Bucs end four-game losing streak with turnover-free win over 49ers
TAMPA — The Bucs snapped their four-game losing streak Sunday, beating the San Francisco 49ers 27-9 in their first turnover-free game since the season opener.
With their league-worst minus-23 turnover differential that was the worst in the NFL serving as the single biggest reason their season has gone awry, the Bucs' emphasis was avoiding giveaways. And after regaining the starting quarterback position, Jameis Winston provided a mistake-free game.
Winston went against his character, playing conservative football and taking what the 49ers defense was willing to give, throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns on 29-for-38 passing. After throwing 11 interceptions in five games this season, Winston recorded his first interception-free game of the season.
After losing back-to-back games in which the offense put up 500 yards of total offense, the Bucs showed they can win with less offensive productivity -- and by winning the turnover battle.
With cornerback Ryan Smith’s fourth-quarter interception in the end zone, the Bucs recorded their first defensive takeaway since the team’s Week 3 loss to the Steelers.
Andrew Adams deflects a Mullen pass, and Isaiah Johnson intercepts for the Bucs, who will run out the clock.
Bucs will punt, leading by 18, with 3:09 to play.
Winston finds Humphries for a first down at the Bucs 41.
Ryan Smith intercepts Mullens in the end zone, the Bucs' first takeaway in forever.
Now, Mullens throws to Kendrick Bourne for 17 yards.
Dante Pettis with a 22-yard reception.
Bucs will punt.
Jacquizz Rodgers bursts up the middle for 20 yards to the Bucs 42.
Vita Vea having a game, now sacks Nick Mullens.
Jameis Winston throws back across the field to a wide-open Adam Humphries, and the Bucs are back in the end zone, leading 27-9 with 14:10 to play.
Chris Godwin reception good for another 11 yards.
Winston connects with DeSean Jackson for another Bucs first down at the 49ers 43.
Winston hits Chris Godwin for 15 yards and a first down to the Bucs 30.
Mullens throws incomplete for Kittle, and the Niners will punt.
Vita Vea throws Wilson to the ground for a loss of 3.
Jeff Wilson picks up another 49ers first down. Jason Pierre-Paul down after the play.
Mullens finds Pettis for a first down at the Bucs 48.
Barber carries up the middle for 2 yards and a Bucs touchdown. Bucs go up 20-9 with 8:25 left in the third.
Barber carries down to the 2.
Bucs move to the 7 on a 6-yard reception by Peyton Barber.
Winston again overthrows DeSean Jackson deep downfield, but Ahkello Witherspoon called for interference. Bucs at the SF 13.
Winston has no problem connecting with Mike Evans, though, gaining 34 yards down the right sideline. Bucs at the 49ers 41.
Winston throws short for DeSean Jackson.
Robbie Gould sneaks a 23-yard field goal just inside the left upright. Bucs continue to lead, 13-9, with 11:02 left in the third.
False start penalty forces Niners into a field-goal attempt.
San Francisco going for it on fourth down.
49ers challenging the ruling on the field.
Breida stopped short of the goal line on second down, and Mullens is unsuccessful on a third-down sneak.
The call is reversed, making it 2nd-and-goal.
Jeff Wilson beats Brent Grimes to the pylon for 9 yards and what is ruled on the field as a 49ers touchdown. Replay shows Wilson may have been just short of the goal line.
Carlton Davis now down for the Bucs.
Another big gain by Breida, who takes a screen pass 24 yards.
Mullens finds Pettis for 25 yards to the Bucs 43.
Matt Breida finds an opening over the right side and picks up a first down to the 49ers 32.
Demar Dotson will not be returning to the game.
Careful Winston helps Bucs build 13-6 halftime lead over 49ers
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.
Santos' kick is good, and the Bucs lead 13-6 with 7 seconds remaining in the half.
Cairo Santos back on the field to try a 39-yard field goal attempt.
Winston throws high for Brate in the end zone.
Winston tackled at the 21.
Brate reception gives the Bucs a first down at the 24. Bucs use final timeout of the half.
Bucs to the 35 on a completion to Evans.
With time running down in the half, Winston hits Cameron Brate at the 49ers 40.
Breida stopped well short of the first-down marker, and the 49ers will punt.
Mullens trips and falls, and Gerald McCoy gets credit for the sack. It’s now 3rd-and-30.
Jason Pierre-Paul sacks Nick Mullens, to become the first Buc with 10 or more sacks in a season since Simeon Rice in 2005.
Andrew Adams breaks up pass for Kittle, but Adams is called for interference, giving the Niners a first down.
