem like Winston can lock on to receiver Mike Evans on some plays, but you could often see him going from his first read to a second, and he really does seem to be making sure to only throw the ball in safe situation for the majority of the game. He may have let loose a bit later in the game, but there were plenty of occasions where he was more patient for instance, on one play Adam Humphries was running a mid-level in route behind two linebackers in zone coverage and was in space, but Winston waited for Humphries to come open across the field before make the throw rather than trying the harder options of dropping his pass over the linebackers. He also threw a lovely timing pass where Winston threw a ball with touch that was right on time to tight end Cameron Brate as he made his break on a deep out. It was also noticeable when Winston was scrambling to avoid pressure that his eyes were always down field until he had to tuck and run. You would like to see him manipulate safetys more with his eyes, and you could see better secondarys being able to jump some routes, but things are definitely heading in the right direction. I’ll need to spend more time watching quarterbacks to really get into the nuances of footwork, but there were plenty of throws where he hit the end of his drop and delivered the ball, and he certainly has the arm to make all the throws. He showed no ill affects from the multiple hits he took and if he can continue to develop then it really does look as if the Buccaneers have a quarterback they can build with, and that is no mean feat in the NFL given there simply don’t seem to be enough quarterbacks to go round and an early does not mean that you are guaranteed to get one. I look forward to following Winston’s progress.