Bucs Jameis Winston can't continue to lead the NFL in QB hits
Sooner or later, Jameis Winston is going to get hurt, especially if he keeps putting himself in harm's way.
Winston leads the NFL in quarterback hits with 39 through four games. Sixteen of those came in Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Denver Broncos. Winston has been sacked 10 times this season, which is tied for fifth in the league.
The amount of punishment Winston has taken is not necessarily a reflection of poor offensive line play, although the pass protection cou;d improve. Instead, Winston's competitive nature, his desire to extend plays when there is not one to make, has contributed to many unnecessary wallops.
Winston also has faced his share of pressure. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Winston has been blitzed on 41 percent of his dropbacks. However, Winston has performed well under that pressure, with a quarterback rating of 94, the fourth-best in the league.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said the Bucs did well against the Broncos pass rush until the game got out of hand in the fourth quarter.
I thought we protected fine, until the fourth quarter,'' Koetter said. "Denver does have good rushers and when they get up two scores – we talked about this last week, like the old Colts with [Dwight] Freeney and [Robert] Mathis on the outside – they turn it loose on us in the fourth quarter when you’re having to throw it every down. We were down three scores, let alone two scores when you’re running out of possessions. Up until then, I thought our protection was okay, but Jameis is taking some hits that we would like him not to take because he is trying to extend some plays.”