Despite a rough day in Raymond James, the Buccaneers were able to come out with a win against the Colts on Sunday. It started to look like a stereotypical Bucs’ performance on the first two drives, but the team put together a formidable comeback victory to pull within a game of .500 heading into the home stretch.
Winston Fights Back
Jameis turned the ball over on his first pass attempt. He threw his fifth pick-six of the season. A third was intercepted after hitting Perriman’s hands. Winston was sent to the tent at one point, giving seventh-year backup Ryan Griffin the first regular-season snaps of his career. Winston led the comeback and finished the game with a fractured hand and five total touchdowns. Once again a game was a perfect case study of Winston’s career. He was excellent, atrocious, and everywhere in between.
The Vikings officially eliminated the Bucs from the playoffs with their win over the Lions. The pipe dream of the playoffs has come to an end. However, there is still room for optimism. Though the Buccaneers’ secondary returned to form (and that’s not a good thing) for much of the game, the defense made crucial stops in crunch time that helped seal the game. Devin White, though relatively quiet, forced a critical fumble in the red zone. Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul continue to lead by example, instilling an edge to a defense that had grown complacent. It could be yet another flash in the pan, or this defense could have hit its turning point.
Mike Evans had a picturesque touchdown for the Buccaneers before pulling up in the endzone holding his hamstring. Arians has already called it off for Evans next week, and after being mathematically eliminated, it might make the most sense to shut him down for the season. It’s a disappointing end for one of the league’s top receivers, but it’d be better to focus on the future than a lost season.
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