5 players who must step up for Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. 49ers
By Cory Kinnan
QB Jameis Winston
Entering his contract year, quarterback Jameis Winston gets a fresh start with Arians and offensive coordinator and former Bucs’ quarterback Byron Leftwich in his corner. With a stacked receiving corp going against a weak 49ers’ secondary led by the aging Richard Shermon, Winston must be able to lead the aerial attack on Sunday.
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Winston has been named as a dark horse candidate to lead the entire National Football League in passing by Pro Football Focus, and he certainly has the weapons to do so with Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin, and others leading the way through the air for the receiving corp. However, slinging the ball has never been Winston’s issue, but slinging it to the guys in his uniform has been.
The Buccaneers will need Winston to be smart with the football and limit the turnovers as they open up their 2019 revenge tour with Bucco Bruce at the helm. Even if Winston throws just one pick on Sunday, the Buccaneers will take that as a win as they look to spoil John Lynch and Kwon Alexander’s return to Raymond James Stadium.
Should the marriage between Winston and Arians work as well as it seems on paper, the Buccaneers will break the bank on his next contract. If he flounders and turns the ball over more than desirable again this year, then the Buccaneers could be looking at another quarterback. Sunday will be telling as to the direction Winston is heading in 2019.