The biggest complaint when it comes to Jameis Winston is his propensity for turning the ball over, and for many, that’s the only complaint they have when it comes to his on-field play. What people fail to take into account, however, are the circumstances that lead to the turnovers. Some of them are clearly just bad throws, bad mechanics, or a bad decision due to being pressured, but others are due to things such as tipped passes, a receiver running the wrong route, and in very rare cases, a defender simply coming out of nowhere and making a play.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at every turnover attributed to Jameis during the 2018 season. We will examine both interceptions and fumbles, and the situation that led to each one. It’s only then, that we’re able to get a clear picture of just how many he is truly responsible for.
At Atlanta – Jameis deep in his own end zone makes a bad decision and overthrows Mike Evans for an interception … 1 Interception, 4 touchdowns
At Dallas – Zero interceptions for Jameis and credited with two fumbles … 1 was a bobbled drop by Bobo (unfairly charged to Winston) and the other was poor blocking that allowed Winston to get hit from behind. Even though the blocking wasn’t great, Jameis has to hold on to the ball in those situations, so that one is on Jameis … 0 interceptions, 1 fumble, 1 touchdown
At Baltimore – Jameis recorded 1 interception and 0 touchdowns on a bad pass to Evans … It’s possible that Evans could have been a step faster or reached out an inch more, but ultimately it falls on Winston as Evans ran the route as he was instructed to … 1 interception, 0 touchdowns
vs Saints – This was a game that saw Jameis take Tampa to an early lead and then we watched as Brees picked the defense apart and mounted a game-winning comeback. Jameis is credited with an interception in this game, but it was a last-second play on a deep pass out of desperation in an effort to try and undo what the defense had allowed. While Winston was credited with the interception, there really is nobody at fault when a Hail Mary is thrown as it’s simply a case of throw it as far as you can and see who comes up with it. While officially Winston got credited with the interception, we don’t put this one on any player …. 2 Touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 0 fumbles
vs Carolina – 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 0 fumbles
vs SF – 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 0 fumbles
At Giants – 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 0 fumbles … Yes, Winston is credited with an interception, but again, it was a last-second deep pass in an effort to get a last-second score, and nobody should be credited with an interception on a Hail Mary type play
At Bengals – 1 Touchdown, 4 interceptions, 0 fumbles … This is the game that went off the rails and seriously inflated his turnover numbers for the season. 3 of these interceptions were clearly bad throws or bad decisions by Jameis with the 4th being due to poor blocking again, but as before, ultimately it’s on him to figure out how to deal with poor blocking and a crapload of pressure, so all 4 interceptions go on Jameis in what was easily his worst game of the season.
Vs Cleveland – 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown (rushing), 1 fumble … The fumble as we’ve seen in other games was clearly due to piss poor blocking, however, Jameis has to hold on to it otherwise he winds up getting charged with a fumble. 1 of the 2 interceptions was simply due to him feeling rushed in a no-huddle and making a bad decision, but ultimately he gets charged with both interceptions and the fumble.
At Atlanta – 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 0 fumbles .. 1 of the interceptions was a monster tip by his own receiver on a pass that was on target, there’s no way you can credit this one to Jameis .. the 2nd of the interceptions was a bad throw by Jameis and he was clearly at fault … 4 TD’s, 1 interception
At Chicago – 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions … 1 of the interceptions was clearly the fault of Jameis, but the 2nd one could have easily been credited to Brate who appeared to be off time for whatever reason … some might credit this one to Jameis, but I have to give it to Brate as the quarterback is going to throw it where he’s supposed to on a timed play and as the receiver, you have to figure out a way to get there. 1 TD, 1 interception
When we break the games down and look at the situation that proceeded a turnover and look at who is actually at fault, we find the numbers are a bit better than what the official statistics show. Keep in mind, I broke down the games in reverse order, so it was easy to see that as the season progressed, Jameis did a much better job at reducing turnovers and creating touchdowns, but no matter the numbers, he can always do better.
Touchdowns – 19
Interceptions – 10
Fumbles – 3
The official numbers had him listed at 14 interceptions, but when we take out the tipped pass, the receiver not being where he was supposed to be, and the Hail Mary plays, we can remove 4 of the interceptions as being not his fault. While removing the 4 certainly improves upon his turnover numbers, 10 interceptions are still too many, and it’s something he most assuredly will be working on with the new coaching staff and his receiving corps.
This breakdown gives us a far better look at the turnovers and who was at fault, but what it doesn’t do, is give any indication of the impact those turnovers had and if they resulted in the Buccaneers ultimately losing the games in which he turned the ball over. We’ll save that for another time, and I think you’ll be surprised at the various reasons we found ourselves on the losing end.