When you go back and look at the game film from Sunday’s game against the Titans, a few things become extremely clear. The first being that Quarterback Jameis Winston has clearly improved his play over where it was this time last season, and that half-way into this season, the wide receivers are still struggling with the plays called.
“Jameis didn’t throw one damn interception that was his fault, his receivers let him down today. Guys stopped on routes that were supposed to go down the middle. The last play we were supposed to go down the middle, should’ve been a big play. He played his tail off, and uh, you can write what you want, because not one of those interceptions was his fault, and it’s a damn shame.”~ Head Coach Bruce Arians
When you actually take the time to set your feelings aside and look at the tape of the game, if you have any form of even the most basic football knowledge, you see that he’s one hundred percent correct in his statement. For whatever the reasons may be, the receivers simply let him down.
It’s hard to be too critical of Chris Godwin, given that he’s been the best receiver in the league thus far, but you have to wonder what led to his confusion on Sunday. On two different occasions, Godwin wasn’t where he was supposed to be, but the question is why? Did he simply not understand the play called, or did he see something in the defense that he attempted to adjust to, or was the defense good enough to force him to change against his will?
Every team has to make adjustments, and there are some plays when a receiver can adjust the route in the middle of the play, but a timing route is not one of them. The quarterback has to release the football before the player makes his move, and if the ball is already on the way to where the receiver is supposed to be, and the receiver isn’t there, it’s impossible to reel that ball back in. If Godwin would have been where he was supposed to be, he adds at least another two catches to his stat sheet, and we see at least one less turnover.
It’s not just Godwin that had the issues on Sunday, as we also saw Breshad Perriman struggle throughout the game, and throughout the season. On one play, we saw him make the same mistake that we had seen from Godwin, and he simply wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and on another, we see him completely give up and not even finish the play. While disappointing, if you’ve paid attention to his performance this season, it’s not surprising. Perriman has been targeted sixteen times and has only caught three of those passes for a total of sixteen yards and all sixteen of those yards came through the air as he has failed to pick up a single yard after the catch.
With every play, every snap, every game, there is always a why. Why did that play turn out the way it did? Why wasn’t that player where he was supposed to be? Why didn’t that player pick up the block? Why was it so easy for Mike Evans to get open? The why is always there, and to figure out the solutions, you simply have to figure out why it happened. Without knowing exactly what play was called, and without knowing exactly what was going through the receiver’s mind at that moment, it’s impossible for those on the outside to answer the why, but it’s something that Kevin Garner, Byron Leftwich, and the rest of the coaching staff are going to have to answer if they want to have any chance of beating Seattle.