So how much difference is there between the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos and the Tampa Bay Bucs?
Well, it turns out, a lot.
Like 20 points.
Like 98 yards.
Like three turnovers.
Like a 4-0 start against a 1-3 start.
Like an efficient quarterback (and backup) with a 141.7 rating against a scatter-armed one who had a 40.1.
The Broncos took an easy 27-7 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, breaking a 7-7 tie in the first period with 20 straight points. Denver played despite losing quarterback Travis Simian to a shoulder injury; rookie Paxton Lynch finished up the victory.
Winston threw two interceptions (both to ex-Buc Aqib Talib) early, and starting tailback Charles Sims carried 15 times for only 28 yards. On a key third and one, Sims was stopped cold, then tried to lateral to Winston for a fumble.
In four games, Winston has thrown eight interceptions.
In his first four games a year ago, he had seven.
With 7 ½ minutes to play, Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter elected to punt on fourth-and-six from the Denver 46.
“I don’t know what you were watching to think we’d make seven yards,” Koetter said. “Not when we didn’t make it on third-and-seven.”
The Broncos, who beat Carolina in last year’s Super Bowl, sacked Winston five times in the game.