Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs-Saints: Jameis Winston held without a TD for first time in pro, collegiate career

TAMPA — For the first time in 56 career games in college and the NFL, Bucs QB Jameis Winston finished a game without accounting for a touchdown, and he couldn't be happier.

"I know I didn't get a touchdown, but wins, I love wins," Winston said after the Bucs' 16-11 win against New Orleans on Sunday. "As long as we've got a win, touchdowns don't mean much, unless it's a touchdown to win a game. Thank God for our defense. I keep saying that all the time."

Another long streak came to an end. Saints QB Drew Brees did not have a touchdown pass for the first time in 22 career games against Tampa Bay. Brees' 44 TD passes are the most ever against the Bucs, but he was held out of the end zone Sunday. The Saints were, too, for the second time since 2006, when Brees signed with New Orleans.

FIRST PICK: Rookie Vernon Hargreaves picked a good time for his first career interception, coming down with a pass deflected by LB Kwon Alexander to intercept Brees early in the second quarter.

The Bucs finished with three interceptions against Brees — CB Brent Grimes and S Keith Tandy also had one each — to give the future Hall of Famer back-to-back games with zero touchdowns and three interceptions.

WELCOME BACK: The Bucs got RB Charles Sims back after 10 weeks on injured reserve with a knee injury, and Sims made his presence felt on one second-half drive, catching three straight passes for 33 yards to set up a Roberto Aguayo field goal. Sims also rushed four times for 17 yards, helping give relief to starter Doug Martin, who rushed 23 times for 66 yards.

COSTLY MISTAKE: The Bucs ranked last in the league in kickoff returns coming in, but they also hadn't had any significant mistakes in their return game.

WR Josh Huff had a costly one in the second quarter, as the ball bounced off his helmet and went out of bounds at the 1-yard line. On the next play, Martin was dropped in the end zone for a safety, cutting the lead to 13-5.

THIS AND THAT: Huff caught a 17-yard pass in his Bucs debut and had 5 yards on a jet-sweep carry. … Former FSU walk-on Javien Elliott had his first NFL tackles, continuing to serve as the Bucs' nickel defensive back and finishing with four tackles. … DE Robert Ayers had the Bucs' only sack, giving him 51/2 on the season despite missing four games with an ankle injury. … Bucs WR Mike Evans had a second straight quiet game with just four catches for 42 yards, but he had a key third-down conversion as the Bucs tried to salt away the final minutes of the game.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman

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