In the Buccaneers preseason victory against Titans, Jameis Winston proved why he should be the starting quarterback for Tampa Bay.
Winston went 13-of-18 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. The highlight of the night for Winston was his 21-yard back shoulder throw to Justin Watson. It was delivered perfectly, no Titans defender had a chance to swat it away.
Throughout a handful of drives, Winston was able to spread the ball to other targets as well. His safety valve Cameron Brate was targeted as was Chris Godwin, who came down with a floating pass from Winston around three Titans defenders for six points.
It was a reminder of how good Winston can be. He looks so comfortable in Dirk Koetter’s offense and has immense trust in his talented receiving corps.
Despite the strong showing with Winston, the offense looked inept with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm.
Fitzpatrick managed to move the ball down the field on Tampa’s second drive, despite his accuracy issues. One trip netted three points, but it could have been six as Fitzpatrick missed a pair of red zone throws.
This game displayed the gap between Fitzpatrick and Winston. Winston was on the money, as Fitzpatrick completed less than half of his attempts. While Fitzpatrick was solid last week, his inconsistency is why he will return to the backup role once Winston returns.
Although none of the other running backs could find room, Peyton Barber excelled on the ground. In his short stint on the field, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and helped put the offense in third-and-manageable situations.
This game provided even more distance between Barber and the rest of the Buccaneers running backs.
On the defensive side of the ball, the starters showed both the good and the bad. On their initial series, they pressured Marcus Mariota and silenced the Titans offense.
On the next drive, Taywan Taylor exposed the Bucs defense as he took a screen pass 47 yards to the house.
Tackling was the defense’s biggest issue against Tennessee. David Fluellen, the Titans third-string running back bounced of Tampa’s first-team defense on multiple occasions.
On the bright side, M.J. Stewart flashed his ability to create turnovers. He stripped two Titans, and the Buccaneers were able to recover one of the loose balls. With both Carlton Davis and Vernon Hargreaves injured, he made the most of his opportunity to play with the starters.
The second half was mostly uneventful. Despite the Tennessee running backs looking strong, Blaine Gabbert wasn’t able to make much happen through the air.
Bucs quarterback Ryan Griffin did make some noise with a strong early in the final period. He connected with Dare Ogunbowale on a deep pass and found Sergio Bailey in the end zone. Griffin proved that he deserves a spot on the Tampa Bay roster.
Are the kicking woes behind the Bucs?
Well, Chandler Catanzaro gave the fans some hope as he nailed all three of his field goal attempts and all of his extra point attempts. It was a step in the right direction for Tampa Bay’s recent kicking woes.