You may debate where you think Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is among NFL quarterbacks.
It’s pretty clear, however, that he’s better than Chicago’s Jay Cutler.
Winston had one of his better games Sunday in a 36-10 victory over Chicago, and Cutler had one of his worst. Winston threw for 312 yards, completing 19 passes to players other than Mike Evans. Cutler, on the other hand, threw two interceptions, had two fumbles and took four sacks, including a safety.
The Bucs improved to 4-5, winning at home for the first time all season. It was only their fourth home win in their last 24 games.
Want to know the play that defines Cutler? The Bears had third-and-goal from the Bucs four. Cutler tried to scramble and was sacked from behind and fumbled. Or how about the pick-six he threw to Bucs’ safety Chris Conti.
Want to know the play that defines Winston? He faced a third-and-10 at the 38 when he found no one downfield. So he scrambled to his left, reversed his field, ran threw his own end zone, turned upfield and launched a deep pass from his own 8-yard line. Evans caught it 39 yards past the line of scrimmage.
“Throw it away!” coach Dirk Koetter said he was thinking. “Throw it away! Get down! Do anything. Don’t take a safety. The thing about James, Jameis is going to do some things to make some plays because that’s who he is. You can’t coach that out of him. He’s a special player that I respect.”
It was the first time in his career that Winston had a rating of more than 100 and threw for more 300 yards in the same game.
Tampa Bay will try to get an upset win against Kansas City next week to get back to .500.