TAMPA — In his first half since regaining the starting quarterback position, Jameis Winston was remarkably careful with the football, and the result was a 13-6 Tampa Bay halftime lead over the San Francisco 49ers.
Winston completed 18 of 24 pass attempts for 176 yards and one touchdown, adding 23 rushing yards, while playing turnover-free football as the Bucs played with their first lead since beating Cleveland in overtime five weeks ago.
After throwing 11 interceptions in his five games this season, Winston did not throw an interception in the first half Sunday.
He drove the Bucs down the field for a 73-yard touchdown drive, hitting tight end Cameron Brate in the back of the end zone for a six-yard touchdown pass. The key play to the drive was a deep ball completion to Mike Evans for 42 yards down the right sideline.
The Buccaneers outgained the 49ers in the first half 225-116.
Kicker Cairo Santos converted his first field-goal attempt with the Bucs, hitting a 41-yard try just before the half. The Bucs drove the ball into the red zone in the half's final minute, but had to settle for a Santos 39-yard field goal.
The 49ers scored their first half touchdown on an eight-yard pass from Nick Mullens to Dante Pettis.
Nature Coast Tech alumnus Matt Breida combined for 89 total offensive yards, including 80 on the ground on 10 carries.
The Bucs recorded three sacks on the day, and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Mullens late in the second quarter to give him 10 1/2 sacks this season, making him the first Bucs player to have a double-digit sack total since Simeon Rice in 2005.
Gerald McCoy and Carl Nassib also recorded sacks for the Bucs.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at [email protected] Follow @EddieInTheYard.