TAMPA, Fla. -- With a decision about his future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looming, quarterback Jameis Winston threw four interceptions -- including a pick-six on his first pass attempt -- in a 23-20 loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday.
The loss ended Bucs’ four-game winning streak. Winston completed 25 of 48 passes for for 335 yards, one touchdown and the four picks. He struggled without Pro Bowl receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, both out because of hamstring injuries.
Winston's 28 interceptions this season are most by a player since Brett Favre in 2005 (29), according to ESPN Statistics & Information. Winston's six pick-sixes this year are now tied with Peyton Manning for most in a season, according to Elias.
Just like the Indianapolis Colts game two weeks ago, this was full-spectrum Winston: an abysmal start laced with a gritty comeback that started with 3:41 to go in the first half. Winston had passes of 32 and 30 yards to Breshad Perriman and Cody McElroy, setting up a 4-yard touchdown run from Ronald Jones. Then after an interception from Jamel Dean, Winston found Justin Watson on the run for an 8-yard touchdown to tie it at 17 at the half.
The Bucs had been searching for a victory against an opponent with a winning record in this final stretch of the season, trying to prove wins over the Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions were no fluke. They came close, but the mistakes they got away with against weaker opponents were too great to overcome.
And while the Bucs have been encouraged by what they've seen from Winston during this later portion of the season, his turnovers remain a great source of frustration for the organization.
Pivotal play: With 1:27 to go with the Bucs trailing by three points, Jahleel Addae jumped a route on 5-yard out, picking off Winston on a pass intended for Dare Ogunbowale. Arians had praised Winston for his ability to not only compartmentalize mistakes but his handling of two-minute situations. But this throw and route were not timed properly between quarterback and receiver, as was the case on Winston's first pick that was intended for Watson.
Promising trend: All 17 of the Texans’ first half points came off turnovers, but the Bucs’ defense stopped the bleeding and made key plays that kept them in it. Linebacker Lavonte David forced a fumble that was scooped up by Devin White. Nickelback Sean Murphy-Bunting notched a sack-forced fumble. Dean’s pick on the ensuring play gave the Bucs the ball back at the Houston 39 for Watson’s score. Jason Pierre-Paul also had three sacks.