Winston, defense igniting upswing for Buccaneers

Winston, defense igniting upswing for Buccaneers

Source: UPI | TheSportsExchange

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is on an upswing and his team is doing the same.

Winston led the Buccaneers to a 24-17 victory over their division rivals, the Carolina Panthers, on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, completing 20 of 30 passes for 249 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

It was the second consecutive week that he had two touchdowns without an interception and his second consecutive game with a passer rating of 114 or better. The Buccaneers won both of those games.

Winston now has 81 touchdown passes in his career, surpassing Josh Freeman for the top spot in franchise history.

He also moved up one more spot on the Buccaneers' all-time passing yards chart, leaping over Freeman, and needs 1,244 more to claim the record. He is at 13,577 yards and record-holder Vinny Testaverde had 14,820.

The Buccaneers' top-ranked passing attack was playing without the injured DeSean Jackson (thumb) and was in its second game without tight end O.J. Howard (on injured reserve with an ankle and foot injury).

Wide receivers Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries picked up the slack with a combined 12 catches for 162 yards and the two touchdowns thrown by Winston. The Buccaneers now have six different players with at least four touchdown catches this year. They have never had more than three in any one season before.

"We came out, we fought hard and we did what we were supposed to do," said Winston. "The defense created turnovers, the offense protected the football and we got a good win. Guys were just out there fighting their tails off. The grit of this team is amazing. We're just going to continue to work hard."

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