Jameis Winston vowed to play better, and he did
Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 4 November 2019

Jameis Winston stood on the postgame podium last week in Nashville and defiantly predicted the Bucs would learn from their mistakes and play better here. Winston entered CenturyLink Field on Sunday responsible for 10 turnovers over the previous two games.

But in the Bucs' 40-34 overtime loss to the Seahawks, as the teams traded scores, Winston went toe-to-toe with one of the league's best quarterbacks in Russell Wilson in one of the most difficult NFL road venues. "Jameis played as good as he's played all year," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said.

Winston threw for 335 yards, completing 29 of 44 for two touchdowns and a 103.9 quarterback rating, a step forward coming off a two-game stretch in which he posted a 56.3 quarterback rating. But Winston could only watch as the game was decided in overtime on Wilson's fifth touchdown pass of the game. The Seahawks won the toss and scored a touchdown on their first possession to hand Tampa Bay its fourth straight loss.

"If we win the coin toss, I guess it's unfair to them if we go down there and score," Winston said. "Those are just the rules. It's a 50-50 chance of who gets the ball."

Winston lauded praise for Wilson, who compiled an astounding 133.7 quarterback rating, and worked with precision throughout the day by dicing the Bucs defense with exquisite touch.

"I've just got so much respect for that guy,” Winston said of Wilson. "He's a winner, he's an amazing quarterback. he's been an amazing help to me and helping me with my development as an NFL quarterback, so I just thank him for that. I wish we were one the winning end, but he went out there and did his job.”

For the most part, Winston played a mistake-free game, something he's struggled to do. A throw into traffic in the first quarter deflected off Mike Evans and to Breshad Perriman for a touchdown. Winston's only turnover came on a fourth-quarter fumble at the Seattle 40 when his elbow hit left tackle Donovan Smith as he tried to throw. The turnover led to a Seattle field goal.

"If I get that ball out on time, I'm not holding the ball, (the offensive linemen) hold it up and we execute that third down,” Winston said. "Still, I've got to find a way to eliminate that.”

Winston then drove the Bucs down the field 44 yards for a game-tying field goal with 5:27 remaining, and then answered a Seattle touchdown with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to tie the game. On that drive, Winston scrambled for six yards on a fourth-and-5 and was 4-for-6 passing for 64 yards.

Otherwise, Winston did a much better job of protecting the ball. The Bucs worked to establish the running game early, and Winston converted five of the team's first seven third-down conversion opportunities as they went out a 21-7 second-quarter lead. On the Bucs first drive of the game, Winston rolled out to his right on a third-and-3 at the Seattle 17. Instead of forcing a pass, he threw the ball away and drew a roughing the passer call that gave the Bucs a first down. Tampa Bay scored on Ronald Jones' eight-yard touchdown run on the next play.

"(Quarterbacks) Coach Clyde (Christiansen) and (offensive coordinator) Byron (Leftwich) do an excellent job of trying to drive in me, ‘Hey it's one play, live for that play and if it's not there, get rid of the ball and give us another chance.' That's all I'm trying to do.”

Tampa Bay takes a 2-6 record into a 1 p.m. game next Sunday at home against Arizona. "We've got to keep that glass full, we've got to keep that chip on our shoulder and we've got to find a way to win,” said Winston. "It doesn't matter if its this week, last week, all we can focus on is the upcoming week against another good opponent.”