There was so much to like and a lot not to like in the Bucs 28-22 overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons to close out the 2019 season.
The only thing that people are going to remember about this game is that Jameis Winston threw a pick six on the first play of overtime to give the win to the Falcons.
With Winston playing for a new contract, that was not a good way to end the 2019 season. That is the throw that people are going to remember.
They won’t remember that kicker Matt Gay missed three field goals from 49,44, and 34 yards in the Buccaneer loss. Jenna Lane of ESPN reported that Gay had been dealing with leg and back issues this week, but don’t know if that had any affect on those kicks.
This is a game that should have never went into overtime if Gay makes just one of those field goals.
With that interception in overtime, Winston becomes the first quarterback in NFL history to become a member of the 30-30 club. Winston finishes the season with 33 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions.
Winston also becomes the first quarterback in Buccaneer history and only the 8th player in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards as he finishes with 5,108 yards passing on the season.
Bruce Arians in his post game press conference sounded frustrating that Winston continues to throw interceptions. There’s so much good, and so much outright terrible.”
And that in a nutshell is what makes it so hard to evaluate Winston as to wether he will be back in Tampa in 2020.
When pressed further. Arians indicated that they would consider the free agent quarterbacks available and also the quarterbacks that will be available in the upcoming draft when assessing what to with Jameis Winston.
Linebacker Shaq Barrett became the all-time single season Buccaneer sack leader with 19.5 as he had three sacks of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on Sunday.
Barrett also finishes as the NFL leader in sacks for the season with his 19.5.
Lavonte David went over 1,000 tackles in his Buccaneer career. David had six tackles in the game Sunday and finishes the season as the Buccaneer leader with 122 tackles.
Receiver Breshad Perriman had five catches Sunday for 137 yards and a touchdown and proved in the second half of the season that he deserves a new contract. Perriman said he would love to to come back in 2020 with the Buccaneers.
Perriman was playing on a one year four million dollar contract this season and with his 646 receiving yards and six touchdown catches this season, he will be in line for a significant raise.
The Falcons took a quick 10-0 lead In the game as they won the opening kick and took it right down the field to take a 7-0 lead.
On the very next offensive series Ronald Jones fumbled the ball and gave Atlanta great field position and Younghoo Koo kicked a 27 yard field goal and the Falcons led 10-0 halfway through the first quarter.
Give Jameis Winston and the Bucs credit for battling back and taking a 22-16 lead at the half.
The bucs had one of their best games running the ball as Ronal Jones finished with 106 yards rushing the first 100 yard game of his career,
The defense was solid throughout and held the Falcons to six points in the second half.
So now another off season begins and Jason Licht will have some very important decisions to make that will effect this franchise for years to come.
The biggest decision is what to do with Jameis Winston? When Winston is on, he is one of the best on the league. When he is off he is one of the worst.
I don’t know that a quarterback has ever been as polarizing a figure as Jameis Winston has been this season. There is lot to consider About everything that Jameis Winston’s brings to the table before the Bucs make that decision on Winston.
There a lot of pother important decisions that the Bucs will have to make that do not involve Winston, Do the Bucs resign wide receiver Breshad Perriman? What About Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaq Barrett, N’Damokung Suh?
The Bucs Are approximately $93 million dollars under the salary cap, so there will be a lot more money to spend this off-season versus last off-season.
This will a very important off season for the Buccaneers. It could propel the Bucs into being a playoff contender next season, or the franchise could continue to be mired in mediocrity.