Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has a huge decision coming up. Jameis Winston is on an expiring deal, and a decision on his future will have to be made soon. He has led the offense to some crazy performances, passing for over 400 yards in a game three times this season. However, he also leads the NFL in interceptions thrown with a ridiculous 24 picks.
There’s no telling which version of Winston will show up on a week-to-week basis, making the re-signing decision a tough one. Tampa Bay gets to watch Winston for the rest of 2019, which means seeing him go up against the Houston Texans in Week 16 action. Winston couldn’t have picked a better matchup to make himself look good, as the Texans have been awful against the pass all year long.
As mentioned above, playing the Texans is usually a fun day for quarterbacks. They field the 28th ranked pass defense, allowing 266 passing yards on average. Winston will have absolutely no trouble surpassing that number, as he’s surpassed it 10 times this season against much tougher defenses than Houston’s.
Another factor working in Winston’s favor is his lack of a running game. Tampa Bay only averages 91 yards on the ground per game, good for the NFL’s 28th-ranked rushing offense. Houston’s defense hasn’t been terrible in this category, making it hard to put faith in the Buccaneers’ running game. Winston should be dropping back early and often, just like every other game this season.
To make things even better, Winston has been on an absolute tear recently. In the last two weeks alone, he’s thrown for 914 yards and eight touchdowns. The Bucs only faced one terrible defense in that stretch, making those numbers even more impressive. Asking the former Florida State star to put on another one of these performances seems unreasonable, but it’s perfectly possible.
One concern for Winston is the health of his wide receiver group. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both out for Saturday’s contest. The next men up are Breshad Perriman, Justin Watson, and someone named Ishmael Hyman. Watson was a fifth-round pick and Hyman went undrafted in 2018. Neither of these guys is proven options, and Perriman is incredibly streaky. Starting tight end Cameron Brate has the tendency to disappear for whole stretches of games.
All in all, these guys make up the offensive skill position group version of Jameis Winston. There’s no telling how they play, but rewards could be plentiful.