Rapid Reaction: Browns 31, Buccaneers 7


After a very encouraging performance on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals, Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers couldn’t keep the momentum rolling against the Cleveland Browns Saturday night.

Winston played the entire first half and one series in the 3rd quarter, finishing the game 6/15 for 90 yards and 1 INT. There were several errant throws by Winston, though; he was lucky to not end up with a higher INT total.

The offensive line had a very bad night as Winston was sacked four times. Doug Martin didn’t have very many holes to run through and was often stuffed at the line of scrimmage. He gained 40 yards on nine carries and had a TD on a pretty nifty 19-yard run.

Winston and the first-team offense didn’t start out too hot, going 3 & out on their first series. The Bucs were forced to punt and that gave the Browns their first TD of the game as Travis Benjamin returned the punt 53 yards for a TD. The offense only picked up one first down in the 1st quarter and the defense gave up a 16-play, 80-yard TD drive.

The second quarter was a little better for the Bucs as Doug Martin scored the Bucs only TD of the game and the defense only allowed a FG. Winston was able to move the ball a little bit better while the Bucs went no huddle, but Connor Barth missed a 43-yard FG, failing to put up any more points for the Bucs.

Both the Bucs and Browns starters played one series each after haltime and it wasn’t much different than the first half. Cleveland drove 80 yards and Josh McCown threw his second TD of the night, while Winston and the Bucs went 3 & out. After that the reserves came in and the Browns finished the Bucs off.

Overall, it was a pretty sloppy performance from the Bucs, but there were a few positives. After a slew of penalties on Monday night, the Bucs cleaned up their act on both sides of the ball. The team only committed two penalties for 10 yards.

Kwon Alexander had another great showing and lit up Josh McCown like he wanted the former Bucs QB to pay the team back for every INT he threw last year.

After putting a lot of pressure on Bengals QB Andy Dalton, the Bucs front four wasn’t as explosive Saturday night. And when they were able to get into the backfield, McCown made some great plays to get out of trouble (I know, where was that last year?). Russell Shepard also played well against the Bengals, but didn’t have a single reception against the Browns.

Jameis Winston has to be disappointed with his play in his 3rd preseason game as a Buccaneer. He’s now had only one solid performance and two shaky ones. He still hasn’t thrown a TD pass this preseason, although he has led several TD drives. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs approach their final preseason game as its clear Winston still needs more reps against NFL defenses.

Look for more analysis of the Bucs 3rd preseason game of 2015 here at the Pewter Plank in the coming days. The Bucs will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins in their fourth and final preseason game of the year on Thursday night.

Next: Analyzing every Jameis Winston MNF attempt