Winston takes responsibility for loss to Colts
The Tampa Tribune, published 30 November 2015

Jameis Winston put a lot of the blame for Sunday’s 25-12 loss to the Colts on his shoulders, saying he didn’t do a good enough job of avoiding sacks and making plays, particularly in the second half. Were it not for Winston, though, the Bucs might never have been in the game.

Winston was sacked five times, but he completed 20 of 36 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown. His only interception came during a desperate attempt to erase the Colts’ two-score advantage late in the fourth quarter.

“He showed off his talent again today,’’ Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans said. “If he keeps making plays like he did today, we’re going to be fine. But we have to do our part; we have to do our job.’’

The five sacks were a season high for Winston, but he scrambled out of several others and ran three times for 27 yards. Still, Winston felt he didn’t do enough. “It’s on me,’’ he said. “I underthrew Mike one time and I overthrew him another time. Definitely have to make the plays. And I have to get rid of the football. It’s all about rhythm.’’

Winston threw for 245 yards, giving him 2,650 for the season, breaking the Bucs' rookie record of 2,608, set by current backup Mike Glennon in 2013. Winston has five games left and is on pace for 3,854 yards, which would be the third most in the NFL by a rookie, trailing Cam Newton (2011) and Andrew Luck (2012).

The Bucs were trailing 16-12 in the third quarter and had driven to the Colts' 36-yard line when Winston tried to hit WR Mike Evans with a deep ball down the left sideline, only to see the pass slip through Evans' hands, leading to a missed 54-yard field goal. "I'm not about to make excuses," said Evans, who caught two passes on that drive and finished with five for 64 yards but on 10 targeted passes. "I've got to catch it."

The Colts had just 14 sacks in 10 games before getting to Winston for five. That's the most sacks Tampa Bay has allowed all season after allowing six total in the previous five games. "They were just a better team," Bucs LT Donovan Smith said. "They played harder than us, and you could see that. Credit them."

The Bucs were called for 12 penalties for 95 yards, both the most since their loss to the Redskins on Oct. 25. A holding penalty by OL Kevin Pamphile negated a touchdown, and a defensive holding penalty on DB Alterraun Verner negated a fumble the Bucs had recovered. "I was annoyed with a lot that was going on," said OL Logan Mankins, flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after he shoved a Colts player. "I should have held my cool a little better."