Buccaneers Jameis Winston: Behind the career numbers

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Jameis Winston
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Jameis Winston /

Studying some of the more interesting numbers of Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.

The numbers don’t lie. That’s what we always hear, is it not? Statistics always tell us just what they see, nothing more and nothing less. Analyzing our Buccaneers players, and any players for that matter, starts with the stats. It’s our first line of information regarding a player’s performance, before we move on to the tape and the “eye test”.

In talking about Jameis Winston, there is a lot of talk about his numbers and how they relate to decision-making. Despite improved play on the field and leadership off of it, much of the focus has been on the interceptions. Don’t get me wrong, some of it is warranted and the overall numbers have to get better. However, as we go behind the numbers and into the advanced ones, some of the trends are actually quite good.

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Some of the trending is quite consistent with poor decision-making, especially when the game is on the line. Of his 33 career interceptions, 24 have been in games that the Bucs lost. More interestingly, 25 have occurred either when the game has been within a touchdown (13), or a blowout of 15 points or more(12).

What does that tell us? It says that Winston wants to make a play happen when the game is on the line and/or to bring the team back. The 13 INT’s are highest number based on deficit, and that is when the game is within a touchdown. He has to make decisions that are smart, and even in a close game, throw the ball away and live to the next play.

In a blowout, he is throwing it a lot, so of course there will be interceptions. That’s not a real surprise. The same can be said for the fact that 22 interceptions have come when the team has been trailing.

Here, however, is an interesting stat with regards to decision-making. In the red zone, Winston’s touchdown to interception ratio is 34-1. He doesn’t give the ball away down deep in enemy territory. He has it in him to protect the football. The numbers don’t lie. Now, that skill must be applied all over the field for him to take the next step in his development.

Finally, this number might deserve a good, long look from Dirk Koetter. When the offense has huddled up, Winston has thrown 981 passes and 31 interceptions. In the no huddle, he has thrown only two interceptions out of 122 passes. Even projected out, that number is less than 31. Maybe they should pump up the tempo more often?

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So Winston’s choices are not as bad as most of the national audience thinks they are. Are they perfect? No, but we never said the were. But the trends are there and he is ready to make that next step. The numbers don’t lie.