More mistakes spell end for Winston- Bucs in Texans loss
Florida Football Insiders, published 22 December 2019

It was a recurring theme of early interceptions for Bucs QB Jameis Winston, but this time with the opposite ending. This as, for the first time in five games, the Buccaneers could not overcome the early mistakes and pull out a victory against the Houston Texans.

Winston threw a total of four interceptions and the Texans held on for a 23 – 20 win Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. With the win, the Texans clinched the AFC South and a home game for the upcoming playoffs.

Tampa Bay was undone early, as three of their four total first half turnovers were interceptions by Winston, digging a 17 – 3 hole and they could not recover. In fact, Winston’s first pass at the game was picked off by Texans DB Bradley Roby and he went 27 yards for a touchdown. And, Houston was in front just 48 seconds into the contest. Incredibly, this was the third game in a row and the fifth time in seven games that Winston has thrown an interception on the first series of the game.

Then, later in the first quarter, a second Winston interception led to a field goal and a 10 – 0 deficit. The Bucs look to have momentum later in the second quarter, when LB Lavonte David stripped Houston RB Duke Johnson causing a fumble at the Texans 31 yard line that was recovered by fellow linebacker, Devin White.

But, on the very next, play Winston threw his third interception of the half. This one by James Joseph. Later in the first half, the Texans RB Carlos Hyde scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to make the game 17 -3. But from there, Tampa Bay got momentum and Winston led a quick nine play 81-yard Drive in just over three minutes. It was capped when RB Ronald Jones ran in from 4 yards out trimming the lead to seven.

Texans QB Deshaun Watson threw an interception four plays later to the Bucs Jamel Dean on a deep pass, and Dean ran the interception back 31 yards the other way. Tampa Bay scored in just 29 seconds, when Winston hit receiver Justin Watson from 8 yards out to tie the game.

It looked like it would be a similar wild second half, as Tampa Bay’s 38-35 win over Indianapolis two weeks earlier, where Winston overcame three interceptions that day to lead the win. It was a battle of field position and field goals in the second half, as Houston got two of them from kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn and a 23 – 20 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Bucs were driving near midfield with under four minutes to play but Winston’s fourth down and short pass to TE Cameron Brate was dropped, turning the ball over on downs. Tampa Bay’s defense give them one last chance by stopping Houston and using your timeouts, but Winston threw his final interception of the game to Jahleel Addae with just over 1:30 to go, clinching things for the visitors.

Winston finished 26 of 48 for 335 yards with one TD, but the costly 4 interceptions. That extends his league-leading total to 28 on the year. The Texans mustered only 229 yards of offense, but took advantage of the Tampa Bay mistakes to clinch the playoffs. It’s back to back division win for Houston.