TAMPA — A look at some Jameis Winston mistakes that were nearly miracles, and some miracles thatwere almost mistakes:
WELCOME TO THE NFL
Situation: First game of Winston's rookie season game against the Tennessee Titans and quarterback Marcus Mariota, who staked his team to a 7-0 lead. On third and 3, with 12 minutes left to go, Winston tried to hit Adam Humphries on a stick route.
Outcome: Humphries ran a poor route and didn't come back for the pass, but Winston telegraphed it and it was late. Defensive back Cody Sensabaugh stepped in front of Humphries and returned the interception for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Winston's first NFL pass was a pick six.
TAKING THE BAIT
Situation: Bucs faced Carolina at RJS and trailed 3-0 early in the first quarter of an NFC South game in 2015.
Outcome: Cornerback Josh Norman sits on a sideline route to tight end Brandon Myers. He intercepts the pass and returns it for a touchdown. The confidence Winston has in his arm has let him down again.
THERE GOES THE PLAYOFFS
Situation: The Bucs needed to beat the Saints in Week 16 to help secure a wildcard playoff spot. Trailing 13-7 and facing second-and-11 at their own 3-yard line to start the second half, coach Dirk Koetter orders a deep shot play to Mike Evans.
Outcome: Koetter has said he regretted the play call when he sent it in and should've called timeout. In the future, he hopes Winston bails him out and does it for him. But on this play, with the Saints playing a safety over Mike Evans, Winston tried to force the football downfield and safety Jairus Byrd intercepted, returning it to the Tampa Bay 14. One play One play later Mark Ingram ran it in for a touchdown.
FEET DON'T FAIL
Situation: The Bucs trailed Atlanta at RJS in Winston's rookie year 19-16 with 2:44 remaining. They already were nearly in field goal range to tie it. On third and 10, Winston tried to make a play with his feet.
Outcome: Winston appeared to be stopped just short of the first down. But somehow he broke through the tackles of three Falcons linebackers — Paul Worrilow, Justin Durant and Brooks Reed — and ran for a first down, gaining 20 yards to the 23 yard line. The drive ended when Winston threw a 6-yard TD pass to Mike Evans with 1:39 remaining in a 23-19 victory.
12 SECONDS OF MAYHEM
Situation: The Bucs lead 17-10 last season and faced third-and-10 at their own 23 yard line. Winston took the snap and immediately was chased by the Bears pass rush.
Outcome: Winston should've taken the sack. Instead, he retreated to his end zone, stepped to his left, moved forward a few yards before heaving a 39-yard pass to Evans, who made a full extension catch. On the next play, Winston hit Freddie Martino for a 43-yard touchdown pass and the Bucs went on to beat the Bears 36-10. The entire play lasted 12 seconds.
Situation: The Bucs trailed the Dallas Cowboys 17-6 early in the third quarter and faced third-and-1 from the Dallas 42 yard line. Normally, the Bucs would run the football in this situation. But Winston wanted more. Much more.
Outcome: Winston used a play action run fake then rolled to his left. Receiver Adam Humphries was well covered by two defenders. But Winston took a shot when he probably should've just run for the first down. The pass was underthrown and Cowboys defensive back Brandon Carr deflected it. But Humphries caught the deflection and backpedaled in the end zone for a touchdown.