Cold hasn't bothered Bucs QB Jameis Winston before
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's a chilly 29 degrees at 8 a.m. here, and in five hours, when the Bucs and Chiefs kick off at Arrowhead Stadium, it's expected to be 46 degrees, getting no warmer than 51 during the course of the game.
If it's 46 at kickoff, that will be the coldest game of the Bucs' 2016 season by a full 20 degrees, and the coldest game that second-year Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has played in 52 career games in college and the NFL. It makes sense that he might have had some cold games late in the season in high school in Alabama, but his history shows the cold doesn't bother him much at all.
"That's football weather, baby, and that's what you've got to love," Winston said Wednesday when asked about the cold.
The coldest game of Winston's NFL career -- 48 degrees at kickoff in Philadelphia last year -- is also perhaps his best, with a career-best five touchdown passes in a 45-17 rout of the Eagles in his rookie season. Here are his five coldest games in college and the NFL -- all wins, with a combined 16 touchdown passes against six interceptions:
1. Bucs at Eagles, 2015, 48 degrees: Winston connected with five different teammates for touchdowns, four in the first half, despite a wind listed at 15 mph. He didn't throw for more than two touchdowns in any other game during his rookie season.
2. FSU vs. Duke, ACC title game in Charlotte, 2013, 50 degrees: Winston threw for three touchdowns -- two to Kelvin Benjamin -- and 330 yards in an easy 45-7 win over the Blue Devils, a shutout until the final 1:01. He did throw two interceptions in the win.
3. FSU at Louisville, 2014, 51 degrees: Winston threw for 401 yards -- second-most in his college career -- and rallied the Seminoles back from an early 21-0 deficit for a 42-31 win, throwing for three touchdowns against three interceptions, then a career high.
4. FSU at Wake Forest, 2013, 52 degrees: Didn't have to do much, as the Seminoles led 42-0 at halftime, with Winston throwing for two touchdowns in the first half and finishing with 159 yards before giving way to backups.
5. FSU vs. Georgia Tech, ACC title game in Charlotte, 2014, 52 degrees: Closer than FSU wanted with a 37-35 finish, but Winston was 21-for-30 for 309 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, including two scores in the final six minutes of the first half to get the lead back from Georgia Tech.
His next closest NFL game was 54 degrees in last year's season finale at Carolina, and his next closest college game was losing 59-20 to Oregon in the 2014 national championship game in Pasadena -- his only college loss -- with 57 degrees at kickoff.
The Bucs in their history haven't fared well in the cold -- over 41 seasons, they've played 72 games with kickoff temperatures under 50 degrees, going 16-56 to win just 22 percent of the time. They've won their last two played under 50, however, with the Eagles win last season and a 27-7 win at the Redskins in 2014 when they went 2-14 overall. They've played just four games under 50 since the start of the 2012 season, less than one per year going into the day, Back before division realignment, with games at Chicago and Green Bay every year, cold games were much more common, with four played under 50 in the 1997 season alone.