Photo: AP file photo
Photo: AP file photo

A quick look at Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers

“There’s no secret, it’s turnovers,” Arians said Monday to the Tampa media. “This team, we have a gift habit. We keep giving away points in games and then we try to fight our way back.”

The Bucs have lost five of their last six games, including last week’s 34-17 defeat against the Saints, and have been hurt by the play of quarterback Jameis Winston and his receivers. Winston, who has an NFL-high 18 interceptions this season, sailed one high pass against the Saints that was returned for a touchdown by safety Marcus Williams.

Tight end O.J. Howard took his eye off another Winston pass while looking for a hit from a defender and a bobbled ball turned into an interception.  

“When you make those kind of mistakes, you’re not going to win against a really good football team,” Arians said. “It’s been a habit, but it’s one that we have to break.”

» MORE: Falcons open as favorites against Bucs

The Bucs are a minus-10 in turnover margin, which is 29th in the league. But the team is not devoid of offensive weapons for Winston to choose from.

Wide receivers Chris Godwin leads the team with 63 receptions and veteran playmaker Mike Evans has 58 catches for 993 yards. Both have seven touchdowns. 

The Bucs don’t think the Falcons will be armed with detailed information on Winston since former head coach Dirk Koetter is now the Falcons’ offensive coordinator. 

“I think, it’s a different offense,” Arians said. “He knows the guy. I would imagine he’s saying just the same old stuff. But I don’t think right now, they are changing anything defensively because they are playing really good and playing fast.” 

Koetter went 19-29 as the Bucs coach from 2016-18 and also was their offensive coordinator in 2015. He discounted the connection.  

“I’m worried about our team, but except for the two games a year when we play them, I’m a Jameis fan,” Koetter said. 

After blasting New Orleans 26-9 and the Panthers 29-3, the Falcons have the Bucs’ full attention. 

“Division opponent on the road,” Arians said. “A team that’s similar to us. They are playing really well right now. Kind of found their stride after the open date. A lot of changes coaching-staff wise. They are playing with a lot of energy and it’s showing on tape.”

The Bucs have noticed some changes in the 1-7 Falcons vs. the 2-0 Falcons after the bye week. 

“They simplified it defensively,” Arians said. “They are playing really, really fast and they are not very complicated. The front four is teeing off and doing a heck of a job. Offensively, they are moving the ball and scoring points.” 

---

Subscribe to “The Bow Tie Chronicles” podcast with the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter on iTunes or on the new AJC sports podcasts page.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.

With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.

Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.

X