Jameis Winston needed only one drive


Three words accurately represented the first drive of the night for the Buccaneers. Crisp. Fluid. Unpredictable. The men up front created solid running lanes and backs fought like hell for yards after contact. But that captain behind the offense, Jameis Winston, played a huge part. In a solid drive that saw Tampa Bay march 89 yards, the offense stamped it in on a 9-yard screen pass to wideout Chris Godwin for the score.

Winston Looks the Part

Other an overthrown ball to Breshad Perriman, Winston looked the part. To start off the drive, Winston connected with Perriman on a first-down throw near the sideline. After Peyton Barber gobbled up about seven yards on first down, the quarterback had a completion to Godwin for a first down. Just a play or two later, the Heisman winner would make the most athletic play of the drive.

Facing a second down and oncoming blurs from his blindside, he does a spectacular spin move avoiding pressure, rolled out to his left and picked up the first down and more. Definitely a depleting play for the defense.

Inside the redzone now, Winston hands the ball off to Ronald Jones. He churned his way to a first down on the 9-yard line for a solid run gain. And on the final play of the drive, Winston hit Godwin on a screen that was well blocked, broke through an open field arm tackle and calmly strolled into the end zone.

All it took was one drive, but what is certain is Bruce Arians’ offense won’t be nearly as predictable as Dirk Koetter’s last year. The offense moved the ball well. The running backs kept the game balanced. And the screen game added a bit more nuance we didn’t see last year. All of it choreographed to perfection on that first drive.