Kittle reception is short of a first down, but Bucs penalized for offsides, bringing up 3rd-and-9.
Breida brought down behind the line of scrimmage by Vita Vea.
Cairo Santos good from 41 yards out, and the Bucs extend their lead to 10-6 with 3:21 remaining in the half.
Fred Warner gets a hand on third-down pass intended for Mike Evans.
Jameis Winston scrambles for 15 yards and a first down at the 24.
Jacquizz Rodgers falls forward for a first down at the 49ers 39.
Winston to Mike Evans for 12 yards and a first down across midfield. Bucs tackle Demar Dotson is down after the play.
Winston throws deep downfield for Jackson, but the ball is well overthrown.
DeSean Jackson on an end around picks up a first down to the Bucs 39.
Nick Mullens hits Dante Pettis over the middle for a 49ers touchdown. Robbie Gould’s extra-point hits the upright, and the Bucs still lead, 7-6, with 8:32 remaining in the half.
Jeff Wilson carries to the 4, but illegal shift will negate the play.
And there’s Breida again, picking up 22 before being dragged out of bounds at the Bucs 13.
Breida finds a hole and accelerates for 11 yards and a first down to the Bucs 34.
Kittle now on the receiving end of a Mullens pass, moving the 49ers to the Bucs 47.
George Kittle forced out of bounds at the 49ers 42 after a 10-yard run.
Jacquizz Rodgers catch short of a first down, and the Bucs will punt.
Completion to Chris Godwin will end the first quarter.
Winston finally connects with DeSean Jackson on a short pass. Ryan Jensen penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, making it 2nd-and-23.
Leaping Mike Evans pulls in a Winston pass for 13 yards and a first down. He’s now over 1,000 receiving yards for the season.
It’s now 3rd-and-8 after incomplete pass thrown in the direction of DeSean Jackson.
Winston buys time in the pocket and finds Jacquizz Rodgers for a first down at the Bucs 27.
Bucs facing 3rd-and-5 after Winston gains 3.
Mullens throw for Kittle is incomplete. Jordan Whitehead on the coverage. 49ers will punt.
Carl Nassib buries Breida behind the line of scrimmage, bringing up 3rd-and-16.
Nick Mullens with his first completion of the game, hitting George Kittle for 14 yards across the 49ers 40.
49ers safety Jimmie Ward is out for the rest of the game with a forearm injury.
Adam Humphries reception short of the sticks, so the Bucs will punt from deep in their own territory.
Jameis Winston sacked for a loss of 8 back at the Bucs' 7.
Two short Breida runs and an incompletion, and the 49ers go three and out.
Touchdown! Winston rolls right and finds Cameron Brate in the back of the end zone. Bucs lead 7-0 with 8:21 left in the first.
Barber stopped for a 2-yard loss.
And here’s Peyton Barber, bouncing off bodies for another 14 yards, inside the 5.
Jameis Winston hits Mike Evans on a 42-yard bomb down the right sideline to the 49ers 18.
Barber tackled in the backfield by Jaquiski Tartt for a loss of 2.
False start penalty will bring it back 5 yards.
Peyton Barber carries for 11 yards, out to the Bucs 38.
Mullens throws incomplete on 3rd-and-15, and Bucs will get the ball right back.
Carl Nassib forces 49ers QB into a fumble, but 49ers recover.
Former Nature Coast Tech star Matt Breida gains 34 yards off the left side on his first carry.
49ers will start at their 10 after a 56-yard punt from Bryan Anger.
Peyton Barber short of the first down on a run up the middle. Bucs will have to punt.
Jameis Winston throws to Adam Humphries for 9 yards, bringing up 3rd-and-1 from the Bucs 34.
Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead is active for today’s game
TAMPA — Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead is active for today’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, cleared to play after spending the week in concussion protocol.
Whitehead missed most of the fourth quarter of Sunday's 38-35 loss to the Giants and he practiced on Thursday and Friday, but had yet to be cleared to play after Friday's practice.
Running back Ronald Jones, who has played four of 10 games this season, will miss his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury. He was listed as questionable on Friday.
Outside linebacker Lavonte David (knee), safety Justin Evans (toe) and cornerback M.J. Stewart (foot) are all out for today's game.
49ers releasing LB Reuben Foster after domestic violence arrest
TAMPA — Less than five hours before playing the Bucs this afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers announced they will release linebacker Reuben Foster following his arrest for a domestic violence charge at a Tampa hotel.
Foster was arrested Saturday night on a misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office arrest report.
The 49ers are in town to play the Bucs this afternoon at Raymond James Stadium. The team announced it was releasing Foster this morning.