Winston Cover

Jameis Winston vs. Falcons – 18/27, 227 yards, 2 total TDs

Jameis Winston has helped the Buccaneers climb back into contention in the 2015 season. The rookie from Florida St. hasn’t had the most eye popping season in terms of stats (58.6% completions, 17 TD, 11 INT) but the Bucs are sitting at 6-6 and only 1 game out of the NFC Wildcard. Winston has not done it alone, but he has shown the leadership and playmaking ability that big time QB’s show in this league. Jameis makes mistakes, all rookies do, but he makes incredibly impressive throws some of the throws have no business even being made. From first pick, to 1 game out of the playoffs, it appears that Winston and the Buccaneers have a bright future. In week 13, Winston and the Bucs handed their division rivals the Falcons their 5th straight loss. Led by Winston who converted a crucial 4th down followed by the game winning TD.


Play 1: 1st & 10. -23. 7:29 1st.

Offensive Personnel: 21XL Personnel

Coverage: Cover 2

Winston 1

The Buccaneers come out in the XL package, featuring an extra lineman on the line. Many of times, these formations are used for running plays or extra protection or play action passing plays. In this case it is for the play action. The Bucs FB runs a flat route to keep the Falcons underneath coverage honest, while the single WR runs a go route to take his coverage with him. The TE is running a post corner or flag route, and with the LB’s pulled up, the TE is able to find space in between the FS and underneath coverage. Winston puts enough loft on the ball but keeps enough zip on the pass to drop it right into the TE’s hands for a gain of 15 yards.


Play 2: 1st & 10. -49. 5:30 1st.

Offensive Personnel: 21 Personnel

Coverage: Cover 3

Winston 2

The Falcons are in a Cover 3 on this play, the Bucs run three underneath hitch routes to pull the Falcons underneath coverage up once again. With the Falcons in Cover 3, it means that the CB will be playing with outside leverage which allows an easier break inside for the WR. Winston’s target on this play is running a post route. Winston shows nice timing and arm strength on this play releasing the ball on time but his accuracy is just a bit off as the ball is high for the WR. The Falcons CB has good coverage on this play so he is able to knock the ball out of the WR’s hands but had the ball been on target than it would have been an impressive throw and catch.


Play 3: 1st & 20. 43. 4:12 1st.

Offensive Personnel: 11XL Personnel

Coverage: Cover 1

Winston 3

This is a very impressive play from Winston here on first down and 20. Again the Buccaneers are in XL personnel, for a play action fake once again. Winston takes a 7-step drop and senses the pressure almost immediately and then rolls out of the pocket. Winston shows great mobility on this play. He keeps his eyes down the field and his body in a throwing position as he scrambles. When the WR makes his break at the 25 yard line, Winston loads up and fires a strike right on the sideline away from the closing defender. The result of this play is 14 yards and it sets up the Bucs for a manageable second and 6.


Play 4: 1st & 10. 22. 2:13 1st.

Offensive Personnel: 21 Personnel

Coverage: Cover 2

Winston 4

To the field side of the formation, the Falcons are in a Cover 2 coverage. While on the boundary side of the formation the Falcons have obviously checked into a man-to-man coverage. Winston knows what routes his WR’s are running, the Falcons don’t. Winston opts to throw towards the man-to-man coverage and the TE running the out route does get open but Winston misses him. This is a throw you would like to see be completed, Winston has nearly perfect for he steps into and towards his target but the ball is just out of the reach of the TE.


Play 5: 2nd & 5. 5. 1:08 1st.

Offensive Personnel: 11 Personnel

Coverage: Cover 1

Winston 5

Winston doesn’t scramble much, but when he does it is usually very effective. The Bucs are running a slip screen to the RB, you will notice the linemen as well as the WR’s blocking down the field. The Falcons blow up the screen and Winston is forced to make a play on his own because everyone down the field is blocking. Winston avoids the pass rusher and is able to squeeze in between two defenders and dive into the end zone for the TD.


Play 6: 2nd & 7. -11. 8:57 2nd.

Offensive Personnel: 11XL Personnel

Coverage: Cover 1

Winston 6

When people talk about arm strength they like to talk about how well someone throws the deep ball or how far they can throw it down the field. The arm strength that I look for in a QB is how well he can throw the deep out route, if he is unable to throw the deep out it will be very tough for him to be a consistent starting QB in the NFL. Winston does a very nice job of throwing out routes and knowing how much touch to put on the ball to get it in between defenders. On this play, it is a play action, 5-step drop and Winston releases the ball almost right as the WR is coming out of his break. The good timing on this throw allows the ball to get to the WR before the CB can close on the ball and the throw has enough touch on it to get over top of the underneath defender. The result of the play is a first down.


Play 7: 3rd & 8. -23. 6:49 2nd.

Offensive Personnel: 10 Personnel

Coverage: Cover 3

Winston 7

Another display of Winston’s talented arm on this play, even though it is a very risky pass to be made. When the Falcons run zone coverage similar to the Cover 3 they are running on this play, their CB’s play with man-to-man responsibilities so it is almost a Cover 1. Winston’s target is the outside WR to the strong side of the field and the Falcons are in a good coverage to stop the pass from being completed. The inside WR runs a quick out route and occupies the flat defender just enough for Winston to get the ball over him. This is an impressive throw by Winston because of how small the throwing window is. If the ball is a little lower it could be easily intercepted and if it is too high the defender behind the WR could make a play on the ball. Instead Winston hits his WR right in the hands and he is able to break a tackle and gain 36 yards.


Play 8: 1st & 10. 41. 6:02 2nd.

Offensive Personnel: 10 Personnel

Coverage: Cover 3

Winston 8

This is a throw you would like to see Winston complete, although I cannot tell for sure if his arm gets hit or the ball gets deflected. The Falcons are in a Cover 3, with the FS shading to the strong side of the formation. Like I mentioned before, in zone defense the Falcons CB’s have man-to-man tendencies especially on a single WR opposite on the weak side of the formation. The slot WR for the Bucs runs a seam route bending all the way to the opposite numbers. With the FS to the other side of the field and the CB responsible for that deep part of the field occupied by the WR, this throw is wide open if Winston can get it over top of the LB running with his target. The ball falls short and a big opportunity is missed on this play, definitely one Winston would like to have back.

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Derek Willems

<p>Derek was born, bred and fed in the Dawg Pound as a Cleveland Browns fan. Currently he is a student assistant with the Kent State Football program, his primary focus being Defensive Backs. He eventually hopes to coach high level football but for now in his spare time he enjoys breaking down film and writing to inform the readers of things he is seeing. For all of Derek’s articles: <strong><a href="http://nflbreakdowns.com/author/DerekWillems/">Click Here</a>.</strong></p>