What makes the Bucs and Jameis Winston tough to beat
Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 3 December 2018

The way Jameis Winston described his decision-making Sunday sounded way too simple for a quarterback who not so long ago couldn't go a game without an interception.

Winston didn't put the gaudy passing numbers he's been accustomed to this season. His 249 passing yards in the 24-17 victory over Carolina marked his lowest total for a full game this season. But for the second straight week, the most important number on his stat sheet was zero interceptions.

"When he doesn't turn the ball over, his production is always going to be there," coach Dirk Koetter said. "Jameis is a fantastic player and sometimes that gets negated by turnovers. But you can see the last two weeks, when we don't turn the ball over, we're a lot harder to beat."

Winston showed the same willingness to check down to his secondary options he displayed against San Francisco. He also demonstrated the aptitude to run with the ball, throw it away and even take a sack instead of rushing a throw. "If I couldn't make a play, I just took a sack or got it out of bounds. It was just that simple," Winston said.

He was the Bucs' leading rusher with 48 yards and a 9.6-yard average on a day that included an 18-yard scramble. And he spread the ball out to five receivers, and had just one pass for more than 20 yards a 48-yarder to Chris Godwin. "I'm just playing to win, the bottom line," Winston said. "I think winning is way better than losing."

Winston's second touchdown pass of the day a 13-yard pass to Godwin with 13 seconds left in the first half marked the 81st of his career, surpassing Josh Freeman's franchise record. "Hopefully, I can continue to go up on that number," Winston said.

Koetter said that pass to Godwin was Winston's best of the day. "That was actually his fourth option on that play, and he scrambled up and found him in the back of the end zone," Koetter said.